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Glacier Skills Weekends 2024
2 days guiding, with 1 night shared accommodation in hut / Chamonix
Course overview

By the end of the weekend you might have ice climbed, practiced crevasse rescue, and travelled over crevasses on both snow covered and dry glaciers. Saturday night is spent in shared accommodation either in a mountain hut, or in accommodation in the Chamonix valley. You arrive to start the course on the Saturday morning, and fly home after guiding on the Sunday evening.
The weekend is designed to teach a total novice the key safety considerations for travelling over glaciers, focusing on the skills that you will require on ice and snow; including Alpine ropework, crevasse and self rescue, glacier travel, crampon and ice axe techniques.
There are two itinerary options, a decision based on what skills and experiences you are after. You can elect for a choice of two days on altitude glaciers with a night in a mountain hut, or two day routes with the Saturday on a dry (not snow covered) glacier, such as the Mer de Glace / Argentiere / Le Tour, and the Sunday on a wet (snow covered) glacier, such as Col du Midi or Punta Helbronner.
Your itinerary choice is either made at the time of booking, or can be implemented if necessary due to changes in the weather or conditions. The focus is on really developing your glacier travel skills.
If you'd prefer this course on a bespoke 1:2 guide ratio, on any date that suits during the summer Alpine season (mid June to mid September), the price is £599 per person.
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
  Option A - altitude glaciers & hut Option B - dry & wet glaciers
Sat Meet your mountain guide in the morning, typically at 08:30, for a briefing and kit check, then set off up either the Midi / Helbronner cable cars to the Vallee Blanche. Traverse the altitude glacier, with the day spent learning ropework for roping up on wet (snow covered) glaciers, and snow belays for crevasse rescue anchors. Guiding ratio 1:6 (max). Night in mountain hut (Torino / Cosmiques). Meet your mountain guide in the morning, typically at 08:30, for a briefing and kit check, then set off for the day. Days are spent on a high glacier such as the Argentiere / Le Tour / Mer de Glace, with the day spent ice climbing, creating anchors, and learning glacier travel skills. These dry glaciers are accessed via cable car / mountain railway. Guiding ratio 1:6 (max). Night in Chamonix.
Sun On the second day, you build on wet glacier travel skills, with the opportunity to perform a crevasse rescue for real, if you're keen. You may well tackle a glaciated peak (see options to right), or elect to focus more on mechanical advantage hoist systems. Guiding ratio 1:6 (max). Guiding finishes by 16:00. Don't book flight departing before 20:00, to allow time for airport transfers. On the second day, you meet the guide, then set off on a day focusing on wet (snow covered) glacier travel, probing crevasses, Alpine coils, crevasse rescue, etc. You may well tackle a glaciated peak such as Pointe Lachenal / Arete Laurence / Aiguille du Toule. Guiding ratio 1:6 (max). Guiding finishes by 16:00, so do not book flight departing before 20:00, to allow time for airport transfers.

ITINERARY NOTES: Where possible we follow itineraries. Mountaineering is often 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 course itinerary as a guide to the types of route that you will attempt, not necessarily the exact routes that you climb.

Course Prices
Standard course
2 full days IFMGA guiding, 1:6 max ratio
Saturday night Chamonix accommodation
Live availability
Click on the planner logo to the right to
see the real time live course availability
Latest Availability
Secure online booking system
Inclusions: 1) IFMGA Mountain Guide for two days, 2) Chamonix course hosts for logistics & briefings, 3) Pre course information booklet, 4) Equipment discount voucher for UK shops, 5) Free 36 page technical Course Instruction Booklet, 6) Road transport in Chamonix valley, 7) Saturday night shared accommodation in mountain hut on a half board basis (itinerary Option A), or in Chamonix valley on a room only basis (itinerary Option B).
Exclusions: 1) Travel to and from Chamonix, 2) Cable Cars (approx c.£80), 3) Personal laundry, telephone calls, lunches, evening meals in valley, & any purchases in mountain huts / hotels / restaurants, 4) Travel costs outside Chamonix valley (not normally needed, e.g. Courmayeur c. 30 euros per person), 5) Activities insurance, & excess baggage charges.
Group sizes: 3 - 6 people per IFMGA mountain guide. For groups of 4 or more booking together, a private course can be operated just for you, with a discounted rate applied for groups of 5 or 6 in total. We also offer a 1:2 bespoke weekend for £599 per person. All private courses can be run on demand on dates of your choice.
Current course availability

Course Dates
Glacier Weekend
  • [ 2 ] 20 - 21 Jul 2024
  • [ 4 ] 3 - 4 Aug 2024
  • [ 3 ] 17 - 18 Aug 2024
  • [ 4 ] 31 Aug - 1 Sep 2024
NOTE: This trip has scheduled
dates, but if there are four who
are booking together, it can be
operated on any date you wish

Price: £499 Book online

Alternative courses
Alpine Introduction Course
Winter Ice Weekend

Alps Autonomy Techniques
Winter Mount Toubkal

Client feedback

Joe Simpson, you would never have made a film if you knew what I do !

Bob S , Glacier Skills Weekend

It was really useful to learn to place ice screws, and anchor systems on both bare ice and snow covered glaciers, and I'm really confident about crevasse extraction now, but hope never to have to do it in anger

Anne T , Glacier Skills Weekend

Thank you so much for organising a great weekend course. We learnt lots

Rachel C , Glacier Skills Weekend

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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
Pro top tips - geeks corner!
Suggested reading and kit
View full course equipment list, with examples of kit, click here
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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