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 Discover Summer Alpine Climbing & Mountaineering

Stuart McAleese, British Mountain Guide

Stu McAleese



We’re getting excited about the alpine summer being just around the corner. Time we thought for an overview of our 2013 Alpine Programme in order to help you choose the best alpine experience for you and your friends.

Location
All of our alpine courses are based in Argentiere in the Chamonix valley. This is an inspiring location as it sits underneath the Mont Blanc Range, it is big on alpine atmosphere and has easy access to some of the most impressive mountains and glaciers in the Alps. Plus Argentiere is easy to get to from the UK and has plenty of shops, restaurants and bars.

Our alpine course base is the Yeti Lodge. Here we have self-contained accommodation made up of four luxury chalets. Most of our courses are self-catering which gives us great flexibility while helping keep your costs down. There is always the option of adding meals if people prefer, as Yeti Lodge’s own chef is on site preparing meals for courses such as the Alpine Giants which is catered.

It was our first year in Argentiere last year, and Yeti Lodge proved to be an excellent choice for our base, with amazing staff and superb high-quality accommodation, it was a great success. We’re all looking forward to returning for another season.
For more information please click here.

Plas y Brenin IFMGA Mountain Guides
These are some of the following Mountain Guides you are likely to meet and work with during your course in the Alps. Most of our Guides are based out of the UK working for Plas y Brenin year round and it’s likely that you have met them at Plas y Brenin if you have been on a previous course. All of the Guides are hand picked to work with you and are IFMGA qualified Mountain Guides or Aspirants.

Martin Doyle British Mountain GuideMartin Doyle

Martin Chester British Mountain GuideMartin Chester

Rob Spencer British Mountain GuideRob Spencer

Simon Hale British Mountain GuideSimon Hale

Tim Neill British Mountain GuideTim Neill

Paul Warnock British Mountain GuidePaul Warnock

Matt Stygal British Mountain GuideMatt Stygal

Stuart MacAleese British Mountain GuideStuart MacAleese

 

Which Course is Best for Me?

There is a number of courses to choose from, all designed to suit your experience, ability and aspirations. Our courses range from 3 to 10 days. We have a variety of dates running through July:

  • Alpine Essentials – 3 Days
  • Discover Alpinism – 5 Days
  • Alpine Giants – 5 Days
  • Complete Alpine climber - 10 Days
  • Mont Blanc Extension - 3 Days (have to attended either the Discover Alpinism or Complete Alpine climber during the previous week)
 

You don’t have to have been on a Plas y Brenin course before, so this could be your first time with us. Our Alpine courses provide an excellent progression from your UK skills and techniques or maybe other courses you’ve been on at Plas y Brenin in Wales or Scotland.

Our aim is to teach you as much as we can about how to operate in the alpine mountains and our variety of courses cover a wide range of terrain appropriate to how much experience you have already. Alpine experience is great to add to your CV of climbing and mountaineering providing you with invaluable and transferrable skills, as well as some life-long memories.

Plas y Brenin Alpine EssentialsThe Alpine Essentials course proved to be very popular last year, perfect for those who have limited amount of time but would like some input and a chance to put it all into practice independently maybe after the course. It is non-residential and perfect as part of a holiday. An intensive three day course that runs to a similar format as the popular Jonathan Conville course managed by Plas y Brenin. Normally 1:3 guide/student ratio.

   

The Discover Alpinism is a similar concept to the Alpine Essentials but with greater time to consolidate skills and more opportunity over the five days to visit other mountains, an important process for the alpine apprentice. Again normally 1:3 guide/student ratio.

 

The Alpine Giants runs with a guide/student ratio of 1:2 for five days so is a great opportunity for closer tailoring to your needs and is an excellent learning environment. As always the course will be pitched to your individual ability and aspiration. Smaller teams gives us the chance of doing more involved routes and big mountains.

 

Plas y Brenin Alpine GiantsThe Complete Alpine Climber is ten day’s of tuition and guiding, providing you with a full package of progession and skills consolidation, plus a well earned weekend break in the middle. This provides a good time to rest and enjoy some down-time in the ‘valley’. This was a popular course last year and some amazing routes were climbed, including the North Face of the Tour Ronde during the second week.

The aim during the first week is to build on your existing climbing experience and teach you the principles of alpine climbing and mountaineering via mountain routes/journeys. Normally 1:4 guide/student ratio.

Following the weekend break the second week is aimed at looking at how to operate on more climbing style orientated routes or dealing with more involved alpine routes. Normally 1:2 guide/student ratio.

As with all our courses we will be involving you with decisions and technical aspects such as rope work, climbing and planning as much as possible. We aim to create a very ‘hands on’ experience allowing you to practice and learn as much as possible.

How Fit do I Need to Be?

Plas y Brenin Alpine FitnessI’m often asked this by people and it is a good question. I think it’s more about being in good condition and at times it’s worth being what I call durable! This is something you will gain through plenty of hill walking or mountaineering in the UK in all weathers. So if you’re in good shape, health, and are used to being in the mountains of the UK, this should put you in a position to enjoy the Alps.

If you can do a bit more training prior to your trip this will help, such as climbing, running, hill walking or mountaineering. Fitness and condition will be partly gained during your course as we acclimatize and if you have a good base fitness this will help this process.

We don’t run around the mountains when we are operating, if fact at times it can be surprisingly slow and more importance is on learning about efficiency and ‘long term’ speed. Alpine days can be big and can require a lot of effort. We will be coaching you on how to cope with this by using light-weight equipment, deciding on how much to carry, and how to move over different types of terrain in order to be successful and enjoy your time in the mountains.

Aim to be in as good condition as one can be prior to your trip and you will gain more from your Alpine experience with us. Hopefully this will reassure you and if you require more information please do not hesitate to speak to us at Plas y Brenin.

Please read our reviews from people who attended our courses last Summer. This can often give a valuable insight on what you can expect and help you choose which course is best for you.

For further information and details on our courses, accommodation and what’s included please click here.


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