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When you join us on an Alpine Preparation course we aim to give you the technical grounding you need to safely enjoy your trip to the Alps or other glaciated mountain range. We run these instructional courses privately on dates to suit you. The advance training and practice will give you a good head start when you arrive in the Alps or Greater Ranges. You will learn in an unpressured environment with plenty of time, reduce the amount of time required to pick up new skills when you go abroad, and you will have the opportunity to practice and reinforce what you have learned in the intervening period ahead of your high mountain adventure.
You may be planning to attend an Alpine mountaineering course or to climb in the Alps with friends. Whichever is the case, the Alps will provide you with fantastic and challenging opportunities, but to be a successful Alpine mountaineer requires a considerable degree of commitment and training in advance. It is well worth spending a weekend in preparation for the vastly different mountain environment you will be experiencing: the greater scale, high altitude and mix of glacier, crag, snow and rock will offer rewarding objectives indeed, but new mountaineering problems will have to be tackled. Speed is essential, and the ability to organise yourself and your equipment effectively is most important. These preparation courses will help the Alpine novice acquire the basic techniques, and update the skill of the more experienced.
The topics covered will include rope management and belaying techniques for glacier travel and movement on all types of terrain, equipment, basic rope work, simulated crevasse rescue and use of mountain huts. There will be an evening slide show on the Alps, which we hope will put the course into real life context.
On the course we will work on the technical ground you need to cover before your trip. You would also be well advised to do some preparation by yourself as a build up to the Alps! Firstly, try to arrive in the Alps reasonably fit. Do some general hill walking carrying a load up hill whenever you can, and possibly also do some cycling, jogging or running. Secondly, acquire and practice some rope work technique related to rock climbing. If you are already a climber, this should be familiar, but if you are more of a hill-walker then we recommend that you read an instructional book or watch some videos online. The preparation course will obviously help with, this, but it is not a rock-climbing course, and prior familiarity with climbing techniques will be useful. We can offer a thorough grounding in rock climbing techniques for those who require it, either as a course extension or on a separate course. Please feel free to discuss your requirements with us if this is of interest.
We normally run courses in the South Lake District, but we also have accommodation available in mountain huts in the Peak District, North Wales and elsewhere, so we can offer a choice of venues. Locally in the Lakes we have self-catering accommodation in a cottage, mountain hut or caravan if required. Camping is possible locally for tents and vans, and B&B or any other accommodation of your choice can be arranged if you prefer. Local transport is provided free of charge. You should bring your own food for lunch, though people usually decide to eat out together on the Saturday night. The courses will be directed by myself or by other suitably qualified and experienced staff, the ratio being 1:6 maximum, and most often 1:1, 1:2 to 1:4 on a private group booking.
Participation is strongly recommended to help you make the most of your Alpine season.
Please get in touch to enquire about enquire private booking rates for individuals and groups, and availability of dates.