4000m Peaks Climbing Course Report

Just a quick report from our 4000m Peaks Alpine Climbing Course, run by Dave H this week.  As the name suggests, the aim of this course is to teach people how to climb 4000m peaks in the Alps!

The week started with a glacier skills teaching day on the Mer de Glace, learning all aspects of ice axe and crampon work , as well as the ropework required to travel safely on glaciers.  Day 2 put everything into practice, with a classic traverse of the Vallee Blanche above Chamonix – followed by an introduction to crevasse rescue before spending the night at the Torino Hut on the Italian side of the range.

Day 3 dawned very ‘Scottish’ with cloud and snow, so Dave made a quick decision to change the itinerary around and made an ascent of the Aiguilles Marbrees in the morning, looking at moving together and short pitching skills on alpine ridge terrain, before heading over to the Gran Paradiso National Park and walking up to the Vittoio Emanuele Hut in the afternoon – this was in order to be in place for a good weather forecast the following day.  Sure enough, it dawned clear and bright and everyone enjoyed a fantastic ascent of the Gran Paradiso,  climbing as an independent team on their 1st 4000m peak.  The final day was stormy in the mountains, so the course rounded off with further crevasse rescue and prussicking training in the Chamonix Valley.