Alpine Introduction Mountaineering Courses, Sierra Nevada, Spain

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Alpine Mountaineering Course based in Sierra Nevada, Spain. For mountain ascents, winter climbing, glacier travel and expeditions

If you would like to become more independent in the mountains and develop your skills in preparation for future trips, our Alpine Introduction course will set you on the right track to acquiring the knowledge to venture out into the mountains under your own steam.

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Is it for me?

If you aspire to travel safely on glaciers, scale alpine peaks, climb snow gullies, or set out on mega expeditions then this course will give you a basic knowledge. Designed to pass on the essential skills needed to enable the independent-minded to attempt the simpler alpine summits and be ready for the greater ranges.

Be aware though that winter mountaineering is tough and a certain amount of hardship will be endured. We are unique as we dont use guarded refuges, we camp, bivouac or sleep in ruined mountain refuges as, in our opinion, real life experience is by far the best way to learn.

You will be taught and coached by our professional guiding team backed by 40 years experience in the Alps, Patagonia and Kamchatka.

About the Alpine Introduction Course

Alpine climbing steep snow gullies

These 4 day Alpine Introduction courses are held during the months of December through to the end of May. They are based in Spain's Sierra Nevada mountains. These hills are ideal with good snow lasting well into June. In addition the ample sunshine hours guarantee good climbing weather. We will cover the basics needed to enable you to venture out on less technical alpine peaks.

Throughout the course you will learn the essentials for safe travel on snow and glacial terrain including: crampon and ice axe techniques; glacier travel, including crevasse rescue; basic navigation. To tackle rocky ridges you will learn fixed belay and alpine style running belay techniques. Simple snow gullies and faces will climbed.

We base ourselves in remote, ruined refuges high in the mountains. From here we cover all the topics contained in our basic winter skills course, but also tackle simple alpine climbs. Snow holing, winter and alpine bivouacing and camp skills are also covered. All in a superb mountain setting!

N.B Clients will need to bring their own 4 season sleeping bag and mat

We are in the course of producing an online guidebook to this area. This great climbing venue is still relatively unknown in the UK. The area provides a fantastic alternative to Scotland with much more chance of that magical combination of snow and sun!

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Typical course content

4 Day Course - topics covered:
  • Kitting out for winter
  • Use of Ice Axe
  • Use of Crampons
  • Avalanche awareness
  • Roping up
  • Snow belays - use and suitability
  • Self Arrest Ice Axe braking
  • Abseiling
  • Glacier Travel
  • Crevasse Rescue
  • Snow Climbing
  • Moving together on mixed ground
  • Bivouacing
  • Winter survival and camping techniques
  • Snow Holing
  • Climbing gullies and couloirs
  • Snowshoeing

Additional days

Additional to the 4 day course a combination of the following will be done depending on snow and weather conditions and ability of the party:
  • Mixed climbing on Puntal de la Caldera (3,215 metres)
  • Traverse of Tajos de la Virgen ridge
  • Gully climbing near Cerro de Caballo
  • Raspones de Rio Seco ridge
  • Alpine ridges of the Sierra de Huetor
  • NW ridge of the Pico del Cartujo
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Expedition Preparation Course

For those going on Expeditions to Polar or Greater Ranges we run a short 2 day course which can be "bolted on" to our existing Winter Skills Mountaineering or Alpine Introduction Courses

Photo Gallery

Video sent in by client, Ian Tupman