Families & Friends
If your children have enjoyed their time with us, why not relive the fun and adventure as a family, or with a group of friends? Working with your childrens' favorite instructors, have a go at activities they know and love, or try some new ones that will become firm family favorites.
Staying at one of AlpBase’s many self-catering chalets and apartments (catered is an optional extra), nestled around Vallouise at the entrance to the Ecrins National Park, you can pick from a wide range of activities for you and your family. You will be accompanied by our expert staff to lead and guide you on whatever adventures you have chosen. It will be a family holiday of a lifetime!
The art and fun of moving over stone! Equipped with specialist safety equipment, students will scale sheer rock faces and learn to challenge themselves in this vertical arena. We teach bouldering, top roping, leading and multi pitch rock climbing. We can deliver to any level from an introduction to top-roping as part of a multi activity program session, to one of our specialist course’s where we can teach and coach you to reach that next level.
The Hautes Alpes, where we run all our courses, is famous for its rock climbing. We have six different rock types here and over 350 crag locations to choose from. This is definitely an activity not to miss where we teach you the fun of balance, and moving over and across vertical obstacles where you have to think in 3D!
WHITE WATER RAFTING
The Hautes Alpes is the centre of white water rafting and kayaking in France, offering some of the most exciting rivers in Europe. The region has rivers of every grade so there is something for every group. Our team of highly experienced raft guides all work under the expert leadership of David King, one of the most highly respected guides in France. Our instructors encourage and train their students to navigate their inflatable bucking bronco through the thrills and spills of the Durance’s turbulent rapids. A full-on rollercoaster of a ride!
Split into teams of seven, students are first equipped with wet suits, neoprene footwear and helmets, plus a rash top if conditions necessitate. Then a full safety brief from David and his team, before the off! It is always the most favoured activity and allows a ride not to be forgotten.
The Hautes Alpes, located in the Southern French Alps, where the AlpBase Academy courses are run, offer some of the best “undiscovered” alpine scenery in Europe. The region is literally a giant mountain playground, and encompasses an area just smaller than the combined total size of the UK’s Lakes District, The Peak District and the Snowdonia National Park. Yet it only experiences 2 million visitors a year compared to the combined 40 million visitors that the Lakes, Peaks and Snowdonia receive annually!
The Hautes Alpes really are the alps as they used to be. The mountain treks and hikes offer our students the opportunity to enjoy breath taking views with zero people pollution in a dry mountainous region that benefits from 300 days of sunshine per annum. It is a stunning part of the world and walking through this alpine landscape our groups come face to face with “real” nature. Here they can enjoy some of the most spectacular alpine walking anywhere in Europe complete with stunning peaks, huge glacial mazes, deep cut valleys, alpine pasture land, sub alpine woodlands and deep-filled mountain tarns.
The Hautes Alpes also has abundant wildlife. Look out for eagles, chamois, Ibex, willow grouse, and the ubiquitous marmots – always a favorite with our children. In all there are 167 rare and valuable species of fauna and the flora is equally diverse with over 1,800 varieties. Away from the traditional lavender fields of Provence you might find blue thistles, lilies, and alpine orchids as well as high altitude plants such as androsace, and edelweiss.
All our treks are run by local International Mountain Leaders who will not only guide but educate about the area including its geology and geomorphology, and so help our students get the most out of this awesome mountain arena.
A via ferrata (Italian for "iron road") is a fully protected climbing route often found in the Alps. The origins of Via Ferrata date back to the First World War, when several were built in the Italian Dolomites to aid the movement of troops. Modern via ferratas comprise a steel cable which runs along the entire route and every few metres it is bolted to the rock. Using special equipment that includes a helmet, a harness and security leashes, our students, under careful supervision, secure themselves to the cable, so they are very safe. In addition to pulling on the actual cable, students use any in-situ aids such as iron rungs, pegs, carved steps and even ladders to make progress.
Via ferratas allow students to scale difficult rock walls without the risks associated with unprotected scrambling and climbing. They offer inexperienced young people a means of enjoying dramatic positions and an amazing way to see remote or difficult-to-access mountains and cross breath-taking gorges, with alpine white water rivers surging past underneath. As such Via Ferratas are a fun and engaging way of pushing your mental as well as physical limits.
What some families had to say
Just some of the many comments we have recieved from families we've worked with
A MULTI-ACTIVITY FAMILY COURSE IN 2016
We Just wanted to say big thanks for the great week we had with you guys, the accommodation was great right in Vallouise village centre and the activities were perfect for us, a special thanks to Rob our main instructor he did a great job and the kids loved him, it’s hard to say our favourite activity we enjoyed them all, but via Ferrata and the zip line is something we won’t forget, we also really liked the BBQ night where we got to meet other guest’s a chilled and relaxing evening, a big thumbs up from us and a great family experience
Thanks again and we will see you again (next year maybe)
The Tuckwood Family
A FAMILY SKI TOURING COURSE IN 2016
I just wanted to thank you for providing such an amazing and accomplished instructor for our ski mountaineering course. Mathieu was a brilliant guide. Great skier and highly knowledgeably who had a good balance of giving us information and just letting us ski behind him to learn (as you cannot think yourself to be a better skier!). Just as important he fitted in really well. Delightful to be with, good sense of humour and very skilled; knowing when to join in and when to keep his distance.
He gave us a great sense of security; someone who really knew the mountains and conditions. Constantly checking to choose where to go based on his assessment, where conditions were best and where was safe and suitable for the weakest skiers in our group.
Overall assessment from the family: best guide we have ever had.
Thank you for another great Year 9 KS3 multi-activity course. It was a pleasure to work with you, as always – a great week. I was completely worn out by the end of the week, but with 62 students and 10 teachers in total it was a lot to process! In terms of the pupils we managed to get through waves, up climbs and over mountains, I think that the week was one of the most successful I can remember. Your program in the Hautes Alpes remains just about the most adventurous and ambitious course imaginable for kids of that age from a city school – long may it stay that way!!
Head of Business Studies
British School of Paris
Jun 9, 2013
From Michael Farley
Subject: Re: Well done and THANK YOU .......Leadership In Action
To all climbing participants,
Thank you so much for supporting our Climbers Against Diabetes fund raising challenge. And thank you for your inspiring school presentation, Jerry.
We're very happy to have given Sam and all involved this opportunity - a great effort and all for your fantastic cause. Lots of kids are going to benefit from the climb.
Well done again to all involved - and thanks to you Jerry for the inspiration in the first place.
13 Jun 2016
From: Kevin Moran
To: Jerry Gore, The AlpBase Academy
I would like to say I have been highly impressed with this year’s Yr. 7 KS3 week. All activities have been a direct improvement on other providers course. Also, the whole team was very impressed with Rob Benton, our Course Director for Yr. 7 throughout the week.
Head of Activities
British School of Paris
Tuesday 21 June 2016
From: Headmaster – BSP To: Jerry Gore
Subject: Residential trip (British School of Paris)
I wanted to write to you and your team to express my thanks for all that you have done to make the 2016 BSP KS3 expeditions week such a success.
I am delighted to report that judging from all that I heard about the trips staff were very impressed with what they saw and did. Your corner of the Alps most definitely received a thumbs up!
Having spoken with the students it is clear that many achieved things of which they thought they were incapable, and ensuring that they know that they really do have true grit when it comes to facing obstacles. This opportunity will be a major element in shaping their approach to challenges in the future.
The British School of Paris
Thu, Jun 23, 2016
Thank you so much for an incredible ski touring trip.
When we came up with the plan of running a school backcountry skiing trip there really were no companies out there offering this trip. But having run sport climbing trips through AlpBase Academy for a number of years, they were the obvious choice and we spoke with Rob and Jerry who were excited to work with us on this project.
This trip was completely bespoke for our requirements and Rob worked with us tirelessly to plan every detail and was always available on the phone and email to answer every query I had. In the end, the trip surpassed all the expectations of everyone involved. The accommodation was perfect, the skiing amazing and the guide was knowledgeable, connected well with the students, was patient and very safety conscious. Even throughout the course, the itinerary was tweaked to tailor it to the abilities of the students and to take advantage of the excellent snow conditions.
I think this feedback from one parent says it all “My son had an absolutely fantastic time and is smitten with powder. For a boy of few words and not known for overstatement, his rating for the trip of 9.5 out of 10 said it all”
I look forward to working with AlpBase Academy for our next trip.
St Paul's School