Ice climbing

Ice climbing courses

There are many opportunities to ice climb in and around the Chamonix valley, varying from easy and moderate ice climbing routes to the most extreme lines. Easily accessible from Geneva airport and at the foot of Mont Blanc, Chamonix is a great location offering a mix of beautiful terrain as well as a range of accommodation options to suit all needs.

​Our ice climbing courses come in 3 levels :

  • beginner
  • advanced
  • performance

To know which level you are, please get in touch to let us know what experience you have, and our team can guide you to book the correct course.

Depending on the course, Chamonix Vertical will teach you everything from the basic ice techniques and understanding ice fall, to the high-performance new techniques of modern mixed and dry tooling. This will all be done with your safety in mind, and our qualified guides will be by your side at every step of your progression. As the old saying goes, ‘Practice makes perfect’, and we believe that practicing is the best way to reach your goals! So we will spend as much time as possible with ice axes in your hands to get that practice in!

As with all new skills in the mountains, there will also be some theory to make sure that you stay safe when partaking in these activities.

Here are a few examples of what you might learn on one of our courses :

  • The different equipment that you need for ice climbing – both personal and collective equipment to share between you and your partner.
  • Understanding ice, you need to understand the behaviour, evolution, and stability of ice to know if it is safe to start climbing or if the ice is evolving during your climb.
  • How to define an ice climbing route.
  • Basic concepts of progression, falling factors and protection on the ice dangers while ice climbing.
  • Learning rope techniques such as knots, rope handling when on single or multipitch climbs etc.
  • Basic techniques of ice climbing: balance, primary progression, seconding, basic positions, diagonals.
  • Placing protection in different scenarios (ice or rock).
  • Basic principles of creating anchors.

Ice climbing equipment

For equipment, please see directly with the guide once you have booked. It is possible to rent a certain amount of gear from us, or we can advise you on where to rent your gear if you do not have your own. We will send you a comprehensive list of equipment when you book the course. Please do not hesitate to send us an email if you have any questions about courses or gear.

Courses details

Our courses are tailored to you: your level, your experience, and your group, to make you as safe as possible in the mountains. Due to the nature of the sport, our guides take different numbers of people on groups, as follows :

  • Beginners > 1 to 6 people
  • Advanced > 1 to 4 people
  • Performance > 1 to 3 people

Our courses run on demand so please get in touch if you are looking for either a group course or a private course. The location will be adapted to your requirements, weather and ice conditions, as these will vary throughout the season. Come and join us to update your skill base so that you can enjoy winter in complete safety