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Haute Savoie Climbs

Climbing the Haute Savoie Copyright @

To give you some ideas here is a small sample of the hundreds of excellent climbing areas near Chamonix. These are all under an hour drive from the Chamonix Valley and they are sometimes more peaceful than our valley crags. Check our list of essential guidebooks and mountaineering books.

Les Aravis: the limestone massif above and south of Sallanches which offers at least 20 quality sites. Try the "Rocher des Aravis" the "Falaise de la Colombière".

The guidebook you need is "Massif des Aravis-escalade".

The Middle Arve Valley

Check out the best of the 3-star routes at:

La Duchère, 56 routes of grades 4/5/6, 20m-150m.

Petit Bargy, 15 routes of grades 5-6 and up to 300m.

La Croix de Fer, 2 routes of 6b and 6c and 250m.

Malsaire, 56 routes of grades 6-7 and 15m-30m.

Pierre à Laya. 75 routes of grades 6-7 and 5 routes of grade 8. 20m-40m.

Or the 4-star:

Tours d'Areu, 29 routes, 6b-7c, 150m.


Not far from Martigny, in the windy but dry Rhone Valley, is a lot of nice gneiss and granite cragging. Dorenaz is the easiest site to find but try Pissevache and Miellville too.

This area is the "Bas Valais".  Valais is the canton, the county.

Don't forget to fill-up with petrol and buy chocolate.

The guidebooks are: "Suisse plaisir (west)" and "Suisse extreme".