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Specialist Courses

These courses are all about learning and developing skills in a specific adventure sport. Starting from scratch, or using existing skills, we develop a course to teach the students how to safely take part and develop in the selected activity, whether it be learning to kayak on white water, or taking the first steps in alpine climbing. Using the amazing setting of the alps and the highest level of staff possible, we will take your students to the next level!

Below is a short clip from a back country/ski tour course we ran for a St Pauls School London, the students aged betweem 16 -18 had never skiied of piste before.

Feedback from Thomas Passmore St Pauls teacher on the course.

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 Acadamey 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.


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!



Kayak's are individual boats first paddled by the Eskimo’s great for fun and adventure on lakes and rivers. The Hautes Alpes is the centre of white water rafting and kayaking in France, offering some of the most exciting rivers in Europe, such as the Durance and the Guil. The region has rivers of every grade so there is something for every group.

As well as alpine rivers, we have flat water at Serre Poncon, the biggest manmade lake in western Europe and a range of smaller lakes within the Durance Valley. Our team of highly experienced kayak guides and coaches always plan a great session with lots of games and learning. Courses range from how to paddle and steer a kayak on a lake, through to students controlling their own boats on white water. Kayaking can form part of a multi activity trip or as a specialist course.

Students are first equipped with wet suits, neoprene footwear and safety wear, fitted out in a kayak to suit their size and given a fully safety brief. Then it's on to the water for fun and games, and maybe the odd bit of falling in.



This activity is all about moving safely on skis across mountainous, often glaciated terrain. Our courses are all based on progressive ski touring programs, where participants are introduced to, and practice the essential technical skills for back country skiing. Students also learn and revise their mountain safety skills such as avalanche search and rescue.

This is one of our specialist courses designed for groups that have already done some skiing, and ideal for a school that has a ski trip every year and would like to progress to the next level. Our ski touring courses are aimed at students who have enjoyed a basic school ski course and can ski competently on Red runs or higher.

Our courses are based in resort for the first 2 days, with instructors and IFMGA mountain guides, who teach the skills needed to ski off-piste. After that its off into the mountains where we use skins to access off-piste powder and then ski descents down the best lines and snow available at that time in our huge alpine region. The Hautes Alpes is a perfect ski arena for learning the basics of ski touring. There is a great variety of easy day tours with the possibility to choose slightly more technical routes if required.



Mountaineering is a very diverse and physical activity that offers many valuable technical and “life” skills that young people learn to apply in their everyday lives. Mountaineering is all about passion and commitment, overcoming challenges and at the same time simply immersing oneself in the beauty of a remote landscape.

Mountaineering involves finding a safe and accessible route to a mountain summit, and then coming back down safely. Our full qualified IMGA mountain guides will teach their students all the basics including what equipment to use, navigation, mountain safety (avalanche awareness and crevasse rescue), nutrition, and technical skills such as ice, rock and mixed climbing. During our courses students learn and practice essential rope and safety techniques for moving together and climbing in the high mountains and across glaciers, with opportunities to learn more advanced techniques. Students also gain an understanding of alpine flora and fauna and various geomorphological features such as drumlins and glacial erratics!



The following course was developed for a leading UK school for students that had already experienced rock climbing and wanted to develop more skills and techniques to allow them to progress in this exciting sport. The specific goals included getting students to lead rock climbing, and to undertake a multi-pitch rock climb as independently as possible.

specialist activity courses french alps
SATAM: Travel day
PM: Welcome to centre and brief on the week
Students and teachers are introduced to their team of instructors and briefed on the week ahead. With a detailed Q and A session at the end.
SUNAM: Climbing skills assessed
PM: Intro to lead climbing
Instructors work with students to assess their level and develop a learning plan for the week.
Instruction in leading, and specific techniques and skills such as rope work and belaying.

AM/PM: Lead coaching
EVE: Lecture by Jerry Gore about the North Face of the Eiger

Students lead in pairs, under the supervision of instructors, with continual learning and coaching included throughout the day.
TUESAM/PM: Full day of white water raftingA bit of a change to rest the fingers and brains, and to take part in a fast action white water ride down one of France's classic alpine rivers.
WEDAM: Lead coaching
PM: Multi-pitch skills
Re-cap on leading skills, with time for the students to climb as much as possible.
Students are grouped in pairs of a similar level, and shown the skills necessary to take part in multi-pitch climbing.

AM/PM: Multi-pitch day
EVE: Presentation of awards and certificates

Students are grouped in pairs with a mountain guide. They climb a multi-pitch route around 300 meters high. The guide will use the students development plan, so that they use the skills that they have learned in order to succed on the route, supported by their guide.
FRITravel Day-
sngp ckda logomontieur cycliste francaisqualified mountain guide logoMembers of the Association of Mountaineering Instructorsuimla logo