Jonathan Conville Alpine Skills Course 30th July - 1st August 2008

Jonathan Conville Alpine Skills Course 30th July - 1st August 2008

Page Type Page Type: Album
Additional Information Image Type(s): Alpine Climbing, Scenery, Panorama

Jonathan Conville

Aiguille du Chardonnet (left) and Petite Aiguille Vert (right)
This summer I was the recipient of a fantastic piece of luck in being offered a place on a generously subsidised Alpine skills course run by Plas y Brenin (a prestigious Welsh mountain centre) on behalf of the Jonathan Conville Memorial Trust (of course I accepted the offer). Jonathan Conville was a promising young Alpinist whose life was cut short in a climbing accident on the north face of the Matterhorn in the Winter of 1979. He was 27 years old. The trust was established by members of his family to promote and teach, predominantly young people, safe and enjoyable mountaineering practices by absorbing some of the costs of skills courses that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive for many people.

The Alpine skills courses run throughout the summer, with 6 persons hand picked by the trust's members to attend each one. Currently the courses are based in Argentiere just north of Chamonix and normally take place on part of the Mont Blanc range. The course lasts three days, in which such skills as moving on ice and snow, crevasse rescue, snow anchors and dealing with altitude are taught. On the final day my group was lucky enough to be able to exploit a gap in some otherwise unsettled weather to summit Aiguille du Tour (3,544m) via its normal route from Refuge Albert Premier. Several groups that had preceded us had been less fortunate.

For any young, or youngish, aspiring British Alpinists out there I thoroughly recommend you apply for this course next time it comes around. I personally, and I think I can speak for my fellow course attendees too, had a great time and learnt a lot. Application forms are usually available in early spring and can be found on the Plas y Brenin or BMC websites.

I would obviously like to extend my thanks to the Jonathan Conville Trust for running the course, and also to the two guides/instructors Phil and Dave who were able to dispense zen-like mountain wisdom and complete nonsense in equal measure. I would also like to thank everyone who attended the course with me - Andy, Tom, Che, Janet and John – the experience wouldn't have been the same without you.

Finally I would like to offer my apologies to Eleanor and Paul who's wedding I missed to attend the course – I'm really sorry guys, I wish you all the luck in the world!

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External Links

Jonathan Conville Memorial Trust
Plas y Brenin
British Mountaineering Council
Mountaineering Council of Scotland
Trip report by Che Gannarelli


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Viewing: 1-5 of 5

Boydie - Aug 8, 2008 5:15 am - Voted 10/10

Looks and sounds

like you had an excellent time Dan. Thanks for sharing it.


Nanuls - Aug 8, 2008 7:28 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Looks and sounds

Cheers Stephen I really enjoyed it. I had a great time, really enjoyed myself and am now feverishly making plans for next year.



Herb - Aug 12, 2008 8:55 am - Voted 10/10

Interesting album

with some very good pics!
I climbed Aiguille du Tour last year at the end of August as acclimatization for Mont Blanc (unfortunately weather and conditions didn't allow us to summit this time, so I will come back...). Except the weather on some days I had a great time, too.
What I miss in the album is a nice shot of Table de Roc... ;o))



Nanuls - Aug 13, 2008 6:19 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Interesting album

Thanks very much, it was a really good course and I really enjoyed muself. Unfortunately I didn't get a shot of Table de Roc. Congrats on your summiting of Illimani and Huayna Potosi by the way, you have some really nice photos there!


Herb - Aug 13, 2008 11:42 am - Voted 10/10

Re: Interesting album

Thank you for your reply and your kind congrats! Climbing in the Cordillera Real or in the Andes generally was on my wish list for a long time and now to return is on my wish list :)

Viewing: 1-5 of 5



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