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Training for Alpine Climbing

Training for Alpine Climbing:

We offer a variety of alpine training courses throughout the UK. Our ‘Training for Alpine Climbing’ days are just the thing if your planning an alpine climbing holiday. crevasse rescue course

Various Locations:

We work throughout the UK, so therefore the venue can be changed to suit your requirements and or location. We are based in the Lake District, which is a perfect playground to practice essential Alpine skills. That said we often work in Snowdonia, and the Scottish highlands/Cairngorms, which equally have their fare share of quality terrain!

Course suggestions:

Training for Alpine Climbing – Techniques & skills used in an Alpine environment.

Crevasse Rescue Course – How to rope up and what to do if your buddy or yourself falls into a crevasse! Usually combined with ½ day Ascending/Descending fixed lines course. Course can be found – here

Self Rescue – A look at the basics and more in depth climbing problems & scenarios.Course can be found at the bottom of the page –  here

Ascending/Descending fixed lines – Equipment used and how to rig it. Not just as simple as you may think. Usually combined with ½ day Crevasse Rescue Course. Course can be found – here

4,000m Peak Training – A specifically designed program written for yourself & or team to get you prepared for your trip.

Skills covered:

Depending on the course duration, expertise, and fitness level then. We will look at some of the following techniques on you’re Alpine training course: crevasse rescue course 

  • Rope work used in the Alps
  • Moving together
  • General rope maintenance/Taking rope coils
  • Body belays/Selecting and using direct belays
  • Rock protection
  • Route finding/navigation
  • Descending
  • How to prusik
  • Crevasse rescue training
  • Ice axe and crampon techniques/movement (winter only)
  • Abseiling – easy – serious terrain

In addition to what’s on offer,  you may already be planning an alpine holiday? If so we can arrange the whole trip for you. Get in touch for more information.

Classic Alpine trips include:

Gran Paradiso – An iconic mountain rising to 4,061m, and is the only mountain whose summit reaches over 4,000m that is entirely in Italian soil. See more

Cosmiques Arete – AD – A technical ridge climb situated in an amazing location/situation. Not far from the drop off point of Aiguille du Midi cable car. The route itself is a mixed terrain climb and incorporates rock climbing, snow and ice techniques, rope techniques and route finding. See more

Aig D’Entreve traverse – For an Alpine route this isn’t a particulary ‘big day’ but none the less it’s a spectacular ridge climb with plenty of interest. Short rock pitches and exposed knife edge ridges make this a day out to remember! See more

Useful Links:

Preparing for an Alpine trip – Here

Alpine kit – Here

Rock n Ridge Alpine Courses – Here

Climb a 4km peak:

If you are interested in climbing a 4km peak and need the help to do this? We suggest you head on over to our climb a 4k peak page here. Our package offers a truly memorable experience, and includes online PT consultation and fitness program. In addition to this we incorporate training weekends to prepare for your trip. And finally the fully guided trip itself out to the Alps.  First, second, third.

crevasse rescue training - training for alpine climbing

Training for Alpine Climbing Course:

Fitness Levels:

Fitness levels are subjective. Some people’s perceived ‘high level’ of fitness is actually quite different when out in the mountains…
To get the best out of our Alpine training days you should be ideally between Silver and Platinum. Although if your in the Bronze category then depending on the day you’ve requested can be fit around your current fitness level. For example our Crevasse rescue course isn’t as demanding say as a day’s scrambling on a big ridge. That said if your concerned about your fitness, get in touch and a ‘pre Alps’ training schedule can be arranged.

They’re Tough!

The Alps are physically demanding on the body, and mind, and therefore you can never be ‘over fit’ for the Alps. That said a rest period before you go is essential to give your body chance to recuperate and get itself ready for the ‘main event’. The saying “train hard fight easy” applies.  Here are a few guidelines to fitness levels; this will help check your current level.


Bronze –

You’re participating between 1-2 cardiovascular activity per week. Running, cycling, circuit training etc. As a rule of thumb you should be able to get to the top of Snowdon from Pen y Pas in about 2 hours, or Scafell Pike from Wasdale in 2hours 15 minutes.


Silver –

3-4 hours of cardio per week. A longer hill walk is undertaken reasonably regular, and your not phased with being out for 4 – 5 hours out on the hill, stopping infrequently. Or you mountain bike for 4 hours and not feel totally knackered on your return.

Thinking of hill accomplishments, the Langdale horseshoe 20k’s of walking starting your first peak on Pavey Ark and ending on Pike O’Blisco should take you around 8-9 hours. Perfect for an Alpine training day. You should feel like you’ve ‘had a day out’ but still have a bit of juice left in the tank.


Gold –

As a rule of thumb you should be training around 4-5 hours per week, again CV work. So running, cycling, swimming cross training. You should be walking bigger hills/rounds at a weekend, so a 15+ mile hike isn’t out of the question. Maybe you’ve competed in or training towards a marathon or a triathlon. Looking at the hill side of things, bigger Scottish Munro days appeal, taking in 3-4 peaks in one go, or even 2 solitary and separate Munro peaks are attainable.


Platinum –

5-6+ hours of training per week. Marathon’s or Tri’s are on the calendar regularly. The same hill walking as Gold is applied to Platinum, but maybe your jogging some of the peaks as you go having reserves left in your tank when returning to your vehicle.

Technical Level:

Like the Fitness levels, we’d like you to be operating around the Silver mark, but don’t fret if not, we all have to learn and every day’s a school day, even for us guiding and teaching brings up different situations/circumstances. The key thing here is to be keen, and come with a willingness to learn new techniques and principles.



You’re solely a hill walker, and you’ve been out once or twice with ice axe and crampons. Maybe you enjoy jogging and the mentioned cardio in the ‘Fitness level’s’ category. You’ve no rock/Alpine experience but fancy having a go at Scrambling and a friend has mentioned an Alpine trip that has sparked your interest and so you’ve started the first steps looking into it. Therefore an Alpine training course is the logical next step.



At Silver level, again you’re a hill walker and have been scrambling and generally look for this type of terrain when your out in the hills. Exposure still hits you, but you enjoy it and although apprehensive you love the thrill of it! You’ve been to your local wall climbing, and have basic belaying and rope work skills. Maybe you’ve tried Via Ferrata and have a few days under your belt using ice axe and crampons, and have wild camped in the mountains occasionally.



At Gold technical level, you’d class yourself as a competent scrambler and keen hill walker (stating you’re a scrambler before a hill walker!) You’ve tried Rock Climbing, have a small rack of equipment, no how to set a belay up, have abseiled and enjoy the sport. You’ve probably been to the Alps and done some 4,000m peaks and have dozens more that you want to tick off before it’s too late! You know how to use ice axe and crampons, possibly seconded or led some ice routes, but you still feel apprehensive going solo into the mountains in a winter environment.



You love the hills walking, scrambling etc, but climbing is at the forefront of your passion. Whether that’s rock or ice you just want to do more! You lead rock climbs comfortably between HS – VS and have seconded into the early E grades. Your climbing rope work is reasonably slick, competent at setting up and using outdoor ‘real life’ abseils. You move around in crampons well and have practiced and maybe used for real ice axe braking! You’ve been to the Alps on Via Ferrata and or Alpine excursions, again have climbed with a friend some 4,000m peaks, have had a couple of ‘epics’ under your belt and have been caught out in a lightning storm before now. Basically you have a few stories to tell the grand kids.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings”