Climbing In the French Alps

You may consider the French Alps to be the number one destination for skiers but it is also a brilliant destination if you like climbing. With Mont Blanc taking all of the attention, you will spend most of your time in this region looking upwards so you may as well start climbing upwards and giving yourself a different outlook on the area!


If you take your vacation in Chamonix, you should find that there are plenty of great places where you can enjoy climbing, regardless of the skills you display in this field.

There are numerous climbing opportunities available in the French Alps, particular around the Chamonix area. If you are looking for a family orientated area, you will be happy to know that Gaillands is a very popular area that caters for climbers with a great variance in climbing skills.

It may be valid to say that Gaillands is the most popular crag in Chamonix and there are numerous spectator spots and coffee bars in the general vicinity. You should find that this is a family orientated crag that contains a number of different grades. The area is well protected and it should be on your list of places to check out if you are looking for a good mix of climbing opportunities.

Barberine can present a challenge

If you are looking for a bigger challenge on your climbing break, it may be that Barberine is more at your level! This route features mainly friction climbing for the majority of your climb, which will take place on granite slabs in the sunshine.

There are some 200m routes which represent a tough challenge so be careful of these if you are not too sure about your skills and endurance levels. You will be very close to the Swiss border on this climb and it is possible to pass through to Switzerland while on your climb!

Other climbing areas in Chamonix that you should look out for include La Joux, Servoz and Vallorcine. There are some excellent climbs to enjoy in Vallorcine and if you consider yourself to be a serious climber, you would be advised to check out the climbing options available here.

You can even climb indoors in Chamonix

If the weather is not as good as you were hoping for or you lack a bit of confidence in getting out into the wild, you will be delighted to know that there are also indoor climbing facilities in Chamonix. Many people will argue that this is a waste given the beautiful scenery and natural challenges that are available in Chamonix and the French Alps but there can be many reasons why having the opportunity to do some indoor climbing can be of benefit.

You wouldn’t travel to the French Alps with the intention of purely using the indoor climbing facilities but whether it is to test out new equipment in a safe environment, to build your confidence or just to get climbing when the weather is poor, this is a very good option to have as a back-up.

This is a key climbing region in Europe

The fact that there are indoor climbing facilities available in the French Alps and Chamonix indicates that the region is full aware that this is one of the key aspects why people come to the region. This means that there is a full support system behind the climbing industry.

If you need any additional climbing equipment there are numerous sports stores in the area specialising in this type of material and you will always be able to find a guide or an expert who can provide you with advice. If you are looking to climb in an area where climbing is fully supported, climbing in the French Alps will be one of the most sensible decisions you will make.

If you are planning on climbing in the French Alps, there is a good chance you will fly into Geneva Airport. It is a straightforward journey from there to Chamonix but if you have a lot of equipment or are not sure of the route, booking airport transfers can make your life a lot easier.

There is a lot to be said for taking the stress and strain out of holidays wherever possible and having airport transfers arranged in advance will save you time and stress. If you want to make the most of your climbing trip in the French Alps, let the professionals ferry you around, leaving you free to focus on the climbing!

Author Bio

Phil Gaunt is keen Skier, climber and downhill mountain biker. Whilst living in the Alps he also ventures to Spain and Canada often to quench his thirst for the great outdoors and he is always looking for a new challenge.