EUROPEAN ALPS

The following is to serve as a helpful guideline but please feel free to call or e-mail if you have any further questions. Our team is here to help!

CHOOSING A PROVIDER

How long have Adventure Consultants been in operation?
Adventure Consultants started in 1990 and we have been guiding internationally ever since.

A few outfitters ‘claim’ to have the same level of experience and prestige with that of Adventure Consultants. In this league, what makes you a first choice for your climbers?

On all of the European courses and ascents that we operate, we offer focused guide attention throughout the course to ensure consistency across the programme. Whilst other operators combine you with large groups on training days, we know that your safety will be better protected and the learning progressions will be enhanced with the attentive care of your guide.

Adventure Consultants guides are BMG/NZMGA and/or IFMGA/UIAGM qualified mountain guides. They are professional mountaineers and operate to the highest standard. Our guides are not only highly experienced climbers, but they are great guides with good people skills hence you will find that your guide is friendly, approachable and focused on providing a safe and enjoyable trip.

FOOD, ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES

What showers and washing (clothes) will be available on the course/ascent?
On the days prior to, during and after your European course/ascent, Adventure Consultants will assist in arranging accommodation in our preferred hotels. These hotels all have laundry facilities and when in the mountains, it is easy to leave any additional gear stored safely at the hotel.

When in the mountains, we utilise the European alpine huts which are either in shared bunk rooms or dormitory rooms. Washing and shower facilities are not available in the huts.

Would you let us know what food will be available?
If you have any special treat you like, we encourage you to bring some along. You’ll get breakfast, lunch and dinners at the huts as well as snacks, and ample hot and cold drinks. We can cater for vegetarians as well as many other special diets as long as we are informed of this prior to the trip.

What is the food like?
Adventure Consultants will provide breakfast and lunches for the duration of your course/ascent. Breakfast in the huts typically consists of European style bread with jam and cheese etc. Lunch on the climbing days tends to start right after breakfast(!) and continue through the day as we keep energy levels high with nuts, fruit, chocolate, muesli bars and baguette or crackers with cheese, ham and other fillings. When staying in the huts, evening meals are provided. A typical menu would include a hearty soup, followed by a pasta dish or stew and then dessert.  If you feel like a glass of wine or beer with your meal while in the mountains, please bring cash or a credit card. 

We provide nutritious meals and a supply of snack food throughout the trip according to the programme. If you do have a favourite snack food that you like to eat while climbing, feel free to bring along a small supply.

Should you decide to take a restaurant lunch that is not in the programme, this is at your own expense. Evening meals on the non-mountain nights are not included and this allows you to experience the exciting culinary options available in the European town from which your trip is based.

What is the accommodation like?  Can I have my own room?
Hotel accommodation is provided on a twin share B and B basis, and the mountain huts on a shared bunk room or dormitory room basis. A single supplement is not available in the mountain huts, but we are happy to arrange a single supplement for an additional cost at the hotels at the hotels utilised prior to and after the course/ascent. If you wish to upgrade to a higher grade of hotel accommodation, then please get in touch to discuss the many fabulous options available.

TRAVEL

Do I need to arrive the day before the trip starts? And when should I book my flight to leave?
No, our trip programmes all have an arrival day and a departure day built into them. You are welcome and encouraged to arrive a bit earlier to explore your arrival and departure city if you have the time.

My travel agent says I can just get an ‘e’ ticket (electronic ticket) and will not need to be actually issued a physical ticket.
'E' tickets are the standard practice these days and are now acceptable in most locations. Do ensure you print your itinerary and have your booking number with you, as this allows you to change your flight in the event that this is required.

When should I book my ticket?
If on a course, we generally ask you to wait until 60 days prior to your trip start date to ensure that your trip has met the minimum numbers and will operate. If on an ascent or private trip, do feel free to book whenever suits. If you see a good deal and want to book your flights, you should ensure you can make changes to your tickets and it is a good idea to purchase trip cancellation insurance, in the event that you need to cancel.

Can I get a cheap ticket online?
The problem with these tickets is that you usually end up having to pay quite a lot more if you have to make any changes to your ticket. Some of the places we go to aren't straightforward and we highly recommend using a travel agent for such travel as there are many intricacies that they can help you with. In the long run they save you money!

Where do we meet? Will I be picked up?
For our European departures, we recommend that you arrive at Geneva International Airport, which is located just over the French border in Switzerland. Regular shuttles and train services operate up to Chamonix and private transfers can be arranged to Zermatt, Lauterbrun and Grindelwald. We are happy to assist in arranging any transfer requirements and the driver will meet you at the airport, as well as drop you off at your accommodation.

What if I am arriving early or departing late?
Adventure Consultants can make reservations for you and can often make recommendations for attractions you can enjoy while waiting for your trip to begin. Please let our office know your specific plans.

CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT

Do you have a recommended list of clothing we should bring?
Yes, you will get be sent a personal clothing and equipment list once our office has received your trip registration form and deposit.

Do I really need all the equipment on the equipment list?
Yes, these lists have been carefully prepared. Please bring everything on the list!

How warm do we need our sleeping bags to be? Will there be extra blankets available if required?
This will be clearly stated in your recommended gear list. It will depend on where you are going, but in general, you will not need a sleeping bag in the European mountain huts as bedding is provided. Adventure Consultants have an experienced Equipment Coordinator, so should any questions arise as to what is required, please do let us know.

ACCLIMATISATION

I will be climbing at altitude, so does Adventure Consultants take this into consideration?
When planning our courses and ascent programmes, we seriously take into consideration the altitude and ensure that all of our itineraries allow for sufficient acclimatisation and rest days, if required.

I want to give myself the best chance of success on my climb; what advice does Adventure Consultants have to help me succeed?
If you are concerned about how you will cope at altitude, wish to refresh your climbing skill, or simply just want to give yourself the best chance of success, then consider the 2-day Pre-Course & Acclimatisation Programme.  This pre-course has been designed to kick-start your acclimatisation and refresh your climbing skills before heading onto the main objective of your course or ascent.

GUIDES & OTHER COURSE TEAM MEMBERS

How many guides will be assigned to our group?
The ratio of climbers to guides is stated on each trip’s web page in the downloadable ‘trip notes’ and on the team page for each trip.

How much weight can we carry on the climb/course?
When initially climbing up to the mountain huts, you will be required to carry all of your equipment that is needed for the following day's course or ascent. From the hut, you will carry your day pack with your technical climbing equipment, warm clothes, water, snacks, sun block, camera and whatever else you need for the day. Generally, it will be approximately 10kgs (20 pounds).

Who goes on your trips?
Our climbers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, countries and skill levels ranging from those seeking skill development to those seeking assistance in view of climbing the world's highest mountains, or purely adventure. We provide courses, expeditions, treks and guided ascents for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts.

I would like to arrange a private trip, is this possible?
We are happy to arrange a private group trip to the destination of your choice and we have run many successful private trips and expeditions including summits of Europe's more technical and challenging peaks. There is no specific group size, but obviously larger groups are more cost effective.

HEALTH & FITNESS

What kind of physical condition should I be in for a trek?
We encourage you to work on your fitness prior to your course or ascent. When training, it is recommended you carry a pack for long periods on hills and uneven terrain. Over time, increase the pack weight until you are comfortable with 15-20kgs. Gym training, swimming, running and cycling also add to your base fitness and are a great addition to a pack training program. Check out our Fitness Training page for more details on training options, programs and online coaching services that we offer in conjunction with our partners at Uphill Athlete.

COMMUNICATION & ELECTRONIC DEVICES

Will there be any access to a satellite phone? If yes then what would be the charges for usage?
In Europe, there is no need to use a satellite phone as you will find that there is cell phone coverage in most of the towns and mountain huts that we utilise (with the exception of the Vittorio Emanuele Hut). Your guide will also stay in touch with our European Coordinator in Chamonix with updates on the trip. It is very easy to purchase a European SIM card but do remember if using a French SIM in Italy, you will be charged international rates and vice versa.

I want to contact my friend or relative, who is on one of your trips, how can I reach them?
The best place to reach a loved one is through our office. As mentioned above, your guide will stay in touch with our European Coordinator who is based in Chamonix. She then relays messages between your guide and our NZ office.

Can I charge electronic devices while in the mountains?
Generally charging is not available so please ensure that your phones, iPods and kindles etc. are well charged up before leaving the hotel for your climb.

WEATHER FORECASTS

What weather report service do you use? How often do you receive a weather report during the trip?
Forecasts are posted daily in the huts and information relayed through the hut guardian to the guides.  Your guide will also be in cell phone communication with our Operations Coordinator and/or Chief Guide for weather updates throughout the trip.

INSURANCE

What insurance do we need to get?
We highly recommend comprehensive travel insurance and trip cancellation insurance, as well as evacuation and medical insurance. Read your policy's fine print to make sure it covers you for trekking or climbing, depending on what trip you have booked and that it covers you for helicopter evacuation.

Do I need evacuation insurance?
Yes, it is very important. Evacuation insurance is required for members of our European Courses & Ascents to cover your evacuation from the mountain in the case of your injury or illness.  You must ensure that your policy covers you for mountaineering as many policies exclude these activities from their schedule of benefits.  In the European Alps, rescues are coordinated by the local authorities and the very high costs are charged directly to the user i.e. you/your travel insurance company.

Who do you recommend for insurance?
Coverage varies based on your nationality and the trip that you are taking with us.  When you have booked on for a trip with us we will send you comprehensive information on various insurance options which will serve as a good starting point for obtaining the best coverage available for yourself.

What is Trip Cancellation Insurance?
Trip cancellation insurance is an option that may allow you to cancel your trip without losing the total cost of the trip. Adventure Consultants highly recommends cancellation insurance for all of our trips as it is not unknown for people to have unforeseen circumstances that force them to cancel their trips for reasons such as family illness, injury to self, business issues, etc. If circumstances cause us to cancel a trip (minimum numbers are not reached or travel to a country becomes too dangerous) then we refund your fees paid but trip cancellation insurance covers your airfare and any other costs you may have incurred.

FEES & PAYMENTS

Can I pay by credit card?
We can accept the trip deposit payment and balance payment by credit card for your trip. Please contact our office or visit our secure credit card page to send us your credit card details - your card is not charged at the time as we process this here in our office and not via an online payment system.

What is included in the cost of my trip? Does it include airfare?
Each specific trip page on the website has a section as well as a downloadable pdf document with exactly what is and what is not included on the trip. International airfares are not included in the trip price. We can however recommend excellent travel agents whom we have worked with in your country should you require help with arranging your international airfare.

Why are you sometimes more expensive than other operators?
Many of our trips are very similar in price to our competitors. Some companies even wait for us to set our prices and use ours as a guideline!! Some of our main selling points, which sometimes do cost more are; internationally qualified guides, proven dependable local operators, small group sizes and safe client: guide ratios, quality equipment and high summit success rates, among other things. You do get what you pay for which is why we stand out from the rest. Many clients come to us after failing on one of our competitors ‘cheaper’ trips.

How do I sign up for a trip?
The best way to reserve your space on a trip is to call our offices or complete our online booking form. Return this with the trip deposit either through a telegraphic transfer (information is in our trip notes downloaded from the specific trip page) or by using our secure credit card page.

Phone our New Zealand head office on +643 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 5:30pm PST + 19 hours) or Freephone 1-866-757-8722 from North America.


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