There is no doubt about the scale of the Alps, being both beautiful and breathtaking.  With much of it covered in ice over 10,000 years old, from the last ice age, and huge intimidating seracs, it gives you more to think about when planning and travelling safely through them.  A lot of climbers and mountaineers travelling from the UK and Ireland seek reassurance in going into the Alps by choosing to employ the services of a guide, removing an element of decision making and planning.

I offer services in all aspects of alpine mountaineering. Whether you want to tackle your first 4000m peak, fancy a family ascent of Mt Blanc, some sunny alpine rock climbing or something steeper and more committing for the experienced alpinist, I can tailor for your needs and work with you to create a bespoke package and help you and your friends or family realize your alpine ambitions!

Alpine Kit List

The secret to alpine clothing is versatility, as a standard day starts pre-dawn in the cold and finishes in the heat of the day.

  • Climbing shoes: Depends on the planned week. (I have a limited selection of sizes available for loan)
  • Mountain boots: Stiff leather boots are better all round. La Sportiva Nepal Extremes style boots are great. Ideally try and make sure they have been used a lot and are comfortable before the trip. The boots should be B2 rated as a minimum, but B3 is better.
  • Gaiters: I prefer short ones for Alpine summer use as you are rarely in deep snow.
  • Trousers: Soft shell type stretch fabric is best, fleece is too warm. No cotton.
  • Waterproof over trousers: I go light, anything made from Paclite is great but heavier stuff will work just as well.
  • Thermal top: Light colours are best as they reflect the sun.
  • A Soft Shell Jacket to use while moving actively through the mountains.
  • A light, medium or heavy weight down jacket is a good idea for mountain trips. Mont Blanc can be very cold at anytime of the year so medium/ heavy would be my recommendation.
  • Waterproof Jacket and Trousers. Light is good for the alps.
  • Gloves: A thick pair and a thin pair. Its worth having mitts for Mont Blanc and high mountain trips.
  • Hat: A sun hat and a warm hat that will fit under a helmet.
  • Helmet
  • Head torch with a new battery
  • Sunglasses
  • Ski Goggles
  • Sun cream Factor 30+ and Factor 30+ lipsalve.
  • Hardware
    • Crampons with anti-ball plates -these are essential, as the snow gets soft and sticky in them heat of the day
    • Harness
    • Prussic loops one short (fore arm length) one longer (A Petzl Micro traction is brilliant is also useful)
    • Belay plate, crab, a couple of slings and crabs are also useful.
    • Ice Tools, A classic Axe is great for most itineraries 55-60cm if you require technical tools I will let you know. If you are considering rocky routes with snow approaches a light axe like the Grivel
      Air Tech Racing saves weight when climbing.
    • Rucksack 35-40 litres should do.
    • Water bottle at least 1 litre. I bring a flask as well in June and Sept.
    • Ski poles can be useful for walking in to huts
  • Other Essentials
    • Passport
    • Insurance – bring the documents or a copy with you.
    • Sheet sleeping bag a requirement in most huts for hygiene purposes

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