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Winter Alpine Classics 2024
Chamonix based | 5 days 1:2 guide ratio | Winter classic routes
Course overview
This course is 1:2 guide ratio throughout, to enable you to climb a range of classic mountaineering routes in the winter months, based in Chamonix. There is a huge range of routes to choose from, and the level of the course is aimed at climbers wanting to ascend PD+, AD and even some D grade routes.
The course is designed to provide a good balance of climbing winter classic routes, such as Chere Couloir, the Chevalier Couloir, Arete des Cosmiques via Couloir-en-S, and also being taught skills and techniques to advance your knowledge and abilities.
Apart from Chamonix valley you have the option of day climbs in Switzerland or Italy if the conditions are better. All the climbing is set within some of the most magnificent scenery of the Alps.
You discuss your itinerary with your guide at the start of the week, and they develop a great program for the week, to suit your skills and aspirations. The week is highly flexible and tailored to you.
For those not requiring accommodation, price can be reduced by £100 per person (course accommodation not available Christmas week, New Year week or the middle two weeks of February).
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.
Bespoke: if the scheduled dates don't suit, and there are two of you, we can operate an bespoke course just for you on any date at the same course price. Get in contact with your prefered dates.

Brief Course Itinerary

Travel to Chamonix to arrive for your accommodation check in from 16:00 on the Sunday afternoon, for those staying in with Icicle. In the early evening there is a course safety and itinerary briefing. There is time for kit checks or rental of equipment, including the hire of any boots or personal climbing equipment. Briefings and sorting equipment is over by 19:00 and then you are free to go out for dinner / drinks. Night in Chamonix.
A key feature of this course is that you have 5 days of 1:2 guiding, so can climb pitched or Alpine style routes all week. The 1:2 ratio is ideal for the guide, as they can belay two people simultaneously, and it is also ideal for abseiling. An ideal first route might be the North Face of the Petite Aiguille Verte, or the Arete des Cosmiques via the Couloir-en-S gully approach. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Night in Chamonix.
Popular climbs include Aiguilles Marbrees traverse, the Aiguilles d'Entreves, or Aiguille du Floria traverse. The first two options are situated on the Franco-Italian border, and are accessed from the Helbronner cable car. The third option is in the Aiguilles Rouges above Chamonix, which offers a wide choice of routes to climb. All of these are mixed winter climbs. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Night in Chamonix.
You could tackle another of the options outlined yesterday, or other ideas that are the most popular include the Couloir Chevallier or Pepite Goulotte on the Grands Montets. Both routes are easily accessed from the cable car, and there is a short route to the start point for both routes. Chevallier is a snow gully with a steeper exit, and Pepite is a mixed line to the right. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Night in Chamonix.
Options to consider for today include Chere Coloir or Perroux gully on the north face triangle of Mont Blanc du Tacul. These are accessed from the Aiguille du Midi cable car, and are famous classic multi-pitch routes that run parallel to each other. As you will have discovered by now, there is such an amazing choice of routes, you are spoilt for choice each day. Guiding ratio 1:2 (max). Night in Chamonix.
Today is your last day of guiding, and some options include a traverse of the Gros Rognon or Point Lachenal or climbing the Goulotte Cosmiques. Again your guide will outline the options with you, and you can decide together which style and grade of routes appeal to you most. In the evening there are optional drinks and then a celebratory meal. Your final night is spent in Chamonix.
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. Some people opt to book a tandem paraglider flight in the morning to celebrate the weeks efforts, and prices for this are from 90€ for a c.30 minute flight. These flights can be booked in resort up to the day before you wish to fly. Depart for home.
ITINERARY NOTES: Where possible we follow itineraries. Mountain adventures are weather and conditions dependant, so occasionally we are forced to alter the plans. If this is the case, suitable alternatives are offered. Please use this itinerary as a guide to the types of route / activity you attempt.
Climbing a steep snow slope, with the belayer using a bucket seat belay.
Course Prices
Standard course
5 full days IFMGA guiding, 1:2 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 in private flat for the two of you (inc. bedding & towels), 6) Free 36 page technical Course Instruction Booklet, 7) Road transport in Chamonix valley.
Exclusions: 1) Travel to and from Chamonix, 2) Cable Cars (approx £100), 3) Transport / tunnel ticket outside Chamonix valley 4) Equipment hire, 4) Personal laundry, telephone calls, lunches, evening meals, & any purchases in mountain huts / hotels / restaurants, 6) Sunday pre-dinner drinks & Friday celebratory meal & drinks, 7) 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.
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
Winter Alpine Classics
  • [ 2 ] 3 - 9 Mar 2024
  • [ 2 ] 21 - 27 Mar 2024
  • [ 2 ] 7 - 13 Apr 2024
  • [ 2 ] 21 - 27 Apr 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: £1499 Book online

Alternative courses
Mont Blanc Summit
Technical Ice & Classics
Autonomy & Techniques
Chamonix Alpine Rock

Client feedback

My partner and I were looking for a Guide for a week of ice and routes, and we found this course excellent, as we climbed loads in the day, and learnt loads more each evening. This format is so much more than a private Guide can ever provide

Linda E , Winter Alpine Classics

Please pass on my thanks to Julian for guiding me last week. I learnt so much, and really appreciated his great local knowledge and connections

Joanne I , Winter Alpine Classics

Thanks to you all, both in Windermere and in the Alps, for everything before and during my course last week

Edward R , Winter Alpine Classics
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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
Latest news from Icicle
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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