This year, the Arc'teryx Alpine Arc'ademy brought together 350 participants from 17 countries! High-level athletes and regular mountain sports enthusiasts showed up to share and improve their technique during several activities and workshops organized by Arc'teryx, the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix, and other event partners.
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A vibrant partner village
Participants met every day at the bottom of the Aiguille du Midi tram, where a genuine brand village set up for the occasion. Both participants and passers-by took the time to stroll from one brand's booth to another and to partake in a variety of fun and games:
- GORE-TEX offered the chance to make a small bag.
- Tent manufacturer, Hilleberg, organized a fun contest to see who could set the fastest time for putting up a tent.
- Suunto provided the opportunity to test its GPS watches. The orienteering course led straight to SNELL, a shop in the center of Chamonix.
- SCARPA tested participants on how quickly they could put a pair of Petzl crampons on their boots.
- Arc'teryx, held a workshop on how to set up an anchor.
- Dehydrated food manufacturer, LYO, offered blind taste tests of its meals.
- Petzl taught participants how to tie a variety of knots and how to sharpen their mountaineering equipment (ice screws, ice axes, and crampons).
To top it all off, participants could also win a wide range of prizes provided by event partners.
Several different educational workshops
Having registered on the web prior to the event, participants were able to learn new skills or to perfect their technique through a wide variety of workshops taught by guides from the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix.
Petzl's very own high-mountain guides (Erwan Le Lann, Mathieu Maynadier, Sam Beaugey and Didier Lavigne) offered the opportunity to try out, in real-world conditions, "falling into a crevasse" and "a high-mountain bivouac".
Other introductory and skill-improvement workshops included orienteering in the mountains, glacier travel, mountaineering techniques, traversing the Vallée Blanche, multi-pitch climbing routes, and much more…
Seminars: a chance for amateurs and professionals to meet
Alongside the workshops, participants attended several seminars coordinated by event partners. These seminars prompted enriching discussions where professionals and amateur mountain enthusiasts asked questions, shared information and expertise.
Seminar topics included:
- How to achieve your goals in climbing, with Nina Caprez.
- Orienteering, weather forecasts, and managing your effort, led by Suunto.
- Rope techniques and knots, led by Petzl.
- Wilderness first aid. Anyone can be a first responder.
- What to eat on an expedition, led by LYO Food and Ines Papert.
- The essentials for staying warm and comfortable in an alpine environment.
Lots of gear to demo
Open to everyone, each brand offered the opportunity to test their mountaineering-specific garments and gear:
- Arc'teryx loaned harnesses and technical Gore-Tex jackets;
- Petzl loaned gear from its entire mountaineering product line: ice axes, crampons, helmets, harnesses, carabiners, and belay devices;
- Scarpa provided technical mountaineering boots to budding mountaineers;
- Suunto made its GPS watches available to demo for the workshop on orienteering in the mountains.
A warm and friendly event
For the final evening of the event, all participants were invited to share in a tasty tartiflette meal served by the team. Amateurs, top climbers, and the brands were able to casually banter and enjoy the evening together, an evening topped off with films of the athletes present.
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