The Arc’teryx Alpine Academy in Chamonix, France is a three day event that aims to share the skills of professional guides and athletes in a range of alpine disciplines in a real world situation. I headed out to the Alps a few days early with friend and fellow photographer Eilir Davies-Hughes to kickstart the adventure early, acclimatise to the altitude and start creating some content. We started off with a hike up to Lacs des Chéserys, and camping out amidst a huge mountain thunderstorm, which was a pretty exhilarating experience. The disrupted sleep didn’t stop us the following day, and after shooting sunrise and after refuelling in Chamonix we hiked along the Mer de Glace, and climbed the infamous Chamonix ladders to spend a night in Refuge de la Charpoua, a remote mountain hut at 2900 meters. Our next acclimatisation activity was a traverse of La Frête des Charmoz, a fantastic scramble along a ridgeline with some great views – a really good mountain day, despite missing the last train and having to hike all the way back to the valley bottom. Then the Arc’teryx Academy really kickstarted – three days of learning new skills, watching mountain films, evening nightlife and some great mountain adventures. I spent my time with instructors learning high alpine mountaineering skills for alpine climbing and glacial travel, some really valuable and excellent skills. On our final morning we we put these into practice, heading out from L’Aiguille du Midi, crossing the glacier and climbing a nearby ridgeline for some of the most dramatic views I’ve witnessed.