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International School of Mountaineering (ISM) is situated in the Swiss vilage
of Leysin, at the east side of Lake Geneva. From that point, various mountaineering
courses are held varying in degree of difficulty. One of these courses
is the Student Alpine Week, an opportunity for (mostly poor...) students
to learn the basics of mountaineering. Below is an impression of such a
course, which took place in July 2000.
Because of bad weather there was a lot of snow high up in the mountains. After two days of learning some basic rock and ice climbing techniques, our guide decided that we should go to the Zermatt-area. There we climbed the 'Pigne de la Lé' at an altitude of 3496 m. (11470 ft.) in the first bright day of the week. During the descent however, the clouds already moved in while we practised some crevass-rescue techniques. The next day we started out in already pretty nasty wheater in an attempt to climb another 3400+ m. summit. Soon it started snowing again and due to a near white-out and icy rocks we decided to retreat after reaching a col at the base of the final summit pyramid at a height of 3290 m. (10794 ft.).
Although the weather was bad in contributed to the intensity of the course, so it made the course more difficult then it normally is and - most importantly - we learned more!
Click on thumbnails to view them! Comment are to be found in enlarged views.