Chamonix Alpine Rock
Chamonix is a world Mecca for high mountain rock climbing. The Mont Blanc Massif is brimming full of perfect granite cliffs set in a stunning alpine & glacial environment. On the other side of the Chamonix Valley, the 'Aiguilles Rouges' provide some brilliant, sunny and easily accessible mountain rock climbing. When combined with the option of climbing a classic rock route in Italy or Switzerland for the day, Chamonix becomes a fantastic base for mountain rock climbing and we warmly welcome you to join us and sample the quality 'Alpine Rock'.
We offer Chamonix based alpine rock climbing courses from 1 day experiences to 6 day courses combining training and guiding. Contact us to arrange a private guide or check out dates for our 5 and 2 day courses below.
These courses are designed for folk who already have some outdoor rock climbing experience and want the challenge of climbing some longer routes in an inspiring mountain environment. Check out the suggested 5 day alpine rock climbing itinerary below. Those without any rock climbing experience already may want to take our Chamonix Intro Rock course to receive some more basic training and tackle easier routes.
Below are some of the skills taught on our Chamonix Alpine Rock course
- Personal climbing movement skills & rock climbing techniques with the aim of climbing efficiently & enjoyably, even with a pack on
- Refresher and coaching points on technical & ropework skills, tying in to the rope, belaying, tying in to anchors efficiently
- Becoming a good 'second' rock climber, and using protection equipment (slings, nuts, cams, hexes etc)
- Multi-pitch rock climbing skills, stance management, route finding (guidebook / topo use), placing an early first runner
- Descending or retreating safely from rock climbs by abseiling on single and multi-pitch cliffs
- Lead climbing skills, placing protection, clipping runners, constructing anchors & tips for keeping yourself as safe as possible
- Alpine rock skills, managing the rope on easy ground, taking coils & moving together
- Alpine mountain skills, approaching a rock climb with a snow or glacial approach. Use of ice-axe & crampons.
This is a suggested itinerary based on good weather. It may be necessary to change the programme to make best use of local mountain conditions.
- Pre-Course - Climbing training so that you arrive feeling fit, ready and climbing well
- Day 1 - Multi-pitch rock climbing training in a high valley setting e.g Les Cheserys. Lots of multi-pitch climbing at around F5a - F5c as a good warm up day with constant opportunity for training and refining of your multi-pitch rock climbing ropework. The aim is to start working as an alpine team & become fast and efficient for the long mountain routes later in the week.
- Day 2 - Long mountain multi-pitch route in the Aiguilles Rouges e.g. Chappelle de Gliere or South Ridge Aiguilles Crochues (F5c). This day gives both an opportunity to practice the skills refined yesterday and develop on them with the need to move together on easier alpine terrain between steeper rock pitches (taking alpine coils & moving together)
- Day 3 - We aim to spend the final three days of the course climbing Chamonix Granite in the Mont Blanc massif. Today we take the Aiguille du Midi lift to the Plan de l'Aiguille and climb one of the brilliant granite mountain routes between 1 and 2 hours walk from the lift station e.g. Papillons Arete, Les Lepidopteres, Les Minnettes, Couzy Route on the Aiguille de l'M.
- Days 4 & 5 - Our last 2 days our spent on a 'high mountain rock expedition' on the golden granite crags above the huge upper Vallee Blanche glacier. Approached from either the Aiguille du Midi top station or the Italian Punta Hellbronner lift we can spend the night in either the French Cosmiques Hut or Italian Torino Hut (depending on conditions and your food preference!). From either side magnificent mountain rock climbs can be approached over the glacier and climbed in a real high alpine setting with stunning views of the Mont Blanc massif. Just a few possibilities from a wealth of options are the 'Roi de Siam' (5c) on the Petit Capucin, West Face of the Aiguille d'Entreves (6a) Voie Salluard on Pointe Adolphe Rey (6a) or, a little easier but still with a superb classic tough alpine rock feel, the Pyramide du Tacul (5b)
Chamonix Granite is rightly famous throughout the world for the quality of rock climbing it offers and the amazing alpine scenery in which the climbing takes place. There really is something for everyone here from the rock 'Grande Courses' in the Mont Blanc chain, the mid-mountain gneiss of the Aiguille Rouges and quality valley sport climbing in and around the Chamonix Valley.
Rock Climbing Experience Required
Rock climbing experience is required for this course as the intention is to make a rapid progression in to climbing in the high mountains. You will already be able to second climbs to at least F6a (UK HVS-E1 / U.S. 5.9 - 5.10 / UIAA V-VI); have done at least some abseiling before; have a good level of general and rock fitness and are keen and determined to rock climb and mountaineer in the mountains.
Course Kit List
As this is a rock climbing course that takes place in an alpine mountaineering environment you will need all the rock climbing equipment in the list below as well as all the relevant alpine mountaineering equipment. For alpine rock climbing make sure that you have comfortable rock shoes which you can wear all day with a pair of socks.
Our course include 5 or 2 climbing / guided days . The courses are run mid summer season in the hope of getting the best high mountain rock climbing conditions.
August 1 - 5, 5 Days, Monday - Friday Inclusive Inclusive, Places Available
August 20 -21, 2 Days, Saturday - Sunday Inclusive, Places Available
£1250 - 5 Day Course
£550 - 2 Day Course
Maximum Group Size 6. Ratio of 1 Guide to 2 guests
What’s included in the Price?
Our courses are priced on a 'guiding only' basis which means you pay the exact cost price for all other expenses like hotels, mountain huts and lift passes. These expenses amount to about 400 euros which includes 5 nights half board accommodation in a hotel & lift passes. You could reduce this figure considerably if you wanted to stay in a gite or camp and increase it if you want to stay in a more luxury hotel.
- 5 full days mountain guiding with an IFMGA Mountain Guide
- Transport during the course
- Technical equipment loan as required (harness, helmet, hardware)
What’s not included?
- Chamonix accommodation. Prices start from camping at C.10 euros per night, Bunkhouse for C.20 euros per night and hotel accommodation from around 40-50 euros upwards. Please see our Chamonix Accommodation notes.
- Mountain lift passes. Allow about 30 euros per lift for days 3 & 4 and any other days where the lifts are used
- Mountain Hut fees - Allow about 60 euros for dinner, B & B for yourself and about 40 euros for the guide
- Flights and transfer from the airport to Chamonix.
- Lunches, extra drinks, snacks etc during the course
- Mountaineering equipment. Check the kit list below
Booking & More Details
For more details on our terms & conditions, to fill in a booking form and make a payment, please visit our booking page via the link below:
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