From any vantage point in the Chamonix Valley, you’re looking at history.
Chamonix—the ultimate mountain town in the heart of the Alps—is the birthplace of alpine climbing. The first ascent of Mont Blanc took place over 250 years ago (and the first woman to climb it did so in 1808), and today, you can experience the same magic those early alpinists did.
Chamonix isn’t just an incredible place. It’s also a cultural experience. Imagine topping off your big day of climbing with delicious French wines and cheeses and splendid views of the Alps, all shared with new friends who share your love of mountains.
Join us for five unforgettable days developing your mountaineering skills in this iconic location. You’ll be surrounded by towering peaks as you learn all the essentials of alpinism: glacier navigation and travel, routefinding, anchor and belay-station management, multipitch transitions, and decision-making in the alpine—from an internationally certified (IFMGA) mountain guide.
Stand on a summit.
This course culminates on a high-altitude mountain route, where you’ll get to apply all the skills you’ve just learned in real time. You’ll finish your course atop a summit with France on one side and Italy on the other—and with the important skills and the confidence you’ll need for a lifetime of alpine climbing.
Gain confidence and become part of the Chicks community.
Here’s what you’ll get when you sign up for our Chamonix program:
- Five days of instruction and learning from an IFMGA-certified guide
- An awesome 2:1 climber-to-guide ratio to maximize learning
- Five nights of lodging in Chamonix (includes breakfast each morning)
- One night in a high-alpine hut—a quintessential Alps climbing experience (includes dinner and breakfast)
- Four days of tram lift tickets—easy access to the mountains is one of the most unique aspects of an Alps climbing experience
- A Chicks welcome bag, which includes goodies like a Chicks logo chalk bag and Patagonia tote bag
- Increased confidence in your skills
- An introduction to the Chicks community and alumni network
- Basic rock climbing experience, including toprope climbing and belaying
- Basic snow travel experience, including walking in crampons
- Basic mountaineering experience, such as having climbed peaks like a Colorado Fourteener or past participation in our Mount Baker Program
Ready for the trip of a lifetime? Spots are super limited to help us maintain a small ratio, so reserve your spot today!
Cost doesn’t include:
- Travel to and from Chamonix
- Dinners and breakfasts in town
- Lunches and other extras
- Travel and rescue insurance**
*may be adjusted based on weather and conditions
Plan to arrive the night before the course begins. Your lodging is covered this night.
Day 1 | July 14
We’ll conduct our opening meeting at 9:00 a.m. After introductions and a gear check, we’ll head to Les Gaillands, an approachable in-town crag, to work on rope skills and multipitch transitions. This day will be rock-based, and we’ll climb lots of short pitches.
Day 2 | July 15
We’ll take local transit to La Flegere Tram. From there, we’ll get into the alpine rock of the Aiguilles Rogues area, where we’ll climb in mountaineering boots and work on alpine skills like traveling efficiently on rock ridges.
Day 3 | July 16
Our group will take the Aiguille du Midi tram to access the classic Vallee Blanche Glacier, where we’ll do our glacier school. We’ll climb the Cosmiques or Laurence Arete—a ridge climb we’ll do in mixed conditions with boots, crampons, and ice axes.
Day 4 | July 17
This day will start on the Aiguille du Midi tram, too. We’ll make a big glacier crossing into Italy, climbing the Aiguille d’Entreves along the way. Tonight, we’ll stay in the Torino Hut.
Day 5 | July 18
We’ll get an alpine start from the Torino Hut to do a classic alpine climb. Then, we’ll return to Chamonix via the Monte Bianco tramway and a taxi ride through the Mont Blanc tunnel. We’ll finish the trip with a celebration dinner in town.
Lodging is covered on our last night, and you can plan to leave on your own schedule the following morning.
We’re looking forward to seeing you in the Alps this summer!
CANCELLATION & REFUND POLICY:
All requests for cancellations must be submitted in writing. Chicks requires full payment at the time of booking for all programs, refunds will be issued according to the following schedule:
- More than 60 days, full refund minus a 10% administration fee
- 30-60 days, 50% refund
- Less than 30 days, no refund no transfer of payments.
**Rescue Insurance is required for all International Trips and is strongly recommended for US programs as well. For all your travel insurance needs, please contact Erin Rountree at 208-788-2870.