The Course Notes provide detailed information and background for Adventure Consultants' Private Instruction Courses in Europe.
You can view the course notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following link:
Europe Private Instruction Course Notes 2020
You can join as an individual for 1:1 personalised instruction, or put your own group of like-minded companions together. A maximum 1:4 guide to climber ratio applies.
Adventure Consultants guides are BMG/NZMGA and / or IFMGA-UIAGM qualified mountain guides. They are professional mountaineers and operate to the highest industry standards.
Being a technically proficient climber alone is not enough to work with us; our standards demand that trip leaders are great guides as well. You will find your guide friendly, approachable and focused on providing a safe and enjoyable trip in line with your objectives and comfort level.
Success with the highest margin of care is always a hallmark of our approach; promoting the realisation that even extreme pursuits such as high altitude mountaineering can be undertaken safely.
Adventure Consultants only employs IFMGA qualified guides for European ascents and courses and this is the only certification that is recognised in the French Alps. In order to gain these qualifications guides must undergo rigorous training and assessment on climbing skills, instructional skills, avalanche training and assessment, wilderness first aid, rescue training and much more. The qualification takes many years to attain and ensures you are getting a world class professional service.
Head Office Support Team
Running successful journeys and expeditions is more about experience, knowledge and strategic management than any other factors. As an organisation, we place a substantial amount of time and resources into ensuring our trips are well planned and supported. You can be assured that the AC staff will provide you with friendly advice and knowledgeable support throughout the planning stages of your trip and we will be there to provide backup while the trip is running.
Hayley Furze, Client Liaison
Hayley joins the AC team with a wealth of experience working in the tourism and hospitality industry along with a love of travel. She works as Client Liaison on a number of our European and international ascents, treks and expeditions.
Our registration form requests that you advise us of any medical problems you may have and if you are on any medication. Any information you supply will be treated as confidential.
Level of Experience Required
These courses are not just for those new to climbing, for the seasoned climber these courses offer the facility to up-skill yourself in your chosen field from one of our specialist professional guides.
You may have the opportunity to develop additional skills before the course commences. Rope skills can be learned through local alpine clubs or climbing Gyms. Previous rock or alpine climbing experience will allow you to gain even more from the course.
Each of our trips is individually rated according to its physical and technical difficulty, displayed in the icons towards the top of each trip page. You can click on the accompanying question mark for additional descriptions and the full run-down of our grading system is available on our Difficulty Ratings page.
Preparing for Your Trip
To make the most of your climbing experience we encourage you to work on your fitness prior to the trip. You will find that training on hills with a +10kg pack on is the best preparation for the mountains, with the aim of building your endurance. Your guide will be attuned to your fitness levels and will regulate the pace accordingly. See our Fitness Training Programs for information on how we can help you prepare for your course.
A note about training on lower altitude peaks - if your focus is on joining one of our expeditions in the future, we recommend training in lower altitude mountain ranges such as the European Alps where there are many peaks of around only 3000-4000m in height. This allows you to concentrate on the technical skills required for successful alpine climbing. We find that without the hassles of altitude slowing you down you are able to progress your skills so much more quickly and you can concentrate on your altitude training further down the line.
We strongly recommend that you take out trip cancellation and travel insurance to protect yourself in case of injury or mishap prior to/or whilst on our trips.
While our focus is on safety and our track record supports this, the mountains do have hazards and there is the potential for mishap. If you were injured whilst on the trip there is a very efficient rescue service nearby.
Adventure Consultants will provide breakfasts for the duration of the course and evening meals on hut nights while the trip is running. This is from breakfast on Day 1 until breakfast on the final scheduled day of your trip. You will be responsible for your own lunches and snacks each day and your own evening meals on non-mountain nights in Chamonix. This allows you to experience the exciting culinary options available in Chamonix as there are many restaurants and bars within close walking distance that provide a variety of foods to suit your tastes. Any additional food, beverages or meals you purchase that are not mentioned in the inclusions will be at your own expense.
It is a good idea to bring a small selection of your favourite snack food and hydration drinks with you to ensure you are fuelled by your preferred brands. Actual amounts depend on your consumption but two per day in addition to your lunch would seem reasonable.
If you have any special dietary requirements, please advise us at the time of registration. If your dietary requirements are especially strict you are advised to bring a sufficient supply of your required food types with you to ensure you are provided for.
Accommodation is provided on a twin share B&B basis in hotels whilst in Chamonix and huts in the mountains. Accommodation in the mountains is in alpine huts in shared bunk rooms or dormitory rooms. Blankets are provided and no sleeping bag will be required. There is no single supplement (or private rooms) available in the mountain huts but we can arrange this for you in Chamonix.
A single supplement is available at additional cost for the hotel nights during the course. Please contact our office for further information and costs.
Clothing & Equipment
Climbing in the European Alps requires you have high quality clothing and equipment due to the extremes of weather conditions. Our focus is on having the essential clothing and equipment to keep you warm and comfortable during the climb.
Your guide will go through the equipment checklist with you at the beginning of your trip. Actual equipment taken may vary subject to seasonal weather and route conditions. You can rent technical equipment for the climb but you must provide your own clothing appropriate to mountaineering as per the equipment list. Group equipment including ropes and technical hardware will be organised by your guide.
Communications & Messages
Our guides are in cell phone communication with our operations base throughout the trip. This assists us with schedule and weather forecast updates, lift and accommodation co-ordination and safety back up. Your own mobile phone should work in the region though you may want to check with your own service provider first. Local mobile phones can be rented at the international airports.
We guide the high peaks all year as conditions allow although our main climbing season is from June through to end of September. In June and early July we can expect more snow and ice cover on the glaciers making for easier access and better conditions on snow routes. As temperatures warm up into the full summer months of mid-July to mid-August and into September the conditions are optimum for the majority of guided climbs on the major peaks although some mountains become cut off due to access difficulties from early August. Late summer is generally better for attempting major rock routes.
We do specialise in ice climbing through the winter months. Ice climbing conditions are especially good through February and March.
Our guides are also qualified and experienced ski guides so enquire about combining ski touring with your course. Ski one day, climb the next!
Europe has a continental climate which in general encourages more stable weather. However, the weather in the high mountains can be changeable and at times very severe. It is possible weather conditions may thwart our program. However, due to the length of the course and our focus on the forecasts we can often change our itinerary slightly to work around frontal systems.