Expedition Medicine & Field Skills, Chamonix

Course outline & essential info

Held 17-21 June 2019 in Chamonix, France this intensive 5-day course combines wilderness medicine with learning many field skills needed to work in diverse environments including the mountains and jungle. Taught by a seasoned teaching team of leading expedition doctors and mountain professionals, the broad lecture programme with problem solving/planning exercises and case studies is dove-tailed with outdoor training sessions; the highlight of which is an overnight high mountain camp. All grades of medics attend. Earn 30 CPD hours and MSc credits. Easy access to Chamonix from Geneva airport. Optional glacier expedition after the course. Share accommodation with other delegates via WMT’s Facebook. Accommodation, travel and meals are not included. “A fun-filled, inspiring big kids holiday with enough medical theory to stimulate our brains.” said a recent delegate.

Expedition Medicine and Field Skills - Chamonix (Summer)
A broad medical and outdoor skill course held annually in summer in Chamonix, France, the heart of the Alps, an hour from Geneva airport.
17 Jun 2019 - 21 Jun 2019Book Course - £550 Deposit - £199Chamonix, France60 placesMediumTrekking, camping (1 night)Summer, mountainup to 30 CPD hrs & MSc creditsSome refreshments

Delegate feedback

Such a brilliant week!
Excellent faculty – no improvement needed.
A great insight into the character and demands of an expedition medic.
A fun-filled, inspiring big kids holiday with enough medical theory to stimulate our brains.
It was a perfect mix of theory and practise, with a very healthy daily dose of vitamin D in the outdoors.
It was refreshing to be amongst so many people like-minded professionals…
The course covered so much, at a good pace.
The course tested the comfort zone of quite a few people which is good. However, no one was made to feel awkward, inadequate or left out which is testament to the excellent abilities of the faculty as tutors and leaders.

Target audience

Doctors of all grades, nurses, OHPs, paramedics and medical students attend this course from around the world. No prior expedition is required.

Teaching Team

The course will be directed by WMT’s Medical Director Dr Harvey Pynn who will be joined by a seasoned team including WMT’s mountain man Barry Roberts, IFMGA guide Luc Bellon and MIC/IML Nigel Williams, formerly of Glenmore Lodge. Additional medical instructors are still to be confirmed.


The tuition only course fee is £550 with the option to book by paying a non-refundable deposit of only £199.

What’s included – not included

The course fee includes tuition, a course manual and some refreshments during the lecture periods. WMT provides cooking stoves/fuel and pots for the overnight camping phase and specilist training gear such as ice axes, ropes etc. as needed.

You will need to budget for everything else – flights, airport transfers, accommodation, meals/food and approximately 25 euros for one cable car ride (for the overnight camp). No personal outdoor equipment, clothing or camping equipment is included. We’ll give you clear advice about what to bring but we do NOT suggest that delegates spend a lot of money on new, specialist kit or clothing.

Outline programme

9.00 Registration – Salle du Bicentenaire
9.15 Welcome, introductions, the week ahead
9.30 Bench marking exercise – outdoors
10.15 Tea/coffee
10.30 Expedition medical planning
11.15 Mental health in the wilderness
11.30 Navigation lecture
12.15 Lunch
13.15 Acute mountain sickness (incl PAC demo)
14.00 General mountain hazards
14.30 Expedition orthopaedics (incl pain)
15.15 Tea/coffee
15.30 Tropical medicine 1
16.00 Disaster management case – paragliding in India
16.30 Briefing for Tuesday
16.45 Insight lecture – title to be confirmed
17.30 Close

8.30 meet at Les Gailland (St. Gervais train @ 8.14 to Les Pelerins arrives 8.20)
8.45 Round robin of outdoor training sessions x 5
Extrication, moving, lifting and carrying
Practical splinting
Navigation 2
GPS navigation
Jungle living, water purification, kit selection
16.00 Bivouac briefing – teams later to shop for provisions
17.44 Close – return train @ 17.44 or walk

8.30 Hypothermia & frostbite
9.15 Drowning & water safety
10.00 Coffee
10.15 Tropical medicine 2
11.00 Heat injury
11.30 Final briefing & disperse
13.00 Meet – La Flegere lift station – train to Les Praz
14.00 Round robin of 5 training sessions (3/5 Weds)
Snow travel & ice axe use
Trauma scenarios (improvising, patient packaging, stretchers, helicopter safety, MR)
Navigation exercise
Security on steep ground/rope work
Medical cases & medical kits
Set up bivvy & cook (fireside chats)

Breakfast & pack up
8.00 Round robin training activities continued (2/5)
10.30 Final emergency exercise
12.00 Descend to Chamonix
15.20 Reconvene in lecture room / return cleaned kit
15.30 Chamonix mountain rescue
16.00 Tea/coffee (glacier trekkers’ briefing)
16.15 Insight lecture – title to be confirmed
17.00 So you wanna be an expedition medic? Recap of learning points from the course.
17.15 Friday briefing, course evaluation, certificates
17.20 Insight lecture – Everest: My Way
17.50 Close
TBC End of course BBQ

8.30 Guided mountain walks – meet @ main train station
9.00 Glacier trekkers – meet @ Salomon shop
9.00 Glacier trekkers – meet @ Salomon shop

Friday: mountain hikes
In small teams, we offer a range of supervised mountain walks (or if leaving early we also offer a glacier trek – see below).

Glacier trekking expedition option

After the course on Saturday we offer an optional glacier trekking experience at additional cost. Details in the dossier. See this video shot in on the winter course.

CPD & MSc accreditation

We estimate that this programme is valid for up to 30 CPD hours. This course counts towards the University of Plymouth’s MSc in Global and Remote Healthcare. See this page for details.

Find accommodation via WMT Facebook

Join in the pre-course chatter and find or post accommodation sharing options on this WMT Facebook event page.