What To Expect...

BASIC SKILLS COURSE MOUNTAINEERING

This 2-day adventure might be the most compact mountaineering course I've ever taken. Here's how it went and what I learned: 👇👇👇

DAY ONE

We met in Grindelwald where we received our gear, after which we headed to the glacier canyon.
The guide showed us what he usually brings on such trips. We learned about different types of ropes, carabiners, slings, climbing anchors, and harnesses.
We put on the harness and prepared all the additional necessary gear for the day. Then
 we started practicing walking on different terrains with practical tips from the mountain guide, learning how to ascend and descend.
Then it was time to learn how to tie knots—all sorts of knots, including knots for keeping yourself safely attached to the rope.

 We also learned a belaying knot, which we used to practice trust and safe belaying.
We started small with no risk involved and even touched a bit on multi-pitch climbing.
For the lunch break—everyone except me had sandwiches, and it is recommended to bring your own food, but if you're fast, there's a nearby restaurant where you can have a proper meal.
After the lunch break, we started climbing. The difficulties varied, and we started with a grade 2B which is almost scrambling. The guides set up all the ropes so that we could climb safely with a top rope and focus on belaying and learning to move on such terrains.
Once we started to feel a bit more confident with our climbing and belaying skills, the guides taught us how to tie a prusik knot
and build the whole rappelling system to rappel down from a cliff, which was my favorite part of the day.
After packing our stuff, we had a few last words, and we were brought back to town.
Once the glacier opens, you stay at a mountain hut, but it was the beginning of the season, so this time we had to find our own accommodation.

DAY TWO

We met at the Grindelwald terminal and went all the way up to the Eigergletscher where we started our snow/ice training with the Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau, and beautiful glaciers in the background.
First, we talked about different types of ice axes, including how to walk with one on the snow.
The guide gave a demonstration of how to save yourself with an ice axe if you slip and start sliding down.
We talked about ice screws and how to use them. Then it was time to put on crampons, which we used to practice walking on the snow and on rock.
After putting on harnesses, we learned to rope up, basic knowledge, distances, safety procedures, more knots, tips, and tricks on how to survive on the glacier.
The guide also showed us how to anchor ourselves with only soft snow available, which led to us convincing him to show us how he would rescue someone from a crevasse.
Then we moved indoors for a lunch break and talked about planning and organizing trips. We discussed different difficulties of hikes, climbs, weather, places to find information, and generally useful tips and tricks.
After day two, we had goodbye words from the guides, returned the gear, and were ready to head home.

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