When you join our Complete glacier course you will learn all you need to walk the glaciers without a guide. No prior knowledge about glaciers needed. This is our best-seller, given every summer since 1994.
All our courses aim to train you so that you can master the course theme without a guide. The focus will be on practice and repetition until you are confident and independent of the guide. It this is achieved is dependent on your prior knowledge and skill and how determined you are. Also, in all mountaineering it is only possible to reach the basic level on a course. You need to use this course as a platform to develop. Even though courses are focused on practice and repetition, there are great experiences on the way to being a real mountaineer.
Moderate: Short distances (4-8 km), moderate incline and less then 500 m climb per day. Activities rated as moderate are well suited for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day or parts of a day.
Challenging: More demanding distances (6-12 km), partly steep, regularly more than 500 m climb per day, occasionally between 1000 and 1500 m climb. These activities are physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.
Tough: Our toughest activities, involving long days and regularly steep or high climbs (more than 1000 m). A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.
Complete glacier courses have a long history in Norway, since the first such courses were arranged in the 1960’s. Even though the methods and content have developed on the way, the aim is the same: Educating participants to be mountaineers that can safely explore glaciers without a guide.
This course also builds on the Norwegian ideal of light travel, focusing on a minimum set of equipment to walk and climb the ice, rescue people, and crossing snow-bridges and steep snow safely.
If you want to learn it all from scratch until independent mastering of glaciers, this is the course for you.
We meet in the morning. After an introduction of each others and going through the program, we start learning about glacier equipment and knots.
Then we walk to the blue ice to learn how to use crampons, ice axe, ice-screws and the rope. We also practice how to tie ourselves together into the rope. After a lunch on the ice, we walk into the ice formations tied together. Now we start to practice route selection and how to use the rope team and ice screws to make the journey safe.
In the evening you will learn the theory about rescuing people from a crevasse.
The first half of the day will be used to practice rescuing on ice. All of you will be lowered into a crevasse, and the others need to rescue you using the method of ‘lose rolle’ or pulley. After lunch we will move into the blue ice formations again to practice route selection and safety routines.
In the evening you will learn about alpine dangers, and how to rescue from a snow crevasse.
Now we move onto snow-covered glacier. We will learn how to use a deadman, checking snow-bridges and moving safely between ice and snow. We will also practice rescuing from a snow-covered crevasse, which is the real challenge for any mountaineer. As on the ice, everyone will be lowered into the crevasse to be rescued by the others.
In the evening we will plan a trip for the next day.
This is the summit day. We will cross a glacier to reach a summit, normally going through areas of ice formations, snow-covered crevasses, and steep snow. On the way, we will practice orientation, how to move safely on steep snow and how to stop a fall on steep snow using the ice axe. This is a long, but rewarding day. We try to reach a summit, but weather and glacier conditions might make ti challenging.
The last day we moves back to the blue ice. You will try basic climbing and rappell, and any other themes you want to learn more about. After lunch, you will be offered a trip into the ice where you must take all decisions yourself. The guide will only look after your safety.
After an evaluation, the course ends early in the evening.
This course follow the national standards for Norwegian glacier course.
We always use certified guides. In addition, this activity includes hire of glacier equipment (helmet, harness, ice axe, crampons, ice screws, carabiners, ropes).
Look at the FAQ section below for a detailed list of equipment you need to bring yourself.