Advanced Alpine Medicine Course


06 March 2023 08:00 - 10 March 2023 17:00


This advanced course for medics with extensive ski experience, blends specialist alpine expedition skills with altitude and cold weather medicine. Your exciting five day experience is based in the stunning Mont Blanc region of Chamonix and makes the most of the natural alpine conditions with practical training taking place on glaciers and snow fields.

Beginning with a history of alpinism in the area, you’ll soon progress to hands-on training in the company of members of the expert regional rescue team, the PGHM, High Mountain guides and our mountain loving faculty.

This course is designed for those already comfortable and competent on skis, so if you’re looking for an introduction to alpine medicine, try our Slovenia based course.

Key Facts

You must be a:

  • Medical or Allied Health Professional
  • Student in your final year of study

We highly recommend that you take our Expedition & Wilderness Medicine Course first, or a similar alternative. 

You need:

  • Extensive off-piste ski experience
  • Navigation skills
  • A good level of fitness
  • Basic knowledge of expedition planning
  • Basic level of mountaineering

Dates: 6 – 10 March, 2023
Location: Mont Blanc, Chamonix

CPD Award: We estimate 25 hours CPD will be awarded for the completed course
Awarding organisation: Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

What’s included:

  • Tutoring, accommodation and meals
  • WEM care package full of essential kit
  • Ropes and climbing hardware
  • Lift passes

What’s not:

  • General travel costs
  • Travel and health insurance
  • Personal equipment
  • Ski touring boots, skis and poles
  • Walking / climbing axes
  • Harness, belay plate and carabiner
  • Helmet

Advanced Alpine Medicine

Open up the world of specialist expedition medicine with this next-level alpine course aimed at doctors, nurses, paramedics and other medical professionals wanting to add adventure into their career.

You’ll receive a blend of advanced winter mountaineering skills, expedition medicine training and experience altitude and cold weather conditions first hand.

What to expect

You’ll start with a day of theory and workshops before heading into the mountains to learn practical mountaineering skills, rescue techniques and put your newly acquired wilderness medicine knowledge to the test.

On the second day we’ll head out the glacier and focus on crevasse rescue, avalanche rescue training and how to move safely over glaciated terrain. You’ll then spend the night either on the glacier itself or in a high mountain refuge, fully immersed in the alpine environment.

Throughout the course, content will be delivered through short, focused lectures which are built upon, enhanced and challenged through intense, case-based scenarios. As groups, you’ll discuss and evaluate your performance allowing you to build your skill through each scenario.

Both the medical and expedition content is integrated to replicate the challenges of real expeditions. You’ll find this helps shape your thought processes and enables you to function in extreme and resource-poor environments.

Course Content

All session within this course assume prior knowledge and experience, content is aimed to advance this existing knowledge.

  • Expedition Planning for Alpine Environments
  • Risk Assessment
  • Personal Equipment
  • Technical Equipment
  • Avalanche Risk and Assessment
  • Avalanche Rescue
  • Medical Management of Avalanche Victims
  • Trauma in Technical Alpine Environments
  • Terrain Assessment
  • Crevasse Rescue
  • Overnighting in Alpine Environments
  • Cold Injury
  • Acute Mountain Sickness
  • Navigation
  • Rescue and Extrication in Technical Terrain
  • Alpine Trauma Simulation
  • PGHM Tour and Case Studies

What you need to know

During the course we’ll stay at an Auberge de Jeunesse, where we are able to use the grounds and teaching spaces for various workshops and skill sessions.

The five days are spent learning but you’ll also have some time to ski and explore Chamonix throughout the course.

We’ll kick things off at 9am on the 6 March so you may want to arrange an extra night at the hostel and arrive the day before. This will be a separate private booking as accommodation is only included from the first day of the course. We finish at 3pm on the final day, giving you plenty of time to arrange onward travel.

Travel insurance with mountaineering cover is essential for this trip. We recommend a suitable policy through the BMC or Austrian Alpine Club

To assist with packing, please review and refer to our kit list.


Kit List

Please note, all kit below is a guide. There is an endless amount of kit on the market and a huge variance in personal preference and needs. If you have any questions get in touch with the WEM team or consider our friends at The Climbers Shop & Joe Brown who can provide the necessary equipment tailored to your needs.

You need to be prepared for sun, wind and snow! When heading out into the mountains you must be fully
prepared for all possible conditions. If you have any questions about kit, just give us a call or send an email.

  • Hiking / Mountaineering boots – minimum B1 or B2 rated (will fit crampons)
  • Base layers, upper and lower – merino or synthetic
  • Light mid layers – thinner layers with zips allow for greater thermal control
  • Softshell trousers
  • Hard shell jacket – Waterproof and breathable material. Gore-Tex or Neoshell recommended. No ski jackets with built in insulation
  • Hard shell trousers – Waterproof and breathable material. Gore-Tex or Neoshell recommended. No trousers or salopettes with built in insulation.
  • Light insulating jacket – synthetic or down
  • Warm insulating jacket – synthetic or down
  • Liner Gloves – merino, silk or fleece
  • Lightweight glove
  • Warm waterproof gloves
  • Mittens
  • Socks – Wool or synthetic.
  • Beanie
  • Neck gaiter / Buff
  • Casual clothes
  • Ski touring boots, skis and poles
  • Crampons – compatible with your boots
  • Walking axe – walking or alpine type
  • Helmet
  • Climbing harness
  • Belay plate and carabiner
  • Ski goggles
  • Avalanche transceiver
  • Avalanche probe
  • Shovel

Other gear:

  • Backpack: 40 – 50 litres
  • Head torch
  • Compass – Silva Expedition Type 4
  • Sunglasses – wrap around, minimum category 3 lenses
  • Sun protection – SPF 50
  • Water bottle
  • Personal medical / first aid kit
  • Towel
  • Dry bags
  • Money/cards for mountain hut


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