There are many combinations when planning a week around the classic 4000m peaks and we do our best to deliver the week at the right level of abilitiy for the course participants, taking into account the weather and conditions.
Saturday - The course begins with a briefing meeting at 6.45pm at The Grand Chalet Hotel in Leysin. Here you will meet your ISM Guide and other team members. We will make an overall plan for the week, taking into account the group, weather and conditions. You will also be able to sort out any equipment you need. Dinner follows the briefing.
Sunday - After breakfast you will leave the hotel and head up the Rhone valley towards Tasch, a small village below Zermatt. From here we will drive up the steep winding road to Tasch Alp from where you will walk on a good track up to the Tasch Hut to stay the night.
Monday - A pre dawn start sees the team walking by headlamp up good trails towards the glacier Alphubel. Once on the glacier we continue up and over the Alphubeljoch and onto the Fee Gletscher. We then head north up the steepening glacier, over the 'Ice Naso' and on to the summit of Alphubel. The descent is back down the broad glacier to the Alphubeljoch and then we continue down to the Tasch hut where we'll spend a second night.
Tuesday - After a more relaxed start, we leave the Tasch hut and go down the valley and drive back to Tasch. From Tasch we take a short drive around to Saastal and up to Saas Grund. From here we take the Hohsaas lift to Kreuzboden and walk into the Weissmies hut. We should have the afternoon free and you will have the option of climbing a rocky peak (the Jagihorn) which is an hour's walk from the hut or do some rock climbing closer by. You may also be able to refresh your glacier skills such as crevasse rescue on the Trift Gletscher. We will stay in the Weissmies hut the night.
Wednesday - A pre-dawn start, sees the team walking up the steepening track towards the Lagginhorn Gletscher to climb the 'Normal Route' on the Lagginhorn. This is a great summit with the route steepening as you near the summit and one which earlier in the year isn't possible with a larger ratio group. From the summit cross, you'll enjoy fantastic views down into Italy, across to the high summits of the Mischabel Range and the huge Monte Rosa Massif behind, with over thirty 4000m peaks laid out in front of you. The descent takes us back down the same route, past the Weissmies hut and on down to the Hohsaas lift and Saas Grund below where we'll spend the night. This night in the valley will give you a chance to freshen up after three nights in mountain huts.
Thursday - More of a relaxed start to today and a short drive up to Saas Fee. From here we will take a long hike up to the Mischabel hut to climb the Nadelhorn.
Friday - A pre-dawn start with headlamps to walk up the Hohbalm Gletscher towards the WIndjoch and the North East Ridge of the Nadelhorn. Once on this snowy ridge there is fantastic and steeper climbing with amazing views all the way to the summit. The summit offers great views across to the classic Dent Blanche, Matterhorn and all the other inspiring 4000m peaks in the area. The descent is back down the North East Ridge, returning to the Mischabel hut and on down to Saas Fee before travelling back to Leysin for a debrief and final dinner at the Grand Chalet
Saturday morning - Breakfast at the Grand Chalet Hotel is included before departure.