There’s no better place to dip your toes into the world of alpine climbing than in the birthplace of alpinism itself. Boasting a mind-boggling number of climbing objectives, Chamonix is a world-famous haven for outdoor addicts venturing into Mont Blanc—and it has been ever since the first ascent in 1786. The training ground is suitable for both total beginners and experts, so spending 6 full days climbing on this terrain with IFMGA guides is really all you need to take a deep dive into the art, techniques, and commitment of alpine climbing. With its mountain guiding industry going strong for two centuries now, you’ll understand its appeal as soon as you set foot on the crag. Find out more about the charm of alpine climbing in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc from Perica Levatić, an avid climber and co-founder of 57hours. 

  • Nestled right underneath Mont Blanc, Chamonix is the birthplace of alpinism and the world’s greatest alpine playground

  • After three days of learning and mastering new skills, spend another three days working on your personal alpine climbing objectives

  • Take your first stab at alpine climbing with an expert guide by your side and learn about technical complexities needed to reach the top

Itinerary

If you’ve been wanting to give alpine climbing a go, this is your sign. It’s difficult to find a more iconic and unique place than Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. As the birthplace of alpinism, it’s a well-respected and beloved valley of countless opportunities. You’ll be trained by expert IFMGA guides, who will spend a week with you honing new techniques and then moving onto bigger routes. When you’re not scaling superb quality rocks, slip down to the valley where you can taste delicious Alpine French dishes and enjoy the small-town charm.
  • The starting point of the adventure is Chamonix, the world’s most famous destination for alpine climbing. Today you won’t be climbing, just meet your guides, go over the details of the itinerary and settle into the hotel. Get a good night’s sleep so you’re ready for the days ahead of you.

    Accommodation: Hotel

    A landscape of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc town at sunset with Mont-Blanc mountain and the Alps in the background, France
  • For the first three days you’ll train with your professional and friendly guides, Rob and Nino. As a place with more than two centuries of tradition of high-end alpinism, Chamonix is the perfect starting point for your alpine climbing journey. You’ll learn new skills, identify areas for improvement, and enjoy lower-elevation crags around Chamonix. Find out what it takes to do a proper mountain summit and work out the technical complexities and prepare for a summit.

    Accommodation: Hotel
    Meals included: Breakfasts

    Alpine climber and climbing ropes in Chamonix
  • The second section of the trip will be spent in smaller teams—with 2 new IFMGA guides joining the group, the client-to-guide ratio is now 2:1. This will allow guides to have a more personalized approach where you can work on your personal alpine climbing objectives. You’ll spend these days at a refuge, which will also give you a chance to climb higher. Day 6 is the last day of climbing, so make sure to seize the day and achieve what you used to consider unachievable! Retreat to your accommodation for your final night in the Chamonix area.

    Accommodation: Refuge and hotel
    Meals included: All breakfasts and 2 dinners

    Climber in Entrèves, Chamonix
  • It’s time to leave the refuge and get back to the valley. If you’d like to extend your stay, just ask your guides about recommendations. If not, head back to Geneva to catch your flight.

    Meals included: Breakfast

  • During 8 days, you will learn about:

    • Managing rope systems
    • Shortening the rope for efficiency and safety
    • Minimalist techniques to keep you moving
    • Using natural protection like horns, ridges, and terrain for protection
    • Cramponing
    • Efficient transitions between rock, ice, and snow
    • Glacier travel
    • Strategies for protection on ice including V/naked threads and moving quickly on alpine ice
    • Managing easy, but exposed climbing
    • Avoiding rock- and icefall hazards
    • Bivy skills
    • Moving quickly on long, alpine rock routes

Meet your guides

Rob Coppolillo
5.00
Rob Coppolillo
IFMGA/AMGA Certified Guide
Rob is a AMGA/IFMGA guide who runs ski and climbing trips all over the world — from the Rockies to the Dolomites. We tour at least once a year with him because he always brings out the best in us wherever we go and whatever the objective. Rob is the ow...
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Nino Guagliano
5.00
Nino Guagliano
ACMG, AMGA and IFMGA Mountain Guide
ACMG, AMGA and IFMGA Mountain Guide
Nino Guagliano is a trained and Internationally Certified IFMGA Mountain Guide.  His winters are split between guiding Backcountry Lodge trips, ski touring in the deep powder capital of Western Canada and CMH Heli.  During the winter months he calls Go...
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5.00 (2 reviews)
Bruno Schull about Rob Coppolillo on Tripadvisor

Rob is a great guide, a great teacher, and a great person. I’ve worked with many guides to expand my range of skills and experiences in the mountains, and Rob is one of the very best. He literally wrote the books about guiding! (Check out his books about climbing and skiing). He is extremely generous with his knowledge and time, he focuses on making sure his clients have a great experience, and he genuinely loves the mountains. I will definitely go climbing and skiing with Ron again!

Elliot Clymer about Rob Coppolillo on 57hours

Rob is an excellent guide and educator, thoroughly enjoyed my class with him.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

    • Experienced, IFMGA local hiking guides with extensive knowledge of the area
    • 6 full days of learning and alpine climbing with a guide
    • 7 nights of hotels and refuges
    • All breakfasts, 3 dinners (as indicated in the itinerary)
    • Transportation during the tour

    What’s not included:

    • Transportation to and from France
    • Lunches and some dinners (check the itinerary for details)
    • Lift tickets for you and your guide
  • Although this is a beginner-friendly alpine climbing clinic in Chamonix, keep in mind that alpine climbing in general is physically demanding. A course that is too hard will be less enjoyable for you. Work on your fitness by walking up hills or in the gym.

    Mountain days are long, low-intensity exercise, which is hard to replicate in short gym sessions, so strength exercises (squats, step-ups, stair-climbing with a rucksack) are more useful than speed exercises (running, spinning). Make sure you’re fit enough to climb for 6 days in a row.

    Ice climbing needs more upper body strength, and calves can take a beating when front-pointing. It’s useful if you have done some ice and/or rock climbing before, but it’s not a prerequisite. 

  • While prior rock climbing experience is certainly useful, you can join this trip if you’ve never alpine climbed. Your guide will help you meet your individual objectives with your safety as the number one priority. Still, keep in mind—all alpine climbs are physically demanding, especially 6 days in a row, so make sure you’re prepared for it!

    If you’d like to take a rock climbing course in this area, check out this guided day of rock climbing basics in Chamonix.

  • All technical climbing equipment will be provided by your guiding service. However, if you have your own gear, feel free to bring it. You’ll need:

    • Helmet
    • Headlamp
    • Trekking/ski poles
    • Harness with a locking carabiner, belay device, and chalk bag
    • Ropes
    • Climbing hardware (quickdraws, cam devices, stoppers, etc.)

    For personal items, we recommend bringing:

    • Fleece or wool hat
    • Balaclava and a buff
    • Neck gaiter
    • Hardshell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex or equivalent)
    • Expedition-weight bottoms
    • Lightweight wind shell
    • Down or synthetic jacket with hood
    • Long-sleeved base layer
    • Gloves — lightweight synthetic, windstopper gloves, big mountain gloves and mittens
    • Long base layer pants
    • Lightweight trekking pants
    • Expedition-weight bottoms
    • Hardshell pants
    • Softshell pants (wind-proof or wind-resistant)
    • Quick-dry shorts
    • Leg gaiters
    • Liner socks, hiker socks and warm socks
    • Mountaineering boots that work with crampons
    • Hiking shoes
    • An internal frame backpack (35-45L)
    • Compression stuff sacks
    • Chemical hand and toe warmers
    • Glacier glasses and goggles
    • Water bottle or hydration pack
    • Plastic bowl, spoon and coffee mug
    • Food you can eat on-the-go
    • Pocket knife
    • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, blister kit, toilet paper, pee bottle, etc.)
    • Camera — optional
  • Group sizes and prices:

    • This alpine climbing clinic in Chamonix is limited to 8 people. 
    • You’ll spend the first 3 days training together with two IFMGA guides, after which you’ll move onto smaller groups with two IFMGA guides joining in. The ratio for the last 3 days is 2:1.
    • It’s possible to have a 1:1 client-to-guide ratio for an additional fee.
    • Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.

    Contact us prior to booking if you have any questions.

    Min. age requirements:

    • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to climb on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

    If your group has climbers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 3 months (90 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies. 

    • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to one hundred twenty (120)  calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund. 
    • For cancellations ninety (90) to one hundred nineteen(119)  calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. 
    • For cancellations seventy five (75) to eighty nine (89)  calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of twenty-five percent (25%) of the total amount paid when Booking. 
    • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.
  • To get to Chamonix, France, most people fly into Geneva International Airport. From there, it’s a 1-hour drive to Chamonix—you can either rent a car, take a bus, or a train.

    Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

  • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

    We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Chamonix, France, please refer to France Diplomacy’s COVID-19 travel advisory.

    Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

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From $3250
/ 8 days
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