White water rafting in the Durance

for students 8-18 Years of Age

Activity courses for Schools & Colleges

We provide a wide range of school courses for students aged between 10 and 18 years of age. We run courses all year round including summer multi activity courses, ski weekends, Duke of Edinburgh Expedition programmes, and rock and mountain climbing itineraries. Past and current customers include Eton College, St Paul's School, The British School of Paris and Trent College.

School activity courses in the French Alps

Bespoke Courses for Schools and Colleges

All of our courses are bespoke, we only use fully qualified instructors and guides, and safety is always our top priority. None of our courses are off-the-shelf products.

They are courses where teachers often get involved with themselves in terms of planning, preparation, fund raising and training. This is of course according to your individual situation and time and budget constraints.

You pay direct wherever possible, whether it is to the guide or the accommodation provider so there is no middle man. And our courses can run from as few as 6 students to a whole year group with as many as 70 students.

To date we have enjoyed a 100% success rating with all of our courses in terms of successful participation and course completion. Click on the tab “Full description” to see a typical itinerary. And check out the Gallery for what is on offer!

A typical 8 DAY itinerary for an AlpBase Multi-Activity School Course in any of the following months: APRIL, MAY, JUNE, JULY, AUGUST

  • For students aged between 10 and 18yrs.
  • No prior experience or fitness training is necessary
  • Courses can be designed for as few as 6 or as many as 70 students

To date out of the many hundreds of students (aged 13-14) that we have taken through this particular itinerary a total of only 4 students have not completed the week. Based in the Ecrins Massif region of the French Alps this 8-day course gives an introduction to adventure in the alpine mountains. This is one of the great alpine bases with its views of the Ecrins mountain range towering above.

The course provides a solid foundation for newcomers to the Alps, giving an introduction to the many activities that can be undertaken in the mountains. The programme concentrates on teaching the skills necessary for safe, successful and enjoyable Alpine mountain adventures.

The programme includes:

  • Rock climbing on the granite crags that surround AlpBase
  • Exploring local Via Ferratae, a series of laddered path ways through the mountains
  • Mountain biking
  • White water rafting
  • Alpine Mountaineering - skills taught and practised will include: Glacier travel, Roping-up techniques, Ice climbing with ice axe and crampons, Movement over alpine terrain
Day 1: Arrive at our Pelvoux Centre PM

Today will be spent travelling to Pelvoux Centre, the base for many of our school and college courses. The Pelvoux Centre is purpose built for school groups. It is ideal for winter ski groups of beginner to intermediate ability. In Summer it is perfectly located for direct access to walking, mountain biking and white water activities. The Centre can sleep up to 150 children and is located in a stunning environment surrounded by big snow capped peaks. The centre lies in its own grounds, in a very tranquil, open and safe area a long way from any busy roads or dense habitation. On arrival you will be met at the Pelvoux Centre by AlpBase Director Jerry Gore, who is Course Director. An Ex. Royal Marines Officer and one of the UK’s leading Extreme Alpinists and expedition mountaineers. After settling into your rooms, the team will receive a briefing on the weeks activities. Depending upon the arrival time you may complete a number of outdoor challenges to get the journey out of your system!

Day 2: Mountain biking at The Big Col descent!

A full day on well equipped bikes in and around the Vallouise Valley getting used to the bikes, and riding slopes, crossing streams, bumps and serpentines as we learn the basics of technical mountain biking. After lunch an exhilarating mountain descent on fast and fun “single track” specifically prepared for mountain biking. In the evening we usually organise an illustrated presentation by Jerry Gore on his mountain adventures and the lessons learnt over a 30 year climbing career. These lessons always prove useful for students when tackling the challenges of their week in the Ecrins!

Day 3: White Water rafting

Today we will go on a white water rafting day trip along one of the many classic white water rivers this area is famous for.
After being kitted out with wet suites, helmets and buoyancy aids we will have a safety briefing and some water safety and confidence training. We then begin our journey along the river. The section we raft will depend upon the river conditions on the day. The evening activity will be an interactive talk by a local guide and mountain expert about this unique region covering the local flora and fauna of the Ecrins National Park and the local geomorphology including glacier construction and process. Especially useful for the ice climbing day.

Day 4: Rock Climbing

Today will be spent learning and improving the skills of rock climbing on nearby crags. Skills will include single pitch climbing, belaying, seconding and hopefully progressing to lead climbing. The evening will be spent completing the Vallouise Historical Challenge – Skills in communication, common sense and initiative will be very useful!

Day 5: Arial Runway and Via Ferrata

The day will begin with two aerial Tyrolean giving an exhilarating and adrenaline fuelled ride with stunning views of the landscape and surrounding alpine peaks.
In the afternoon we will complete one of the many Via Ferrata routes and the evening will be spent preparing for our alpine trek and glacier adventure.

Day 6: Alpine Skills

The next two days will be spent learning the essential skills to allow us to travel on snow and ice, and experience the exhilaration of ice climbing and glacier toboggan rides!
After breakfast we will take the bus and then an alpine hike. You will enjoy some stunning views of the surrounding peaks including the Barre des Ecrins (4102m) – the highest mountain totally in France. In the afternoon we will learn about ice climbing and moving across glaciers, and in the evening we will all sleep in an alpine hut high up in the Ecrins Massif.
We will eat and converse with alpine climbers and mountain guides during the evening providing a unique experience that students always love and remember.

Day 7: Alpine Skills - Brianson

In the morning we journey back to the Pelvoux Centre and in the afternoon we have the opportunity to visit Brianson for a relaxing swim in the local pool and to explore the historical UNESCO Vauban Military Fort of Brianson with its narrow cobbled streets. Our final evening will be spent enjoying special French mountain cuisine, followed by optional award ceremony and the Pelvoux Centre Disco.

Day 8: Return Home

Each of our courses are bespoke. If you are interested in any of our programmes please email us via our Contact form and we can provide a free quotation for exactly what you need.

The Ecrins Massif is one of the few alpine areas that has always controlled its tourism. As well as substantially better weather and is guaranteed 300 days of sunshine every year - this area is definitely a lot less commercialised than other parts of the French Alps and offers an amazing choice of activities. Our courses can include any of the following activities:
Summer – Paragliding; mountain hiking; mountain biking; white water rafting and canoeing; rock climbing; glacier ice climbing; alpine mountaineering; Via Ferrata; Tyrolean gorge swings.

Winter: Downhill skiing; snowboarding; cross country skiing; snowshoeing; ice climbing; ruisseling (gorge walking up frozen rivers - combines the exhilaration of the alps in winter, the thrills of ice climbing and a real sense of adventure); ski paragliding and husky sledging.

Your course Director : Jerry Gore
The Course Director for all of our programmes is AlpBase Director Jerry Gore. Jerry has enjoyed two very diverse and contrasting careers throughout his life, the first as a businessman, the second as a professional expedition mountaineer, involved in the world of extreme climbing, over a 25 year period.

Jerry Gore crossed the Iceland Icecap in 1977 when he was 16, summitted Mont Blanc at 17, and climbed a 7000-meter giant Manaslu North in the Himalayas at 22. After leaving school he worked as the Mountain Co-ordinator for the Alberta Province, the aim of which was to climb the 75 classic peaks of the Alberta Rockies. Following this he undertook a Short Service Commission in the Royal Marines, during which he spent three winters developing major ice climbing areas in Arctic Norway, as well as succeeding on military expeditions to the Nepalese and Indian Himalaya.

He has climbed abroad on an expedition every year since 1977 including remote mountain ranges in the Alps, the Himalaya, South and North America, and Patagonia. Jerry has climbed Big Walls in Norway, Pamirs, Greenland, Patagonia, Baffin Island, Borneo and the Bugaboos. He has climbed numerous walls in Yosemite including The Shortest Straw, currently the most technical aid route achieved by a British team. Jerry is the UK.s most experienced Big Wall climber, and has achieved climbs of World class significance. Jerry is supported on all of our courses by specialist Instructors and Guides for each of the activities. These will be experienced and qualified International Mountain Guides, International Mountain Leaders, Rafting Guides and Mountain Bike Guides.

Whilst qualifications and experience are essential requirements, Jerry has the proven temperament to lead a school course. Jerry will ensure that your course is successful and enjoyable throughout, and that your students derive optimum benefit from taking part in our course activities. He will also ensure that our experienced and qualified instructors will always operate with safety as the prime consideration.

You tell us want you want and we will put it together, couldn’t be simpler! We have a team of inspirational guides and world-class outdoor performers ensuring that your school or college programme is safe, exciting and exactly the experience you want for your students.
Above all we ensure that your team will want to come back again!


Choose from a wide selection of high quality chalets and apartments ideal for familes and/or groups of friends.

How to find us

AlpBase, Southern French Alps