Your first mountaineering outing: how to go about it?

Your first mountaineering trip, you will never forget it. This is the moment when you have decided to take the leap: hiking and climbing are not enough for you, you need more.

We’ll tell you right away, you will need a guide .

Mountaineering outing - Guide
Alpine tour guide

How to prepare for your first alpine outing?

            The desire to embark on mountaineering generally manifests itself through long hikes which we think could have gone even further if we had the equipment, the technique and the courage to do so. In order to travel in the mountains and the varied terrain such as glaciers, ridges, and loose rock , make sure you are ready.

If you are used to long outings and bivouacs in the mountains as well as rock climbing, and they go well, you are in the best physical condition to get started.

Your guide will inform you on what gear to bring, but here is the one that Julien Charron told me about , the guide with whom I am going to the Ecrins .

  • Mountain pants;
  • Warm underwear;
  • Warm fleece jacket;
  • Waterproof and breathable jacket;
  • Puffy jacket ;
  • 1 pair of gloves;
  • Sunglasses, face and lip sunscreen;
  • Backpack of medium capacity (30 to 40 liters);
  • Gourd one liter minimum, groceries and picnic food;
  • Headlamp with batteries in good condition;
  • Cap ;
  • Hat or band under the helmet;
  • Walking sticks.
Mountaineering excursion to Punta Innominata summit
La Punta Innominata – A race for experienced climbers

As for the rope, crampons, harness and helmet, your guide will be able to lend you some: if you are not yet sure that mountaineering or glacier racing will please you, wait before buying. Your guide can give you advice and direct you to the best equipment for your needs: after all, the mountains are their job.

How is a first alpine outing going?

            Good. You will likely find it hard to sleep the days leading up to the inevitable excitement that inevitably precedes most mountain runs. We advise you not to aim too ambitious, to be honest with your guide and to go on a simple race. Usually, you are offered two possibilities.

            A one day outing which will suppose a significant positive and negative elevation gain in a short time.

            Or a two-day outing  : climb to the refuge in the afternoon of day 1 and start in the cool (3 or 4 a.m.) on day 2.

            Since the vast majority of mountaineering outings are done first by a hiking approach, I would advise you to opt for the second solution. Not only to soak up the atmosphere as well as possible, but also to have time to chat with your guide and ask all your questions.

            Regarding the risks, we will share with you an article entirely dedicated to the dangers of the mountain and the high mountain but be confident. For a first mountaineering outing supervised by professionals, you will only have to worry about putting one foot in front of the other and starting over.

Have a nice trip!

Selé glacier sunrise mountaineering outing
Sunrise at Sélé – First mountaineering outing