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Saas Classics, 4000m summits
Guiding ratio 1:2 | 4 nights half-board in mountain huts | Join us in 2024
Course overview
If you have already attended an Introduction course in Scotland, Chamonix or Arolla, this course will take your skills to the next level. Based in the beautiful Saas Fae region it is focused on climbing as many Alpine 4000m classic summits around the Saas region as possible, whilst pushing your technical climbing skills.
This course ascends famous routes around the PD/ AD grade in the Saas Fae. Examples include famous routes on the Weissmeiss, Lagginhorn, Nadelhorn, and Alphubel, based in comfortable mountain huts on a half board basis, so you are given a good three course cooked meal every evening. This is excellent for developing your acclimatisation and saves any time consuming walk-ins, making the most of your climbing time.
We differentiate ourselves from other operators, by only offering 1:2 guiding, to allow you to attempt routes such as the Lagginhorn ridge, which can only be climbed at this climbing ratio.
For those prefering snow or ice routes, rather than mixed or involving some rock, you should opt for the course dates early in the season (June or July) for the best conditions with more ice and less stonefall.
This course can be used as progression from the Alpine Introduction in Chamonix, or if you are feeling more confident, look at the Dufourspitze summit week which also has a ratio of 1:2 guiding, involving more stamina, and is focused more on technical demanding snow / ice and mixed climbing summits.
Whatever your previous ice or rock experience, the aim of this course is also to teach you more skills and style points useful in your own climbing, developing your mixed climbing, grades and techniques on different routes.
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
Sun Travel to Chamonix to arrive for the 17:00 check-in followed by and course safety and itinerary briefings. There is time for kit checks or rental of equipment. Briefings are over by 19:00 and the Chamonix hosts accompany the group to pre-dinner drinks to answer any queries. Night in Chamonix.
Mon Setting off from Chamonix in the early morning you are driven to Saas Grund near Zermatt. Today is a day to refresh your climbing and ropework skills on rock and in crampons. After catching the cable car, the aim of the day is flexible to either approch the Almageller or Britannia huts, if the weather is looking stable for the next day. Alternatives are to climb Jegihorn (3206m) from the Hohsaas list, which has a section of via ferrata and great views of Mischabel, or the Dri Horlini. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Night in mountain hut.
Tue Starting with an early Alpine start from a hut, today's most popular objective is the stunning exposed traverse of the Weissmeiss (4017m), usually ascending via the SW ridge with its exciting and very exposed scramble to reach the summit snow ridge. After photos and some lunch you start the decent by the NWN face, to reach the Weissmeiss hut beneath the Lagginhorn. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Night in hut.
Wed Today is the famous altitude route to the summit of Lagginhorn (4010m). The route is a long and varied ridge with some mixed climbing, involving climbing tricky sections of broken rock in crampons. There are fantastic views and ample photo opportunities throughout the day, particularly from the exposed summit block. In the late afternoon you descend back to the hut. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Night in mountain hut.

After the past couple of long technical days, today is a little easier with a shorter route to prepare you for the big route tomorrow. The objectives for the next day could include Alphubel (4206m), Nadelhorn (4327m), Allalinhorn (4027m), Strahlhorn(4190m) or Ulrichshorn (3925m), to name but a few. The objective is decided on between you and the guide, to take advantage of the best conditions, but groups often head to the Michabel hut for the night. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Night in mountain hut.

Fri The most popular objective is the ascent of the Nadelhorn starts from a short ridge directly behind the Mischabel hut, to reach the Hohbalm glacier and Windjoch at 3850m. From here the NE ridge is an impressive mixed climbing route with a void on both sides to reach the tiny summit block. The views from the summit are stunning, with the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc dominating the panorama. After the descent you are driven back to Chamonix for the night. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Celebratory last night meal and night in Chamonix.
Sat Breakfast then the accommodation check out is by 10:00. Most arrange their airport transfers to leave around this time, to catch a flight from Geneva about midday. Depart for home.
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
5 days guiding, 7 days holiday in total £1899
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) Self-catered accommodation in Chamonix (inc. beddings & towels), 4) Pre course information booklet, 5) Equipment discount voucher for UK shops, 6) Free 36 page technical Course Instruction Booklet, 7) Road transport in the Chamonix valley and to and from Saas, 8) Up to four nights half board (breakfast & three course cooked dinner) in mountain huts (inc. costs for the Guides), 9) Evening technical instruction on evenings in Chamonix.
Exclusions: 1) Travel to & from Chamonix, 2) Equipment hire, 3) Personal laundry, telephone calls, lunches, evening meals in valley, & any purchases in mountain huts / hotels / restaurants, 4) Cable cars & uplift for you & your guide, budget approx £50 (Guide cable cars included in Chamonix), 5) Sunday pre-dinner drinks & Friday celebratory meal & drinks, 6) Activities insurance, & excess baggage charges.
Notes: This course assumes 1:2 guiding throughout. Note that is there is just one person on a course, less 1:1 guiding days can be offered, however accommodation will be provided for the whole week, and guiding options and locations will be discussed with you within the budget paid.
Course upgrade options
Many clients on this trip consider upgrading with one or more of the following course additions...
Big 5 Alpine
kit rental
  Upgrade to single from
£300-£500 in addition to
standard course price,
depending on week.
Extend by 2 days after
to ascend one of the
Big 5 Alpine peaks as
an extra summit.
Rent all technical kit
for a week. Full Alpine
Bundle costs you just
£100 for the week.
Saturday night spent in
Chamonix, with choice
of self-guided or guided
on Sunday. From £70.
  Click for details Click for details Click for details Click for details
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
Saas Classics
  • [ 2 ] 21 - 27 Jul 2024
  • [ 2 ] 18 - 24 Aug 2024
  • [ 1 ] 1 - 7 Sep 2024
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: £1899 Book online

Alternative courses
Mont Blanc Summit
Mont Blanc Autonomy

Winter Mount Toubkal

Client feedback

Just wanted to say thanks for a wonderful trip. Everything was so well organised and really friendly which made it absolutely perfect, especially when combined with our luck with the weather! Please pass on our thanks to Paolo too, couldn't have wished for a nicer or better guide

Jenny G , Saas 4000m Peaks

This week really boosted my confidence. Great summits, a great group, and Jean-Luc was really knowledgeable. I will be back!!!

Louise H , Saas 4000m Peaks

A really good bit of advice from your team for me to look at this trip. It was a perfect level for me. Thanks

Jake S , Saas 4000m Peaks
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Location data for this trip
The trips meet 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
€ & CHF
Travel from UK
1hr flight
Course photo gallery

Preparing for the course
If you are worried about acclimatisation, we recommend that you book on an Acclimatisation Weekend before your course. to help you get acclimatised earlier, leaving you with more summiting weather windows for the peaks.
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.

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