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Dry Tooling & Mixed Climbs 2022
Dry tooling in a gorge near to Val de Cogne in Northern Italy
Course overview
If you are a highly competant ice climber seeking the next challenge, dry tooling and mixed routes are next. This course is run over a week, with 1:1 guiding throughout.
From its beginnings as a way of accessing ice by crossing sections of rock to reach the next icicle, it has developed as a sport in its own right, requiring good balance, co-ordination and flexibility.
Those with a good level of technical rock climbing may find the style of movement similar, as you use small cracks, holds and ledges for support. Technical ice axes and crampons are essential, and there are usually the skills of torquing and axe stein pulls involved.
Apart from valley routes you can also try this style of climbing on altitude Alpine routes, such as the Goulotte Cosmiques or the Contamine routes on the North Face of Mont Blanc du Tacul.
This course is led by one of our most talented dry tooling Guides who can climb M7 minimum, so you are guaranteed to be pushed to the very limits of your capability.
On demand: if no scheduled course dates are showing in the column on the right, we can still operate a course on demand for just one person booking, on any dates that suit from January through until the end of April, arriving Sunday and departing Saturday.
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.

Brief Course Itinerary
The itinerary is flexible to cater for your previous experience, and aspirations. The itinerary below is a guideline for the week long dry tooling / mixed course, and gives examples of what you could also achieve.
Sun Travel to Chamonix to arrive for the 18:00 check-in followed by and course safety and itinerary briefings. There is time for kit checks or rental of equipment. Briefings are over by 20:00 and the Chamonix hosts accompany the group to pre-dinner drinks to answer any queries. Night in Chamonix.
Mon Refresh your ice climbing skills on valley waterfall ice, with mixed sections, such as Cremerie icefalls. Also practice placement of ice screws, runners & screamers, building anchors and leading. Night in Chamonix.
Tue & Wed & Thu

For these three days you can learn to to push your climbing grade on mixed and dry sections. These climbs can either be valley based, or can be climbs accessed by the altitude cable cars. There is also the opportunity to climb in nearby Val de Cogne, Italy (one hour drive). Small guiding ratios at a maximum of 1:2 give you the opportunity to climb technical routes at the highest grade you can find, whilst developing your technique on different types of mixed or ice columns.
Popular climbs in Chamonix valley include: The gorge d'Arveyron, Chatelard, & Argentiere Icefalls
Popular climbs in
Val de Cogne include: Repentance (V+), Cold Couloir, Lau Bij, Ice Files, etc
On Thursday evening you return to Chamonix to allow you an early start on Friday for another route.

Fri A day to use your increased confidence and technique for a more difficult mixed or ice route in the Chamonix valley, such as Grade VI Icelander or Megeve. Night spent in Chamonix.
Sat Breakfast then the accommodation check out is by 10:00. Most arrange their transfers for around this time for a flight from Geneva about midday.
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
1:1 ratio course
5 full days IFMGA guiding, 1:1 max ratio
7 days holiday in total, Sunday-Saturday
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) IFMGA Mountain Guide for five days, 2) Chamonix course hosts for logistics & briefings, 3) Pre course information booklet, 4) Equipment discount voucher for UK shops, 5) Six nights self-catered accommodation in Chamonix, (inc. bedding & towels), 6) Chamonix Free 36 page technical Course Instruction Booklet, 8) Road transport in Chamonix valley, 9) Logistics support.
Exclusions: 1) Travel to and from Chamonix, 2) Cable Cars (approx £30), 3) 3) Equipment hire, 4) Personal laundry, telephone calls, lunches, evening meals, & any purchases in mountain huts / hotels / restaurants, 5) Sunday pre-dinner drinks & Friday celebratory meal & drinks, 6) Activities insurance, & excess baggage charges.
Standard course accommodation - normally clients are based in self-catered flats (details), so take a look, and decide if it's for you. For more luxury, contact us for quotes in higher standard apartments, or hotels of any standard required. If you have / source your own course accommodation, or we cannot provide an upgrade, the standard course price has a £100pp reduction applied on your invoice.
Current course availability

Course Dates
Dry Tooling week
  • No Dates Available
NOTE: This trip has scheduled
dates, but it can be operated on
any date you wish. Let us know

Price: £1999 Book online

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

Ascent of the Matterhorn

Client feedback

Amazing course that was challenging every day, and an excellent introduction to the wonders of drytooling - I've never done so many heel hooks in my life!! Thanks a million

Anna Watson , Dry Tooling
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Location data for this trip
The trips are based in the 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
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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