Alpine Mountaineering Courses

About UCPA All-Inclusive Mountaineering & Summit Courses & Trips:

Mountaineering or "Alpinism" is an exciting mix of rock climbing, snow and ice techniques and general travelling within the mountains.

Chamonix is considered the Mecca of Mountaineering. The high peaks, accessible glaciers and sheer quantity of alpine mountaineering routes, draws mountaineers from all over the world.  UCPA Chamonix is the specialist Alpinist centre, offering a huge variety of courses and expeditions for all levels of mountaineer keen to hone their skills and explore this incredible area. So whether you are an absolute beginner interested in learning the basic skills, or are an experienced mountaineer seeking a more challenging guided adventure, the UCPA has a course for you. 

All UCPA courses are inclusive of accommodation, meals, lift pass, equipment hire and instruction/guiding with a fully qualified instructor and guide. Read more about the various courses below.

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Alpine Mountaineering Introduction (23 hours)

This 6 day course will provide you with the foundation of mountaineering skills - essential for getting out and exploring the mountains safely. This courses teaches the building blocks for continuing onto a more advanced course or more technical routes. You do not require any previous experience. This week will include rock climbing, ice climbing, crevasse rescue, snow safety, navigation and learning to move safely on glacier terrain.

Alpine Mountaineering (23 hours)

This is a more advanced course for intermediate to advanced level mountaineers who have already learned the basics and want be challenged with more advanced and technical routes. If you have already attended an alpine course, have walked in crampons with a roped partner across glaciated terrain, been pulled out of a crevasse during rescue training, summited an alpine peak and have an urge to climb more, then this Alpinism course is perfect for you.

Alpine Mountaineering (46 hours)

This is a 14 day course for intermediate to advanced level mountaineers. As above, you will refresh your knowledge and build on your skills and techniques in order to attempt a number of the greatest routes and peaks in the area. This longer course gives you more time and good weather opportunities to accomplish desired summits. 

Summit Mont Blanc

Included in the summit courses is the chance of a lifetime to summit Mont Blanc, western Europe's highest mountain. Although very famous, this is a big challenge in a technical environment, therefore is suitable for more advanced mountaineers. The 2 week course enables the group to refresh their skills, practice important techniques and gain a good understanding of the high mountain environment. It also allows more time for a good weather window to arise for the group to attempt the summit, often a reason why others on a shorter trip fail. Check the course description for more information. Those keen to summit Mont Blanc but short of the required experience should consider completing the Mont Blanc preparation course in advance.

Other 'Summit' Expeditions

Summit one of a number of world famous peaks including Mont Rose or Grand Paradis with the UCPA. The various 'summit' courses include training in all mountaineering skills and techniques required for that specific adventure, ensuring the group are fully equipped to accomplish the summit as an experienced team and with a good level of autonomy. The skills learned will be a good building block for more technical future climbs. More in depth detail is provided in the individual course descriptions.

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  • UCPAs are like an upmarket hostel. However, they are always comfortable and if you want to meet people, the rooms of 4-6 are a great way of doing so. Even better is most of the UCPAs have some twin rooms...
    Anna R
  • The food offers great variety, choice (several options each night), quantity (as much as you want) and quality is decent.  Cheese and yoghurts coming out of your ears, packed lunch option, afternoon tea and cake and you can drink your own wine at dinner.
    Anna R
  • The kit is top quality and new and there is a workshop for any adjustments or changes you may require during your week.
    Elliot B
  • There is always a range of ages, nationalities, mixtures of solo travellers, couples, groups etc. We have booked as a group of 6, a group of 36 (no joke) and even just me and my boyfriend – it works for all.
    Anna R
  • The food offers great variety, choice (several options each night), quantity (as much as you want) and quality is decent (7/10). Cheese and yoghurts coming out of your ears, packed lunch option, afternoon...
    Anna R
  • The food is great and there is tons of it from breakfast, lunch, snack time (after your day on the slopes) and dinner in the evening. My favourite meal this year was on the Thursday evening when it was...
    Peter E
  • Alongside the excellent equipment, lessons, food and accommodation, the thing that brings me back year on year is the atmosphere, as made by the people who go to UCPA.
    Elliot B
  • I wish I had discovered UCPA earlier. 
    Oliver P


UCPA was originally set up to provide affordable adventure holiday packages for people aged 18 to ​45.

Today the UCPA has a wide variety of excellent value ski & snowboard packages for people of all ages.