Climbing in the Chamonix valley
There is no shortage of opportunities to practice climbing in Chamonix, the city is the cradle of mountaineering and offers an almost unlimited playground for climbers of all levels: from beginners to begin climbing to seasoned mountaineer. Climbing gyms too.
Here are the different possibilities of climbing that the valley offers in cliff, on boulder, in mountain and indoor climbing.
Rock climbing in the Chamonix valley
Rock climbing cliffs in the Chamonix valley are not lacking, and something rare, they are almost all accessible on foot or by public transport from the Chamonix city center. The Gaillands climbing school can be reached in 10 minutes on foot from the center.
Gaillands school cliff 10 minutes’ walk from the center of Chamonix (photos: chamonix.com)
Further down the valley, there are other interesting climbing schools like that of Servoz or Argentière. Most of the routes are sport climbing and well equipped wilth bolds, rings and anchor.
Your first multi-pitch climbing routes in Chamonix
It is also possible to make your first multi-pitch climbing routes in the Aiguilles Rouges on the Chéserys slabs facing Mont-Blanc on well-equipped sport routes. Valorsine, Barberine and Contamines-Monjoie are also spots you may consider for easy multi-pitch climbing. There are plenty of opportunities for climbing in Chamonix!
Multi-pitch and Alpine climbing in Mont-Blanc
Chamonix with its many ski lifts offers quick access to high mountain and its countless rock climbing routes. On one side, the range of Aiguille Rouge (Brévent, Flégère), on the other side the Mont-Blanc (Montenvers, Aiguille du Midi, Grands Montets). These two mountain ranges offer numerous multi-pitch climbing routes of various lengths, whether sport or trad.
With a bit of mountaineering technique and willpower, you can go Alpine climbing on the pure granite of the Aiguilles de Chamonix above the glaciers and facing the peaks of over 4000 meters. Many Alpine climbs of Chamonix are very recommandable because of fast access with ski lifts, beautiful granite rock and awesome scenery.
If you are not expert in mountaineering, do not hesitate to hire a high mountain guide from the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix to help you discover rock climbing in the Mont-Blanc massif or in the Aiguilles Rouges. The Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix is the first company of mountain guides in the world created in 1821.
Bouldering at Col des Montets
Iit is possible to pratice bouldering in Montets pass. At the level of the pass, many boulders allow you to practice rock climbing in a natural environment before going to face the bigwalls of the Alps.
For bad days: indoor climbing gym
Snow, rain or bad weather ? You can climb indoor in Chamonix valley or in Megève. You need minimum equipment but you need to be skilled and autonomous. Here are too private climbing gym. Price are around 15 € per person for accessing the walls.
Climbing Gym Mont-Blanc Escalade in les Houches
In winter or in bad weather, you can climb indoor in the climbing gym « Mont-Blanc Escalade » in les Houches. The gym offers nearly 120 routes from 4 to 9a on different profiles including a large overhang with 6 meters of advance and a bouldering cave with circuits.
The gym is accessible by bus (line 2 – les Houches) from the center of Chamonix. Visit the website 🇫🇷
Climbing Gym in Megève: le Palais
A little far away from Chamonix, you need a car to go there (30 minutes drive), you can climb indoor in le Palais in Megève, a good value climbing wall but with no bouldering. Visit the website 🇬🇧
Rock climbing guidebook of Chamonix valley
You are an expert climber and you have all the equipment? All rock climbing and bouldering spots and the routes are described in the Chamonix valley rock climbing guidebook by François Burnier and Dominique Potard at Vamos edition. You can buy it in most of sport shops in Chamonix. English version is available.
It exists also several Alpine and multi-pitch climbing guide-books for Chamonix that are available in the mountain shops in the city center. Some of them are translated in English.
Testing rock climbing in the Chamonix Valley
You have no skills in rock climbing? You want to test rock climbing, contact an independent mountain guide like me, I am also a climbing instructor.
Do you want to climb to the top while rock climbing? Chamonix is the cradle of mountaineering and the city where the first guide company was created in 1821: the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix takes you to the summits in the high mountains.
To go higher…
Visit my page on mountaineering and reach Mont-Blanc summit by one of the many more or less difficult routes that lead to the top of Europe.
If you need technical equipment for the mountains: trail, hiking and mountaineering shoes, climbing shoes, technical clothing such as a jacket and technical fleece, backpack, do not hesitate to visit the Millet Eider Lafuma store located in Chamonix in the main pedestrian street.