/ Alpine beginner course
I've been a silent member on here for a while but have yet to leave a post!
I'm basically looking at going to the Alps this September for the first time mountaineering (I've been Cham before but only to ski).
I have done quite a lot of UK mountains in summer with a little at winter, and have done quite a bit of lead roping at climbing walls etc.
I was thinking of booking a course like the Intro summits 4000m course with ISM for a week and then maybe hiring a guide for 3 days to ascend Mont Blanc. Are the different levels of Alpine courses significantly different? As there seems to be 3 levels of Alpine instructing all at £1300 each. Would it make more sense and maybe cheaper to hire a guide for say 10 days and for him to teach me all levels of Alpine instructing whilst climbing MB.
I'd quite like to ascend MB without a guide but I don't know how competent I will be after the ISM course and its also a matter of finding a climbing partner, which I don't have.
Any suggestions on the quality of course, idea of guides etc will be greatly appreciated
But just the comment about finding a partner, its pretty easy!
I've just put my first post up on here looking for one and got about 5 replies!
If your under 30 get on the Conville course (ran by PyB). Heavily subsidised & well worth the money. You will have to wait until next summer though!
A guide is going to cost you a lot more than £1300, especially as you'll probably find yourself hiring him/her for two whole weeks. On the other hand, if money is no object.......
Seriously though, best to go with a course as they will effectively put you together with "partners" and therefore reduce your personal contribution to the guides' costs and expenses.
If you still want to do MB after your course, it will mean you've acclimatised and coped easily with it. Personally, I'd fancy a few days in the pub!
I went on the "Introductory Alpin-ISM" course last year, We only did 1 3700m peak and we tried for another but the weather didn't allow.
I think the Summits + Skills 4000m would be a better course for a first timer. I wish I did this one.
I did a couple of the Jagged Globe introductory courses back to back over 2 weeks a number of years ago, and they were excellent. We got about 6 or 7 4000m peaks in over the 2 weeks, and we had some say as to which we did in the 2nd week when it was effectively 2 of us with a guide for a week. The Dom was the culmination which was superb.
Thanks for the reply. Are you not a fan of climbing MB?
ISM recommended I did the Summit 4000m course and basically said, yes in theory, the course will allow me to be competent enough to climb MB without a guide, providing I had a competent climbing partner.
It's not on my wish-list but that's not why I made the comment - just saying that if you actually feel up to making a MB bid after one week of 4000s then go for it!
After a week of Swiss 4000s earlier this month, racing the porridge, I was ready for a few days off !!
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