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Swiss Technical Summits

Adventure LEVEL | 6 day(s) | Ratio 1:2 | From £2,600.00

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Overview

Based in the Saas Fee / Saas Grund region, providing us with access to many technical routes. This course consolidates every aspect of being an alpinist, giving you the opportunity to explore every discipline of alpine climbing and mountaineering. Operating at a grade suited to you and the conditions we will aim to experience the more challenging and interesting mountaineering and rock climbing routes ranging from PD – AD Alpine grades. A great opportunity for you to develop your climbing and alpine mountaineering skills during the six days, planning and climbing the more interesting routes in the mountains. Multi pitch rock climbing in the alpine mountains, AD ridges and mountaineering traverses and learning the skills required are all part of this alpine week.

Call the office to secure your place with a deposit.  Call 01479 861 256

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DETAILED INFO

AIMS

To build on current skills and develop a greater understanding and skill set to allow you and your climbing team to confidently climb 4000m peaks up to an Alpine grade of AD. This is a guided week but the emphasises is to help develop and become more self-sufficient in this Alpine terrain. Saas Fee and the Valais itself is surrounded by alpine routes and mountains suitable for all levels of experience and ability and with good lift access it presents an ideal opportunity to acclimatise properly in preparation for the higher peaks. At a comfortable pace we aim to be productive as possible and with local experience of our mountain guides we can aim to maximise the weather and conditions matched with the range of mountains to choose from. We aim to share all the planning and decision making throughout for you to learn as much as possible for your own future Alpine adventures. All techniques and skills used in the mountains will be shared for you to develop and build on your exiting alpine skill set.

PRE-REQUISITES

Have some experience of summer and winter climbing: comfortably second rock pitches up to Severe and snow/ice climbs up to Grade II. If you want to discuss your suitability for this course then please contact Glenmore Lodge direct and we can arrange for you to talk to one of the Alpine Mountain Guides you will be climbing with.

An alpine day is often quite long and tiring so being fit and rested before attending this course is strongly advised. You should be capable of carrying a 10kg rucksack for upwards of 8hrs over rough terrain. The best preparation for any alpine mountaineering begins at home in the UK mountains, with long days walking, rock climbing and scrambling.

 

IS IT FOR ME?

This is a Guided course throughout, there will be opportunities for some further training but essentially the aim of this week is to spend the majority of time in the high mountains climbing alpine peaks. Our Mountain Guides are very experienced and will involve you in every stage of the planning and decision-making progress. Some prior alpine climbing/mountaineering experience is essential for this course – Our Discover Alpine Mountaineering or Intro Alpine Mountaineering  course is the perfect pre-requisite and also allows you to spend more time in the mountains consolidating your skills and experience.

If you want to get a head start on what to expect, why not attend one of our Alpine Preparation weekends, based at Glenmore Lodge this intensive 2 day course will answer all your questions and help with your pre course preparation.

Or attend our 3 day Saas Ground based Discover Alpine Mountaineering course.

CONTENT

It’s important to retain some flexibility and adapt to the weather/ conditions at the time, to get the most from the course. There are many great routes and summit options in the Swiss Valais mountains for this week, however, below is a sample programme of how a 6-day Technical Swiss Summits course may run.

Meet the evening before the course start date on Saturday evening at 18:45pm – pre course meeting at hotel base in Saas Grund, Valais, Switzerland.
• Welcome and introductions, course intro and aims/objectives
• Weather and planning, maps, and guidebooks
• Equipment checks and packing

Day 1 Sunday – Wiwanni hutte 2470m

The Wiwanni hutte sits above Visp and Raron, overlooking the Rhone Valley and has superb views of the Valais 4000m’s. After a short drive to a road head the hut is accessed by a pleasant walk-through hills and alpine meadows. Once at the hut (approx.1.5 hrs of walking) we will get settled in and have the rest of the day to go climbing. Warming up on some shorter rock climbs close to the hutte we will warm up and revisit some skills and techniques required for the next days longer climb.

Day 2 Monday – Ostgrat or Steinadlerroute (both long multi pitch routes on the Wiwannihorn 3000m)

Climbing long alpine rock climbs is a great way to start the week, focusing on climbing techniques and rope systems in mountaineering terrain and multi-pitch climbing. The day will allow us to acclimatise progressively, climbing to the summit at 3000m. It will also prove as a good warm up and time to get our personal mountain systems ready for the week ahead. The aim will be to climb a multi-pitch rock route at an appropriate grade comfortable to focus on the skills and techniques required to operate in this setting. We will return to the hutte to spend a second night, enjoying great and food reflecting on the climb.

Day 3 Tuesday – Drive round to Arolla and walk to the Cabane de la Tsa 2607m
After a good rest we will leave the hut in the morning and a chance to explore another Alpine location in the Swiss Valais, we drive round to Arolla and walk to the Cabane de la Tsa at 2607m. Following the walk, we will spend the late afternoon planning and preparing for the next day and early start.

Day 3 Wednesday – Arete de Tsalion (Dent de Tsalion 3589m)
After an early ‘alpine start’ we will make our approach ascent towards the base of the Arete de Tsalion. This is a superb alpine climb on a big rock spur sitting high above Arolla. Long and with continued interest, the climb takes the spur almost direct to the skyline. At the summit skyline if time allows, we can continue to the rock spire summit Dent de Tsalion. The descent will involve traversing towards Col Bertol and descending from here back to the village of Arolla. We will then drive back to our hotel base in Saas Grund for a good rest and reset before the end of the week.

Day 4 Thursday – Walk to Taschhutte 2701m

After a good breakfast and a well-earned rest, we will have a short drive round to Tasch, and from Taschalp it is a pleasant 2hr walk to the Tasch hutte. We will aim to to this in the afternoon weather depending, making the most of the morning to reset kit and recover. Once at the hut we will plan and prepare for an early start on the West Ridge (Rotgrat) of the Alphubel 4206m.

Day 6 Friday – West Ridge (Rotgrat) Alphubel 4206m

Starting early from the Tasch hutte, we will be climbing the west ridge which starts directly behind and above the hut. Walking and simple scrambling will gain us height quickly and at sunrise we will get amazing views. Higher up the ridge narrows and the scrambling/climbing continues. The upper section includes a wall which needs negotiating to a final summit ridge. All techniques and climbing skills will be required climbing this route and acts as a great way to finish the week. The descent will be made via the normal glacial route and back to the Tasch hutte.


Day 7 Saturday – Departure
Breakfast is included on the last morning.


Step 1

Book your course place online

Step 2

Call to book accommodation. Prices from £60pn

DATES & PRICES

2024
COURSE DATE COST
(with accommodation)
COST
(no accommodation)
PLACES BOOKING
Date14/07/24Cost (with accommodation)£2,600.00Cost (no accommodation)N/APlacesFULL Contact Us
Need a different date? Call 01479 861 256 to arrange your own date, or email [email protected]

USEFUL INFORMATION

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • All Guiding costs and expenses
  • Half board accommodation including hotels (on a shared room basis.  Single occupancy by separate request, if available) and Mountain Huts
  • Requested loan equipment from GL stores – by prior arrangement
  • In course transport
  • Guiding ratio 1:2 maximum
  • Uplift within the Saas Grund / Saas Fee valley

Our valley base will be: https://www.pension-heino.ch/

 

What’s NOT Included

  • Travel to and from the start of the course
  • Lunches – these can be bought at the huts or in local supermarkets
  • Drinks in Hotel and Huts
  • Alpine rescue insurance – Essential

 

Travel to Saas Grund

Getting to Saas Grund and Saas Fee on public transport is efficient and easy.  The closest airports are Geneva and Zurich.  Both airports provide excellent direct  rail links to Visp, where you will transfer from the train to a bus.  There are many direct trains to Visp and journey times are around 2 hr 15 minutes.  For train time information click here Trainline : Search, Compare & Buy Cheap Train Tickets (thetrainline.com)

From Visp you can then connect with the Tourist bus. Again, these are cheap, frequent and take about 30 minutes to reach Saas Grund  Visp to Saas-Grund (rome2rio.com)  We recommend flying into your chosen airport early enough to allow you to catch the last bus up the valley.  Buses run late into the night, but you have more choice earlier in the day.

 

In total it will take roughly 3.5 hours to travel from Geneva or Zurich airport to Saas Grund.

 

Insurance

We recommend taking out an insurance policy that covers both rescue and medical, below are some options:

http://www.snowcard.co.uk/

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/insurance/Default.aspx

https://aacuk.org.uk/p-mountain-rescue-search-insuranse

Membership of an Alpine Club – Optional (this will however give you discount in most mountain huts)

 

All Glenmore Lodge alpine courses will be staffed by qualified IFMGA Mountain Guides. More information on the work of Mountain Guides can be found at www.bmg.org.uk.

Occasionally we will use Aspirant Mountain Guides, who will work alongside qualified Guides in order to gain further experience; this is an essential part of their training.

 

Pre-acclimatisation

Where at all possible, if you can build a few days of pre-acclimatisation days before the start of your trip, then you’ll have a much more enjoyable time at altitude.  These can be simple day hikes and treks at around 2,600 – 2,700m.  Even fit in a night at an alpine hut, for example:

Weismiess hut

Hohsas hut

Almageller hut

Please feel free to contact our Mountain Guides at Glenmore Lodge with any questions or for further pre-acclimatisation suggestions

NEED TO KNOW

WHAT WILL I NEED

Personal Equipment (* Starred Items are available to borrow from GL Stores – see equipment request form)

*Rock Climbing Harness with adjustable leg loops

*Helmet – for example Petzl Meteor or Elios.

*Belay device and locking karabiner – for example DMM Pivot and Phantom HMS

*2 x prusik loops and 1 x snapgate karabiner – 5-6mm cord tied with a double fisherman’s to produce a 30cm loop.

*2 x HMS karabiners

*1 x 120cm sewn Dynema sling- for example DMM Dynatec 11mm

*2 x Ice Screw 17cm plus karabiner.

*Ice Axe 50 or 60cm – for example Petzl Summit

*Crampons – for example Petzl Vasak (leverlock)

Mountaineering Boots – for example Scarpa Manta Tech or Mont Blanc Pro/ La Sportiva Nepal Evo GTX

Rock Climbing shoes – comfy!

Trekking Pole/s – optional

Personal Clothing

Approach Shoes

Waterproof Jacket

Waterproof Trousers – full length zips useful

Gaiters (optional)

Thermal Tops x 2 – long sleeves

Mid Layers

Soft Shell Jacket

Soft shell Trousers

Lightweight Belay Jacket

Sun hut and Warm Hat

Sunglasses – CE Cat 4 rating for high altitudes.

Ski Goggles – optional

Warm Gloves: Thick and Thin

Trekking Socks

Compass and whistle – your Mountain Guide will have all the necessary maps and guidebooks.

Head Torch (charged) or spare batteries

Rucksack – 35 – 45 litres.

Water bottle – 1ltr Nalgene, camel backs tend to freeze and don’t handle boiling water very well.

Sun cream and Lip Salve – SPF 30 minimum

Personal first aid – some tape, Compeed (plaster for blisters) and your own pain relief (aspirin, ibuprofen, paracetamol)

‘Very Small’ wash kit for hut – Hand gel, wet wipes or facecloth and toothbrush/toothpaste

Sheet Sleeping bag –compulsory in mountain huts which supply blankets/duvet and pillows.

Ear Plugs – optional

Camera, Money, Passport.

Personal Clothing – for wearing in the valley. Shorts and t-shirts can often be worn on hut approach walks but these should be light as they will have to be carried the following day.

 

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Can't find exactly what you are looking for? We are happy to create it for you. You can hire one of our instructors or guides from as little as £280 a day, including any equipment. If you’re a group, all of our courses are available on a date that suits you or if you would prefer we can tailor a course to your requirements. Simply get in touch to discuss your requirements.