We’ve been mountaineering in the “off-season” for years, and there are some great advantages to climbing that time of year.
This season we’re running several “open courses” for individuals as well as our usual private guiding trips. All of our trips are run on a flexible basis, and we take into account the weather and conditions on a day by day basis picking the good venues depending on all these factors.
Most of our trips use a couple of lifts (such as the Aiguille du Midi and Helbronner lift) as well as staying in mountain huts overnight. These are normally closed in the Autumn, but a section of the hut known as the winter room is always left open.
These winter rooms have mattress’s and blankets, tables and chairs and often a wood burning stove to keep the hut cosy. You will need to carry your share of the evening and breakfast food up to the hut, normally around 1kg each (or less). You’ll also have to put up with Ben’s cooking! You’ll also miss out on some of the summer hut luxuries, mainly alcohol, unless your feeling strong and want to carry some to the hut!
For 2017, our Autumn mountaineering programme runs for the month of October.
Some advantages and things to consider for Autumn mountaineering trips;
- It’s quiet. Many popular mountains are deserted, and we are often the only group in the whole valley.
- The high mountain rocky routes aren’t normally in good condition this time of year as they can have snow on them that doesn’t melt away so quickly. We stick to more traditional snow and fixed routes.
- It is a little colder than mid summer, so you’ll need a good warm jacket and gloves. Nothing too major and quite often it’s still very mild.
- Most lifts are shut. We normally pick mountains and routes that don’t require lifts anyway, such as the peaks around Arolla in Switzerland or the Grand Paradiso. But it does limit the mountain options a little.
So if your interested in something a little different and your up for an adventure then the Autumn Mountaineering trips could be for you.
Have read of our blog post from a couple of years ago – we spent a great three days up and around Arolla climbing a couple of good peaks and we were the only group in the whole range.
2016 Autumn Mountaineering Open Course dates:
Our autumn 2016 programme is now fully booked. Contact us for 2017 dates.