If you are keen to develop your mountaineering skills and fitness or you are heading off to the Alps in future, a great way of enhancing your enjoyment, mountain performance and summit chances is to do some UK based training before you go. Our open group weekend courses offer quality relevant technical & physical training as part of an enjoyable & sociable weekend in the mountains… of Snowdonia and the Scottish Highlands.
Here is a list of forthcoming course dates with more specific detail on this course below and other dates and courses listed on our general Mont Blanc & Matterhorn training page.
Mont Blanc is a magnet for climbers and strong mountain walkers around the world, and rightly so. It is a superb high glaciated mountain, dominating the Northern Alps and providing a brilliant mountain challenge for those willing to undertake the right preparation, both physical and technical…
Whilst the challenges on Mont Blanc are mainly physical (you will not be hanging off your finger nails!) you also need to prepare technically for the mixed scrambling, glaciers, steep snow slopes & exposed snow ridge on the Goûter Route on the classic ascent route. Many aspiring climbers have been shocked at how steep the mixed face below the Goûter Hut appears when viewed head on from the Tête Rousse Hut. Yes, it’s steep, and exposed in places, but if you have been out scrambling and training to prepare, it will be a pleasurable and memorable part of the ascent….
The terrain is actually quite moderate scrambling terrain, albeit it at high altitude and sometimes done in the dark. With the right preparation, and in the right conditions (and on the right route!) it can be one of the most enjoyable sections of the whole ascent route. Our Scottish Winter and intro alpine mountaineering courses prepare you for the mountaineering sections involving crampons and glacier travel whilst this spring weekned in Snowdonia helps prepare you for both the long endurance element of the climb and more technical rocky scrambling sections in ascent and descent. You will also just generally improve your mountain skills and fitness along the way.
Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps and to enjoy a safe and stylish ascent you will need to focus on your own personal fitness and body weight management programme as well as doing some more specific training in the mountains. This specific mountain preparation will not only help to prepare physically but, with greater competence and confidence moving over the more technical terrain, you will also be more efficient and save energy for the really demanding final high altitude section of the summit climb.
Our Snowdonia based Mont Blanc Training weekend addresses these related and enjoyable elements in helping you to prepare for this big challenge. It should also provide a great opportunity to meet some other llike minded Mont Blanc climbers for a sociable weekend in the mountains.
There will also be an early evening talk describing the ascent and opportunity to discuss the equipment requirements and ask any questions about the ascent and preparation with plenty of time remaining so that you can actually do some effective training to build progressively for your summit attempt during the forthcoming alpine summer season…
Awesome weekend! Totally met my expectations especially in preparation for my upcoming Mont Blanc trip with High Mountain Guides. First class guiding, knowledge sharing and a lot of fun. Thanks HMG
Viv Tuck, Snowdonia MB Training Wknd April 2017
Day 1 – Mountain Walking & Scrambling
- From 0800 in Pete’s Eats in Llanberis for an 0830 Welcome to the course, introductions, weather forecast and planned programme. Equipment checks.
- Mountain day of c.6-8 hours starting with an approach walk to a steady scramble perhaps including the magnificent traverse of Tryfan and Glyder Fach – The Bochlwyd Horseshoe – whilst discussing movement skills; being efficient for general mountain travel and using your mountain boots accurately & securely.
- Use of technical mountaineering gear including harness, helmet and roping up for moving together in ‘alpine style’.
- Easy scrambling journey (generally Grade I) concentrating on improving your movement skills for scrambling in ascent & descent as well as your confidence moving efficiently on moderately technical terrain.
- Even if you have already done the classic scrambles on the North Ridge of Tryfan, Bristly Ridge & Snowdon horsehshoe, we plan to take various variants on these routes and often reverse their normal order to focus on volume of quality down climbing. So there will generally plenty of good new experiences.
- The skills covered can be reflected on, with a discussion regarding the progress made during the day and plans for putting it all in to practice the following day.
- Early evening informal talk, 6.30-7.30 PM at Pete’s Eats, describing the ascent of Mont Blanc, what is involved, fitness levels, equipment requirements and a chance to ask any questions about any aspect of the ascent and preparation.
Day 2 – Mountain Scrambling Day
- An early start for an alpine style approach to the high mountains of Snowdonia and another C.6-8 hour day linking several scrambles and summits and covering plenty of mountain walking & scrambling terrain.
- Possible route choice could be scambling on and around the Snowdon Horseshoe, Cneifion Arete above the Ogwen Valley, with descents of other routes to practise scrambling in descent facing in, out, and across!
- There are lots of other good options which present the combination of sustained scrambling passages with easier walking sections, just like on the climb to the Gouter Hut on Mont Blanc.
- This final day will also give a good opportunity to put some mountain miles in the legs, add to your general endurance training and give you the chance to get some expert feedback on how your fitness is shaping up with regard to a future Mt Blanc ascent. The vertical height interval from the Tête Rousse hut to summit of Mont Blanc is around 1700m, at high altitude, so you can compare the ascent done today and reflect on your fitness & movement skills levels accordingly and plan further training as necessary.
- This can all be discussed & concluded over a final tea & cakes café stop before the course finishes late afternoon on the Sunday.
- Please note that we will also be running winter Mont Blanc trainign weekends in 2018 based in Aviemore in the Cairngorms, Scottish Highlands. Please get in touch for details of this excellent opportunity for a wintery mountaineering & training weekend.
Thoroughly enjoyed this weekend – first class coaching, great climbing companions, challenging routes and outstanding weather conditions!
Kevin Hogarth, Mont Blanc Training Weekend, April 2017
Course Fitness & Mountain Experience Pre-Requirements
An existing level of good mountain fitness is required for 2 days in the mountains up to 6-8 hours each day. This will mean you have some existing mountain walking experience or a very good level of current fitness from other aerobic / endurance sports like running / cycling etc.
No previous scrambling or rock climbing experience is required but you should however be keen to embrace this enjoyable element of mountaineering; be ready for some exposed scrambling in the mountains and have a reasonable ‘head for heights’.
Course Base Camp – Llanberis, Snowdonia:
Plas Coch (C. £60 B & B) Dol Peris guesthouse (C. £30 self catering) or other accomodation in Llanberis, or nearby, of your choice.
Course Fee: £365
This is a guiding / training fee only and does not include any other expenses like travel, accommodation, insurance or equipment hire.
Course Guiding Ratio is 1:4 for the Saturday and 1:2 for the Sunday.
Please choose your dates and book your place via the individual course date pages below