From any vantage point in the Chamonix Valley, you’re looking at climbing 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, route-finding, anchor and belay-station management, multi-pitch 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:
- 5 days instruction and guided climbing by a Chicks IFMGA Mountain Guide
- 3:1 climber to guide ratio
- Ropes, group technical gear, and rescue/emergency gear are provided
- 2 nights lodging in a high mountain hut with breakfast and dinner
- All tram and lift tickets as per itinerary
- Final group dinner in town
- Taxi/public transport transfer back to Chamonix
- Chicks welcome bag from our Sponsors
- Increased confidence in your skills
- An introduction to the Chicks community and alumni network
- Basic rock climbing experience, including top-rope climbing and belaying
- Basic snow travel experience, including walking in crampons
- Basic mountaineering experiences, 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/from Chamonix, France
- In-town lodging in Chamonix for beginning and end of the program
- Dinners and breakfasts in town
- Lunches and other extras
- Extras at the huts such as drinks and snacks
- Travel and Rescue Insurance
*The schedule and/or climbing objectives may be adjusted based on the weather and to take advantage of the best conditions.
Plan to arrive in the Chamonix Valley on July 5 or before at your own schedule.
Day 1 | July 6
Opening meeting 9:00 am. Les Gaillands or Le Brevent. After introductions and a gear check, we’ll head to a close-by crag to work on rope skills and multi-pitch transitions. This is a rock-based day with lots of short pitches of climbing and skills practice. Stay at your own lodging in town.
Day 2 | July 7
Glacier travel, snow ridge climbing, and rock ridges. We’ll be climbing in mountaineering boots and crampons in the high alpine. Stay at your own lodging in town. Laurance or Cosmiques Arete.
Day 3 | July 8
We’ll take the local bus to le Tour and use the lift system to get to the Col de Balms. From there, we hike to the Albert Premier Hut. Crevasse rescue practice on the Tour Glacier in the afternoon. Overnight in the hut with dinner and breakfast included.
Day 4 | July 9
An early start to make a big glacier crossing, climb over the Col du Tour Superieur, then head for the summit of the AIguille du Tour where you’ll put your skills to use. This day is a great opportunity for student-led rope teams. We finish by crossing the Trient Plateau. Overnight at the Cabane du Trient with dinner and breakfast included.
Day 5 | July 10
From the Trient hut, we descend the Orny Glacier, stopping by the Cabane d’Orny for lunch and some rock climbing before descending to the lift at La Breya. We end in Champex, Switzerland. A swim in the lake followed by a taxi ride back to Chamonix. We finish with a celebration dinner in town.
Stay at your own lodging in Chamonix. Lodging is covered on our last night, and you can plan to leave on your own schedule the following morning.
Chicks Climbing and Skiing PAYMENT REFUND policy:
We require a registration deposit at time of booking. The deposit will hold your spot, with the remaining balance due 60 days prior to start date. You are also welcome to pay in full!
Please submit all refund requests in writing.
We issue full refunds, transfer to another course or credit towards a future course according to the following schedule:
- More than 60 days prior to start date – full refund minus 10% administration fee
- 30-60 days prior to start date – 50% refund minus 10% administration fee
- Less than 30 days prior to the start date – no refund!
Travel insurance is required for all international trips. We also strongly recommended travel insurance for US programs. Contact Erin Rountree at 208-788-2870. Erin is a travel agent familiar with Chicks programs and travel insurance needs.