FAQ

Why hiring a mountain guide?

Even in the most demanding terrain: With his world leading training and his many years of experience, your mountain guide will show you the best path and technique to your goal. He will help you to reach and push your own limits, he will belay you, take care of the schedule, and he will make sure that you will reach shelter BEFORE darkness or bad weather strikes. However, you will be climbing on your own physical resources, you will be carrying your own backpack and you will overcome demanding climbing spots. At the end of the day that is what matters for you: to gain confidence in your abilities beyond your day to day life experiences.

How do I understand the degree of difficulty of a given tour?

Before booking a tour with us, you will need to understand the difficulties and challenges on hand: Will my fitness be sufficient to cope with the challenges of tour? Are my climbing skills enough to deal with the cruxes of the tour?
Our difficulty scale will help you to get a self estimation. Please consider that the fitness scale is based on approximate standard values without rest periods.

Fitness:

You enjoy walks, you like it unhurried. 2 to 3  hours of walking time are no issue for you.
You like unhurried walks but do appreciate something more challenging. 5 hours walking time are finde with you.
You are already a bit ambitious and you don’t mind 6 to 7 hours walking time.
You are in great shape, 8 to 9 hours of walking / climbing are not your limit.
You are physical fitness is way beyond average, even after 9 to 10 hours of walking / climbing you will enjoy your beer with a smile.

Please consider the minimum climbing rate based on these degrees of fitness 300 m or 1000 ft vertical per hour. From level and higher it is 500 m or 1500 ft vertical per hour, both with light backpacks.

Technik:

Back country skiing / free riding

This level doesn’t really exist because the minimum requirement for back country skiing is your reliable stem turn in unprepared snow regardless of its condition. If you are not sure about this, I recommend you try our course „First free riding experience: from ski runs to back country“.
Your stem turn in any kind of snow is reliable in moderate slopes up to 30 degrees. You can climb on skins, you can deal with occasional simple switchbacks.
Slopes up to 35 degrees don’t bother you in terms of reliable stem turns. You can reliably handle switch backs while climbing on skins.
In moderate slopes you can reliably parallel turn, you deal with frequent steep slopes of 35 degrees and more with reliable stem turns. Switchbacks while climbing are no issue to you. You handle occasional steeper slopes own up to 40 degrees with crampons, ice axe while carrying your skis. Simple climbing difficulties (UIAA I-II) are no big challenge for you.
You are an excellent skier, your parallel and stem turns are reliable in any snow conditions up to slopes of 40 degrees. You don’t mind switchbacks in heavily exposed terrain. Frequent Carrying of your skis in slopes of 40 degrees with crampons including climbing difficulties (up to UIAA II) don’t ruin your day.

High alpine tours / climbing tours

No specific skills necessary, just the usual sure-footedness.
You are able to climb and descend with crampons on occasional glaciers of up to 30 to 35 degrees slopes.
Even in frequent 35 degrees glacier slopes you feel confident. From this degree of difficulty on you can reliably use your front points. You manage occasional easy climbing difficulties (UIAA I – II) without hesitation.
Even though most of the tour you will be exposed to steep glacier and snow slopes of 35 up to 40 degrees you are comfortable with that. You routinely manage medium climbing difficulties (UIAA II – III).
The highest level of difficulty requires superior front point technique. You will have to deal with glacier and snow slopes beyond 45 and up to 50 degrees. You are a good rock climber not hesitating to deal with difficulties of (UIAA III – IV).

 

Your Packing List

In order to make your tour enjoyable, please consider our required packing list diligently. It is base on our long experience, we know what you really need on the mountain and what is unnecessary. Each item has its meaning, even if it keeps untouched in your backpack throughout your tour. And don’t pack more than that. A light pack makes your experience more enjoyable, you are faster and safer and less exhausted.

1) High alpine tours / climbing tours

General:

  • Medium sized back pack (35-40 liters)
  • Solid, waterproof and crampon proof boots (obligatory). Crampon proof boots feature rigid bottoms, at least category C or better D (refer to http://www.meindl.de/deutsch/modelle/anwendungsgebiete.html  for reference).
  • Headlamp
  • Swiss army knife
  • Halbtax-Abo (Swiss rail discount card if at hand)
  • Alpine club membership card (i.e. SAC, DAV, ÖAV, AVS, etc.)
  • Personal medication if applicable
  • First aid kit

Technical Equipment:

  • Ice axe (60-80 cm)
  • Climbing helmet
  • Crampons with anti snow balling plates (obligatory)
  • Climbing harness
  • 2 HMS carabiner
  • 2 standard carabiner
  • 120 cm runner
  • Static rope 3m / 5mm
  • Ice screw (if available)
  • Trekking poles (recommended)

Clothing:

  • Long weather resistant pants
  • Optionally Waterproof rain / storm pant
  • Gaiters
  • Weatherproof jacket
  • Hat
  • Warm gloves
  • Spare gloves
  • Thermo underwear
  • Socks
  • Fleece shirt / sweater or lightweight down / synthetic fiber jacket
  • Spare underwear

Miscellaneous:

  • Sun glasses
  • Snow goggles (recommended)
  • Lip / Skincare
  • Thermo bottle or water bottle 1 liter
  • Hot tea for the first day
  • Light weight food for the first day*
  • Toiletries*
  • Silk liner (sleeping bag)*
  • * stick to the minimum – you will have to carry your stuff yourself. Slippers are available at the huts.

2) Alpine ski tours

General:

  • Backpack with attachments for skier and ice axe
  • Swiss army knife
  • Personal medication if applicable
  • First aid kit
  • Bivy Bag for 2
  • Halbtax-Abo (Swiss rail discount card if at hand)
  • Alpine club membership card (i.e. SAC, DAV, ÖAV, AVS, etc.)

Technical Equipment:

  • Well maintained touring ski (sharp edges!), with tour binding and stopper
  • Customized climbing skin in good condition
  • Ski poles with snow cups
  • Digital avalanche transceiver with latest software update
  • Shovel
  • Probe
  • Ski crampons fitting to binding
  • Alpine touring ski boots

Clothing:

  • Ski socks (I recommend wool, i.e. Smart wool)
  • Long and short sleeve shirt, long and short underpants
  • Touring pant, soft shell recommended
  • Soft shell jacket or vest
  • Insulating layer: compact lightweight down or synthetic fiber jacket or fleece sweater / jacket
  • Goretex jacket, I recommend compact and lightweight models
  • Warm gloves or mittens
  • Light spare gloves for ascends
  • Cap

Miscellaneous:

  • Sun glasses
  • Ski goggles
  • Lip / Skincare
  • Thermo bottle or water bottle 1 liter
  • Hot tea for the first day
  • Light weight food for the first day
  • Silk liner (sleeping bag)

3) Additional equipment for high alpine ski tours:

General:

  • Head lamp
  • Swiss army knife

Technical equipment:

  • Ice Axe (60-80 cm)
  • Crampons with anti snow balling plates (obligatory)
  • Climbing harness
  • 2 HMS carabiner
  • 2 standard carabiner
  • 240 cm runner
  • Static rope 3m / 5mm
  • Ice screw (if available)

4) Additional equipment for multi day alpine ski tours:

  • Spare underwear**
  • Additional food**
  • Toiletries, light weight**
  • Silk liner (sleeping bag)**
  • ** stick to the minimum – you will have to carry your stuff yourself. Slippers are available at the huts.

What insurance do I need?

As a mountain guide customer you are responsible for your own accident insurance and optionally travel cancelation insurance. Alpine Clubs offer their members insurance packages oftenly included in basic memberships. Please check with your local Alpine Club (SAC, DAV, ÖAV, AVS, etc.) Also, most huts offer discounts to members of these clubs. Your mountain guide is covered thru his professional organization.

What happens in case of bad weather?

Sometimes weather does not cooperate with us outdoor enthusiasts. Well that is nature. It will be up to the mountain guides discretion to decide whether it is safe to undertake the tour, or cancel it. Safety of our customers is our highest priority.
Our core team of experienced mountain guides know how to deal with bad weather. Mostly they will find an alternative tour that will suit your expectation. You can trust us 100%!

What happens in case the number of participants is not sufficient?

Occasionally we do not get sufficient bookings for a specific tour or customers cancel their bookings. Due to our superior reputation that doesn’t happen often. In order to facilitate you with your desired tour we will work with you to establish a reasonable price within our frame of financial possibilities.