If you are off to the Alps for the first time or would like to brush up on skills and fitness for a return visit – then come on an alpine training weekend. They are the ideal way to make your alpine trip both safer and more successful. On all courses the emphasis is on covering as much mountain terrain as possible, incorporating formal skills training into real days out on the hill. This makes an ideal training weekend for our Mont Blanc week and other intro/intermediate level Alpine courses.
Please visit our Covid-19 Climb Information page for Covid FAQs, details of our new participation requirements, travel advice and what to expect on your trip.
This 2-day course is based in North Wales and covers the essential skills for safe climbing in the Alps. Throughout the alpine training weekend, you’ll have the opportunity to further quiz your guide on whatever topics you would like to learn more about.
Trip Reports >> Alpine Training Weekend – North Wales
This course caters for all levels. To take part you should be at Fitness Level 2 and minimum Tech Level 1 (see our Fitness/Experience guidelines below). Previous climbing ropework skills are necessary if you plan to head out to the Alps on your own, but this is not essential if you are coming on one of our own alpine trips – as further training will be provided when you are in the Alps.
One IFMGA/MIA guide working with 2 clients.
Included in price
- 2 days of guiding and instruction
- All guides expenses
- Local transport in guides vehicle to complete the itinerary
Excluded from price
- Food and accommodation
- Travel to North Wales
- Equipment hire
We price this course on a guiding & instruction only basis. Food and accommodation must be paid for separately. Hotel/BnB/camping ideas can be found on our Accommodation page.
AM rendezvous for introductions and briefing, before heading out onto the hill.
Topics covered include:
- Alpine ropework skills
- Moving together techniques
For more advanced groups we may also look at:
- Short pitches
- Direct belays
- Multipitch abseiling
Review of first days training, before heading on the hill to look at:
- Glacier travel
- Personal prussiking
- Crevasse rescue training
- Navigation and route choice
- Putting in all together
PM Q+A session, course debrief and advice for the future.
Your initial meeting point is the village of Llanberis in the heart of this historic rock climbing region, on the Northern edge of the Snowdonia National park.
You should arrange outward travel in order to meet your guide in Llanberis at 9am on the first day of guiding. We usually meet in the famous climbers cafe ‘Petes Eats’ on Llanberis high street – a great place to plan the day ahead over a cup of tea! Return travel should be arranged after 5pm on the last day of guiding.
Llanberis is just 25 mins drive from Bangor, off the main A55 which runs along the North coast of Wales – use the RAC or AA online route planners online for your best route by car. Llanberis can also be reached by train to Bangor, then a connecting bus service – use the Travel Line website to plan your journey.
Further information and travel links can be found on our Travel Planning page.
To enjoy this trip you should be comfortable operating at Fitness Level 2, and Tech Level 1 (as appropriate for the style of climbing on this trip ie Alpine, rock climbing or ice climbing).
Fitness Level 2
You do 2-3 hours CV training/sport per week. At this level you should be happy doing either a 3-4 hour hillwalk, cycling 30-40 miles or mountain biking 2-3 hours without being exhausted. Eg: you should be able to walk from Ogwen Cottage in North Wales up Glyder Fach – Glyder Fawr – Y Garn – Ogwen in ~5hrs. Or in the Lake District Langdale – Bowfell – Esk Pike – Angle Tarn – Langdale in ~ 6hrs.
Tech Level 1
Hillwalker/scrambler. You have UK hillwalking and perhaps summer UK scrambling, or European via ferrata experience – but no rock or ice climbing, or previous alpine mountaineering experience.
To view all climbing Technical and Fitness Levels, and for advice on trip preparation and training, please visit our training advice page.
Rock Climbing Kit List
Above all, your kit needs to do the job but be as light as possible. Lightweight breathable fabrics are ideal for waterproofs, which are carried as often as worn (hopefully!).
- Waterproof jacket – lightweight breathable model
- Overtrousers – with long side zips
- Socks – warm ‘Smartwool’ type, plus thin liner socks and spares
- Wicking thermal tops/t-shirts
- Fleece mid layer – or equivalent light insulating layer
- Mountain trousers – light/mid-weight windproof softshell model
- Thin gloves – windproof ‘hardfleece’ model is good
- Warm hat – must fit under a helmet
- Spare warm layer – fleece or lightweight synthetic belay jacket
- Water Container – at least 1 litre
- Headtorch and batteries
- Map, compass and whistle (optional, but a good idea)
- Personal medications and blister kit – zinc oxide tape, compeed, painkillers etc
- Sun Glasses – CE rated 3 or 4
- Sun and lip cream – factor 30+
- Sun hat
- Shorts and t-shirt
- Wallet and passport
- Rucsac 35/45l is perfect for general use
- Rucsac – superlight 15/20l model, for taking on long multi-pitch rock routes
- *Semi rigid B2 mountaineering boots – Axe, Boot and Crampon advice
- Rock boots – must be comfortable enough to wear for several hours
- Approach shoes or trainers – sticky rubber models are excellent
- Trekking poles
- Harness, locking karabiner and belay device
- 2 prussik loops and karabiner – if in doubt, bring 3m of 6mm climbing cord!
- 120cm sling and locking karabiner
- Climbing helmet
- Camping gear if you choose to camp in the valley
Your guide will have ropes, climbing rack, first aid and survival equipment.
*Boots must be reasonably stiff 3/4 season mountaineering models. These will be needed if we decide to go ‘big boots’ climbing on easy rock climbs or scrambling terrain. Very soft bendy boots are no good for technical scrambling/climbing. See below for advice.
Recommendations and Advice
Visit the Knowledge Base section of our website or our blog for equipment advice. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch!
Backcountry UK in Ilkley offer an excellent mountain boot fitting service and general equipment advice.
It’s best to have your own rock climbing shoes so you can get a proper fit, but if you need to hire some please get in touch. Other safety equipment can be hired from us (subject to availability) – please see our Equipment Hire page for details.
For UK residents – we strongly recommend that you purchase cancellation cover, in case you’re unable to attend your trip due to personal circumstances or injury.
For non UK residents – search and rescue is currently free in the UK, but you may be charged by the NHS for certain treatments, and you should also consider the need for emergency repatriation in the event of a serious illness/accident. We also strongly recommend that you purchase cancellation cover, in case you’re unable to attend your trip due to personal circumstances or injury.
Please arrange your insurance as soon as your trip is confirmed to run.
Please find further details on our insurance info page.