Rock Climbing

Experience for yourself why so many climbers from all over the world flock to Chamonix, one of the climbing capitals of the world.

Not only do we have incredible crags that are easily accessible on foot but thanks to the high altitude you can also climb on snow and ice all year round - let one of our guides show you the ropes!

If you want to progress to summiting one of the classic Alpine peaks such as Mont Blanc, Gran Paradiso or the Eiger then have a look at our Mountaineering Expeditions

Rock Climbing

From granite walls soaring like skyscrapers from the ice, to no less exciting roadside climbs for beginners, don't miss your chance to discover why Chamonix is the climbing capital of the world.

Summer in the mountains offers the perfect playground for rock adventures no matter what your level. We offer 'Discovery' trips for beginners and 'Action' trips for more experienced rock monkeys who are interested in tackling some technical climbs.

From overhangs and steep graded ascents, to crack lines, it’s impossible to run out of thrilling routes to pit yourself against in this climbing mecca. The focus of mind and body on achieving an ascent, combined with the simple pleasure of feeling sun-warmed rock under your fingers, makes for a unique experience. Don't miss your opportunity to try it.

And if you're lucky enough to be here in July, you might even pick up tips from some of the world's best climbers who compete to be the fastest or most proficient technical climber at the Chamonix Climbing Festival.

Book now or contact us to find out more

Handy hints from Mountain Base
  • Loose fitting, long trousers are advisable for comfort when wearing the harness.
  • Be prepared for incredible views. Although we don't advise taking your smart phone or camera in case you drop it.
  • Wear plenty of high factor SPF

Via Ferrata

Walk across iron bridges strung between rock faces and scramble up ladders high in the mountain peaks for jaw dropping views – if not jaw dropping thrills.

Originally used by the Italian Army to transport ammunition in the First and Second World Wars, Via Ferrata – iron walkways, now enable us to experience the thrill of climbing without the need for technical know-how.  

That said, don't expect it to be easy, you’ll need to be fit and have a head for heights to cross walkways that appear to dangle between peaks. 

You'll be taken up to the sheer rock faces of Passy, about a 20 minute drive from Chamonix, where you'll scramble along adrenaline pumping routes overlooking dramatic views of Mont Blanc. Your adventure will take approximately 5 hours and the price includes safety equipment, a climbing guide and return transport from Chamonix to Passy.

If you're a beginner or not the fittest, choose our Discovery trips. Starting out at the beautiful Mer De Glace at the foot of Mont Blanc, you’ll travel the same route as Chamois, a descendant of a goat, native to this area. Perfect for those less used to the mountain.

Whichever you choose, our guides will make sure it’s a summer experience you never forget – especially all those jelly leg moments!

Book now or contact us to find out more

Handy hints from Mountain Base
  • Wear sports shoes with a soft, malleable sole as opposed to rugged trail shoes which can slip on rock faces. Think like Spider Man.

Ice Climbing

Pinned to a frozen waterfall, the six prongs of your crampons holding you in place, the thud of your axe as it bites into the icy blue the only sound other than your breathing.

Ice climbing is a truly compelling challenge, but one which will leave you on an adrenaline high from which you may never come down. Here in Chamonix, we have the highest concentrations of quality alpine routes, with a choice of ice, snow and rock at every technical level. But this doesn't mean you have to be a pro.

With our qualified guides, you can learn the basics and while you may not be climbing waterfalls to start, you'll certainly experience the thrill of ascending the icy blue route. Whatever your level, you’ll need to be physically fit. After all, you will be hanging, often with just one limb in contact with the ice. 

Expect to be thrilled and challenged in equal measure.

Private guides - Want your own guide for your own group so you can go at your own pace, or tackle a technical ascent that you have always dreamed of? No problem, our qualified guides can help.

Book now or contact us to find out more

Handy hints from Mountain Base
  • You will need to hire climbing shoes or bring your own. 
  • Ice and snow makes for blinding sunlight, make sure you wear good quality eye protection. 
  • Ice climbs are graded I to VII, with grade I being a steep slope or gully. But if you're good enough to climb VII, expect overhangs and more.  
  • You should be fit and strong to do ice climbing no matter what your level.

Cosmiques Arete

Emerge from an ice tunnel to venture out for a spectacular climb on snow, rock and ice that starts and ends at the Aiguille du Midi - you'll feel like a true Alpinist when you've completed this one!

One of our favourite Alpine routes in the Chamonix Valley, the Cosmiques Arete is a ridge climb of varied terrain, it is not too difficult but still interesting even for experienced climbers. The route follows an extremely exposed ridge line with breathtaking views in all directions.

With your guide you will rope up, put on your crampons and enter the world of high mountain alpinists. Starting from the Aiguille du Midi at 3842m, you'll walk out through the ice tunnel that is the gateway to Mont Blanc and the Vallée Blanche, before tackling a steep and exposed descent of a sharp snow arête. Below this the route levels out and you will make your way beneath the south face of the Aiguille du Midi towards the Cosmiques hut to the start of the route. The approach takes about half an hour.

Now the climbing begins, starting with easy mixed terrain and continuing to wind up, over and around big rock spires. There are some challenging bits but all are short and your guide will be on hand to see you safely to the next stage. There are two short abseil sections and a short rock wall to negotiate before the climbing becomes easy again with two great last pitches before you make your way up a rickety ladder to where the route finishes on one of the Aiguille du Midi’s observation terraces. You will generally have people watching you and waiting to have their photo taken with you here!

Handy Hints from Mountain Base:
  • Book this activity with a friend or partner, you'll feel so proud of yourself when you finish that you'll want to have a witness!
  • Don't worry about buying all the kit, you can hire everything you need in Chamonix. Contact us if you need advice on where to shop.

Granite Rock Climbing

Get to grips with granite on a 5 day course or long weekend that will have you scaling classic Chamonix routes like a pro rock climber.

Chamonix is the undisputed mecca of rock climbing, with weather-beaten sinewy types travelling from all over the world to experience what is right on our doorstep. Military units, mountain rescue patrols and high mountain guides all come to climb in Chamonix as an essential part of their training.

5 Day Course: We will take you on classic Chamonix routes such as the "Nabot Léon" on the Aiguille de la Blaitière and the "Rebuffat" on the Pointe Lachenal. We start off with a refresher day at Les Gaillands where there are plenty of single and multi pitch routes to practise on to make sure we are all up to speed on our rope skills and safety procedures. Then it's into the mountains to find cracks, slabs, chimneys... you'll get to experience a bit of everything!

3 Day Course: A condensed version of the 5 day course where you will cover all the essential techniques of 
rope work and route planning on cracks, slabs, chimneys and dihedrals! Short'n'sweet, you'll squeeze plenty of pitches into your 3 days and still have time to explore some classic Chamonix rock faces.

Your guide will teach you the techniques needed to successfully climb in different types of terrain, choosing the best routes each day for the weather conditions.

These courses are aimed at people who already have some climbing experience - you need to know the basics of belaying, abseiling and be capable of climbing grade 5 routes. In addition you should have some knowledge of how to traverse glaciers using crampons and ice axes.

Handy Hints from Mountain Base:
  • You'll get more out of this course if you have a good level of fitness - climbing for 5 days is hard work! Prepare your body and you'll have a much more rewarding time.
  • This is a fantastic experience to share with friends, come as a group and you'll be boring everyone to tears with your climbing stories for years to come!
  • Don't worry about buying all the kit, you can hire everything you need in Chamonix. Contact us if you need advice on where to shop.

Alpine Climbing

A 5 day introduction to Alpine climbing on some of the most legendary classic routes in the Alps.

If you have always dreamed of climbing mountains and you don't know where to start, this course is specially designed for you. Our alpine climbing course is challenging and our professional UIAGM/IFMGA mountain guides are there to teach you techniques for all the different terrain you can find in the mountains.

By the end of the week you will be familiar with how to safely travel across glaciers, rocky ridges, rock faces and steep snow slopes. The course is a genuine mixture of learning and enjoying great alpine climbs in the Alps.

This is a hands on week - you’ll be learning as you go. Topics covered will include, but are not limited to, the following: basic rock climbing skills, lead climbing, setting up anchors, abseiling, traditional gear placement, multi-pitch route climbing, rope management, safe glacier travel, use of ice axe and crampons.

You will also learn about route planning, using maps, a compass and analysing weather forecasts to plan and carry out an overnight trip.

If you already have some experience that's great and you will build on what you already know, if not you'll benefit from our expert instruction. The guides will adjust the pace and level of the course to suit the participants.

For the last two days of the course you will be joined by a second guide, this will allow more flexibility and allow you to climb a more involved route if you wish.

Download the itinerary on the right for a more detailed breakdown of what your week will involve.

Rock Climbing & Via Ferrata