The rock climbing in the Chamonix Valley is amongst the finest in the world. From the famous golden granite cracks and slabs of the Mont Blanc Massif to the lower and sunnier gneiss of the Aiguille Rouges. Not only is the Chamonix Valley referred to as the ‘capital of world climbing’ it is also surrounded by other superb & easily accessed areas in the nearby French Aravis, Swiss Rhone Valley and Italian Valle d’Aoste.
Browse our inspiring range of Chamonix rock climbing courses, ideas and conditions reports below and please do get in touch to discuss your climbing aspirations.
Really great for us as to have an instructor for outdoor climbing is an opportunity we don’t have easily London. Much more confident belaying now sans anchor and was really awesome to learn and experience multi pitch and abseiling! Thank youuuu 😊
Tris & Rodrigo. Half Day Chamonix Rock Climbing Training, Sept 2020
Our Chamonix Based Rock Climbing Training & Guiding
Whilst there are many extreme rock climbing ascents to be made on the high altitude granite of the Mont Blanc massif do not let this put you off if you are new to rock climbing. There are many easily accessible beginner and family friendly crags which provide superb rock climbing experiences.
In short we can use the many crags around the Chamonix Valley to provide you with an enjoyable, tailor made training and / or guided rock climbing experience. Contact us to discuss your aspirations. We will happily put together a specific itinerary to help you get the most out of your trip.
“Many thanks for the rock climbing training & guiding in Chamonix last week. It was exactly what we were looking for & it was great to put the new skills into practice at the end of the trip. I felt much more aware and prepared for the task at hand. Your teaching was clear and solid, and I can now take those lessons with me in trips to come. Also thanks for the general support while we were out there…topos and local info very much appreciated!”
Rock Climbing Styles & Suggested Routes for Chamonix Based Rock Climbing
Below is a list of possible option to help you plan your rock climbing trip in and around the Chamonix Valley. They are in an approximate order of commitment so whilst the technical difficulty may be high early in the list the overall commitment will be low. Conversely later in the list the technical difficulty may be low but overall mountaineering commitment high…
- Bouldering – There is lots of good bouldering in the valley. Try the Col des Montets for starters. Then the woods in Les Bossons, large boulder of ‘La Pierre d’Orthaz’
- Single & Multi Pitch Sport Climbing on the fine valley crags of both the Chamonix and Arve Valleys e.g Les Gaillands, Servoz, Les Chavants, Coupeau, Le Fayet, La Joux
- Mult Pitch Climbing on the Valley Sides – e.g Les Cheserys above Argentiere, La Duchere above Contamine, The excellent ‘Via Corda Alpina’, Montenvers. There is a huge amount of good limestone sport climbing too in the Arve Valley between Geneva and Chamonix. Try the South pillar of the Croix de Fer for a real big mountain feel….out of the big mountains!
- Multi Pitch Mountain Sport Climbing, Aiguille Rouges e.g via Brevent, the classic 6a ‘Frisson Roche’ or, a bit harder, Poem A Lou (6b+). Hundreds of routes from 4-7 accessible from Flegere e.g Piano Forte 6C+, Tour des Crochues
- Classic Rock Ridge Traverses – More scrambling than rock climbing e.g the Traverse of the Crochues in the Aiguilles Rouges, Les Perrons above Vallorcine
- Classic Multi Pitch Sport Routes Val d’Aosta, Swiss Valais or above the Envers Hut – Some great options for big cliffs in the sun with an easy trainers approach or more adventurous Chamonix granite classics like ‘Amazonia’ (6a+) above the Envers Hut. Sport climbing in a high mountain setting with a glacial approach and mountain hut as a base.
- Multi Pitch Granite Rock Climbing above the Plan de l’Aiguille – Lots of fine granite mountain routes from 1-2 hours walk from the mid-station on the Aiguille du Midi. For starters try the Papillons Arete or Lepidopteres on the Aiguille du Peigne, or for something harder in the same area, ‘Le Ticket, Le Carre, Le Rond et La Lune….
- High mountain Rock Routes Accessed from the Aiguille de Midi or Punta Hellbronner Telepheriques – Grades range from the relatively friendly ‘Pyramide du Tacul’ at F5a (but still no pushover) to some of the worlds most cutting edge hard mountain rock routes on the Gran Capucin. The common themes are a snow covered glacier approach, beautiful golden granite and climbing in a stunning but serious environment.
Guidebooks & Topos for Chamonix Based Rock Climbing
Some of these French & Italian guide books are available in an English version
- Crag Climbs in Chamonix, Vamos, Francois Burnier & Dominique Potard
- The Aiguilles Rouges 1, Michel Piola
- Mont Blanc Massif – Envers des Aiguilles, Michel Piola
- Escalades Choisies – Mont Blanc & Aiguilles Rouges, Montagne Evasion, Jean Louis Laroche & Florence Lelong
- ‘6a Max’, Savoie et Haute Savoie, Oros, Philippe Brass & Guillaume Vallot
- Schweiz Plaisir WEST, Edition Filidor, Jurg Von Kanel
- Vallee de l’Arve, Gilles Brunot
- Escalade Massif Bornes Aravis,
- Arrampicata Sportiva Valle d’Aosta, Mani Nude
Thanks again for a great experience in Chamonix. Great instructions, guidance and advice. Thanks to your help we achieved exactly what we set out to do, and will now be more confident doing alpine rock routes under our own steam. It was great to put all of the training from the first day into practice during the ridge climb on day 2. Also, thanks for all your more general advice on rock climbing and suitable alpine routes in the Chamonix area.
Chamonix Rock Climbing Photo Galleries
Chamonix Rock Climbing – Notes & Current Conditions Info
2 August 2021, La Piste Oubliée, 6b, Brevent, Chamonix
One of the newer routes on the South Face of the Brevent and a good, albeit slightly harder, alternative to the Frison Roche if you have already done that, or, as it starts in the same place, if there is a big queue on that route! More details via the link below.
30 July 2021, Acqua Concert, 6a, Emosson Dam
For a really enjoyable long multi pitch route, up to 6a max and finishing with a fun scramble in a fine position, to a proper summit, check out Acqua Concert above the Emosson Dam, just over the Swiss border. There is even a good café at the end of the route with brilliant views of the big Chamonix North Faces…
6 July 2021, Sylvie Phobie, Barberine
Very good slab and wall climbing on the big multi pitch crag at Barberine before the storm came and the heavens opened…just! We started up a newer route up and L of Sylvie Phobie, ‘Charly et ses drôles de dalles‘ which gave a good few pitches before it gets harder and there is an easy traverse R on the ledge to reach the anchor at the base of the crux pitch on Sylvie. This currently has a bit of rope on the bolts just above the lower 6a+ move and the upper 6c+ crux balancey wall. More details & photos on our news page here:
26 June 2021, Great adventure middle mountain ‘sport’ climbing on the South Face of Les Perrons
The speech marks indicate that, whilst this is a bolted route, with bolted anchors and runners, don’t expect a big clip up sport route with bolts every few metres like normal! The harder pitches (6a and 6b) and moves are generally reasonably protected with bolts, but some of the easier 5b / 5c pitches are very run out with long sections of unprotected climbing. But the rock is generally good and it’s a great place to climb, but it’s worth being very solid on slabby / wally 5c / 5b terrain to make the most of this route, more details here:
20 June 2021, Valley to Summit ascent of South Ridge Aiguille Purtscheller
Very enjoyable long alpine day featuring the long approach from Le Tour for some fun and fine climbing on the golden Chamonix Granite on the South facing, and quick drying, classic route on the Purtscheller. Still plenty of snow on the north facing descent but with the bolted anchors all clear and above the snow + plenty of snow volume on the glacier below making for a rapid and easy descent. Full details here:
25 June 2019, Warm Golden Granite On The South Face Of The Aiguille du Midi
Very enjoyable climbing conditions today on the Midi South face as, despite the heatwave, is was pretty pleasant up high with the cooling effects of the altitude and light breeze. We climbed on the Kohlman Route on the right side of the South Face, just up and right from the start of the classic Rebuffat route. The lower pitches were a pleasure with an easy step off the snow on to the first pitch and warm dry rock above. Note that the bolts on the first 2 anchors are not equipped for rappel but just a collection of 2-3 individual bolts. Teams were enjoying the Rebuffat and topping out in the station. There were numerous sloughs / small avalanches down the south facing couloirs at either side of the face during the day and the snow on the approach slope was very soft and wet.No items found