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Winter Ice & Alpine Weekend 2024
Weekend trip | 2 days ice climbing guiding | 1 night in Chamonix
Course overview
For those looking for an exciting weekend adventure, you can't get much more exhilarating than a weekend climbing on iced up waterfalls or ascending Alpine routes!
The course is designed to squeeze into a weekend. You meet your guide at 08:30 on Saturday morning, and leave on Sunday evening to be back at work for Monday morning. On Saturday and Sunday you have two full days of ice climbing or mountaineering, with one night spent in Chamonix on Saturday night.

Your two Guided days are fairly flexible to allow you to ascend route types of your choice, be it long multi-pitch ice routes, shorter more technical routes or mountaineering routes at altitude.

Although we ask for no previous experience for this course, if you have more experience but would like a weekend ice climbing in the Alps, we will try to match you with a suitable climbing partner.
Whatever your aim, you can rest assured that the conditions will be way better than Scotland, so even on a weekend, you will learn more than a week in Scotland dodging bad weather and searching for ice.
As this course is operated on a 1:2 guiding ratio, if there is only one person who books on a date, we try to find a partner for you. In the unlikely event that only one person books on a date, please note we provide one full day of private guiding and the night of accommodation, but the activity is guaranteed to operate.
Dates: these are listed in the column on the right, and they show the live availability from our secure online booking system. When you book online, you receive immediate confirmation, your Alpine Information Booklet, course specific kit list and invoice.
Long weekend option?
The standard course includes 2 days guiding and 1 night accommodation. You can upgrade to 3 days of guiding with 2 nights of accommodation for £999pp. The itnerary for the long weekend is to arrive on Friday with the night accommodation included. You have guided ice climbing on Saturday and Sunday, with the Saturday night accommodation also included. Depart after guiding on the Sunday afternoon / evening for an evening flight.

Brief Course Itinerary
Sat Meet in Chamonix at 08:30am, for the guide to brief you and check equipment for the day. They will discuss with you the current conditions, and if they require you to wear an avalanche beacon (provided if required) during the weekend. You then set off for your two days climbing. Below are some of the most popular options. Other possibilities are available, so you don't have to repeat anything if you have been to the Chamonix region before. You can discuss direct with the guide which option you wish to select each day, to react to weather, experience and conditions, to ensure you achieve the maximum.
Option 1 - Guiding ratio 1:2 max

Drive to the Val de Cogne in North Italy, and climb one of the classic icefalls, such as Cascade Lillaz or Patrie at the end of the valley, then return to Chamonix.
Option 2 - Guiding ratio 1:2 max

Take the Plan Joran lift above Argentiere, to climb the left bank icefalls above the glacier, such as Mini Couloir & Deferlante. Night is spent in Chamonix.
Option 3 - Guiding ratio 1:2 max

Spend the day ice climbing at the Cremerie icefalls, in order to climb multi-pitch ice, and to learn about ice anchors and abseiling skills. Night in Chamonix.
Sun Option 1 - Drive to Megeve or Reposoir for a second day ice climbing, before driving back to Chamonix to arrive c.17:00. Option 2 - Day of waterfall ice climbs, such as Micro Couloir on Col des Montets / Chatelard, and return to Chamonix c.17:00. Option 3 - Ascent of altitude snow / mixed route such as Arete des Cosmiques on the Midi, then return to Chamonix c.17:00.
All the guiding is scheduled to finish by 17:00, so you can return any hire kit, then airport transfers can be booked for any time after 17:00 (realistically this is for flights departing at 20:00) to allow you to travel home, in order to avoid taking time off work.
ITINERARY NOTES: Where possible we follow itineraries. Mountain adventures are weather and conditions dependant, so occasionaly we are forced to alter the plans. If this is the case, suitable alternatives are offered. Please use this outline itinerary as a guide to the types of route / activity that you will attempt.

Course Prices
Standard course
2 full days IFMGA guiding, 1:2 max ratio
2 days holiday in total, Saturday-Sunday
Live availability
Click on the planner logo to the right to
see the real time live course availability
Latest Availability
Secure online booking system
Standard Course Inclusions
1) Hand picked IFMGA Mountain Guide for two days (1:2 ratio max)
2) Chamonix concierge service for logistics, advice and support
3) Pre course information dossier, with training plans and kit lists
4) Briefing the first morning, with latest updates and weather reports
5) Equipment discount voucher for our Windermere shop / online
6) One night room only accommodation in Chamonix on the Saturday
7) Preferential rates on technical equipment rental in Chamonix
8) Free 36 page technical Course Instruction Booklet
9) Pre-course online briefing in the month before your trip
Exclusions: 1) Travel to and from Chamonix, 2) Cable Cars (approx £30), 3) Kit hire as required, 4) Personal laundry, telephone calls, lunches, evening meals, & any purchases in mountain huts / hotels / restaurants, 5) Transport & tunnel tickets for travel outside Chamonix valley (not normally needed, e.g. Courmayeur c. 30 euros per person), 6) Activities insurance, & excess baggage charges.
Group sizes: 2 people per IFMGA mountain guide. For group sizes of over 2 people, there are multiple guides, and the teams travel independently of each other.
Current course availability

Course Dates
Ice Weekend
  • No Dates Available
NOTE: This trip has scheduled
dates, but if there are two who
are booking together, it can be
operated on any date you wish

Price: £649 Book online

Alternative courses
Technical Ice & Classics
Winter Alpine Intro course
Chamonix Technical Ice
Winter Alpine Classics

Client feedback

No one in the office on Monday morning could believe what I had done over the weekend, and it was hard for me to take it all in too. A great idea to make the most of your weekends, and better still I took no holiday time off work!

Karen B , Ice Weekend

Climbing with the technical axes on multi-pitch routes was amazing, and I had a great weekend

Hussain M , Ice Weekend

Thank you for matching me so well with a climbing partner who had the same aspirations and experience. We got on great and will be back for more

Graham McN , Ice Weekend

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Location data for this trip
The trips all meet in Chamonix valley in the French Alps, at the foot of Mont Blanc. It is easily accessed via a 90 minute transfer from Geneva airport.
Time Difference
GMT +1hr
Local Currency
€ Euros
Travel from UK
1hr flight
Cogne Italian job?
Prefer an Italian based weekend? Spend the night half board night there (the guide also stays), instead of the night in Chamonix. The course would also include the tunnel and driving tolls, travel costs from Chamonix to Cogne. This Italian option costs £799 per person.
Pro top tips - geeks corner!
Suggested reading and kit
View full course equipment list, with examples of kit, click here
Why choose our trips?
See our Alpine blog, by clicking on the Word-press logo to the right.
Icicle Blog
Itinerary flexibility to allow you to take full advantage of the weather windows on any day, to maximise your summit chances.
Our prices are fixed in £ Sterling, to protect you from euro fluctuations, so you can budget accurately.
There is a choice of routes to opt for, depending on the weather, conditions, and your experience.
Any further questions?
A key part of choosing a company is being able to come and talk about your plans with an experienced course advisor face to face. In an increasingly virtual world, we know our clients value speaking to real people, getting open and honest advice. The vast majority of our clients are British, and our office and outdoor store is based in Windermere in the English Lake District.

Get in contact to arrange a meeting, and come in for a coffee to discuss your course in person with a trip advisor. Many people opt for this service, and it is an integral part of what we offer, as we are keen to ensure that you are prepared as possible, and that you select a course that is suitable for you. It makes it easier and more enjoyable for you and us, if you are on the right trip.

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