There are many combinations of peaks and routes, but do our best to deliver the week at the right level of abilitiy for the course participants, taking into account the weather and conditions.
The course starts with a briefing at 6.45pm at the Tour D'Ai hotel in Leysin. This is a chance for you to meet your team mates and Guide and go through the details of the course. There will also be time for you to sort out any equipment you need and for you to ask questions. Dinner will follow the briefing.
After breakfast you will head up the Rhone valley towards Arolla at the head of the Val d'Herrens. From here, we'll take a good walking track which leads to the Vignettes hut where we'll spend the night.
An early start sees us walking with headlamps across the Glacier du Mont Collon towards the classic summit of the L'Eveque. The glacier steepens as we head up the Mitre de L'Eveque via the 'Normal Route' to the summit - Alpine grade PD. We then descend the same way and return to the Vignettes Hut for a second night.
Another early start, but this time we head west to traverse the classic Pigne D'Arolla. This is a fantastic alpine glacial traverse over the summit of the 'Pigne' and down snow and glacier to another high mountain hut, the Cabane des Dix. This is a great hut perched on the 'Tete Noiure' overlooking the glacier de Cheilon and looking up at the beautiful North Face of the Mont Blanc de Cheilon.
We leave hut after an early breakfast and make our way up to the Col de Cheilon. The 'col' gives us access to the Glacier du Gietro and the 'Normal Route' up to the summit of the Mont Blanc de Cheilon. The glacial walk weaves amongst beautiful rock ridges and towers as the glacier cascades down the mountain. The summits give amazing 360 degree panoramic views across the Alps before we descend back down the glacier. We return to the Dix hut and then carry on down onto the glacier de Cheilon, over the col 'Pas de Chevres' and down an easy path back to Arolla where we stay the night. A night back down in the valley gives us the chance to freshen up before the final couple of days climbing.
A later breakfast and a much more relaxed start to the day. We head up the other side of the valley on good trails and walk into the Cabane Bertol where we'll spend the night. This is an easier day and gives us chance to enjoy the amazing views down onto the glacier du Mont Mine and looking east out towards the impressive Dent Blanche, Matterhorn and the Monte Rosa Massif.
After an early breakfast, we climb down steep ladders from the hut to access the glacier du Mont Mine. From the base of the ladders we head north to 'Pointe de Bertol' and onto the smaller glacier de l'Aiguille below the Aiguille de la Tsa. The Aiguille de la Tsa is a fantastic rock pinnacle, which involves a short section of easy rock climbing to access the very small narrow summit. From the valley far below looking up at the pinnacle, it looks just like a 'mini Matterhorn' jutting up from the the ridge high up, like a sharp tooth. The views from the summit are incredible as is the exposure! Two abseils and we're back down on the glacier and walking back towards the Bertol hut. However, we don't head back up to the hut, but continue down to Arolla. Once back in Arolla we'll stop for a coffee and have a relaxed debrief, reflecting on the week and giving you the chance to think about the next step in your own mountaineering plans. We then drive back to Leysin and a final night at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel is included before departure.