Guides in Chamonix : LUSENET : Mountaineering : One Thread

Tuan, I'm visiting my mother this February in Western Europe; I'd like to just stop by and say "hello," and then spend the rest of the month climbing. I'd like to do some waterfall and alpine climbing, but I'm going to be by myself, so I'm really interested in finding a guide/partner. Any references for guides you could send my way would be terrific. I'm also bringing my soloist with me on this trip (I spent a week last summer in the Calanques without it and had to resort to using a clove hitch :( - should have just left the rope at home!). If you know of any casual (WI/AI 2-3)"classics" that could be done on lead with a soloist I'd love to know about them! ( if you often find yourself without a partner the soloist is a great way to go. i find that i can lead easy 5.11 on gear and bolted 5.12a with the gizmo, but it does make the routes more challenging! by far, the soloist is the best $100 i ever put down for climbing equipment ) By the way, I'm new to ice climbing; though, my friends are giving me a crash course in ice climbing, just like the "accelerated course" in multi-pitch climbing on the Diamond. Something else to mention, my understanding of French is nonexistant and my German leaves much to be desired. So, ANY beta you can toss my way regarding guides and/or easy ice in the French alps will go a LONG way!

thanks, Jason Lanz

-- Jason Lanz (, December 15, 1997


There is always the "Compagnie des guides de Chamonix". If you want an American guide you can try Francis Kelsey's american alpine adventures, or try to contact Armin Fisher who was certified in Italy.

At this time of the year, the most accessible ice climbs are the frozen waterfalls that you would find in the valleys. I wouldn't try crossing the glaciers by myself in February, esp. without a very good knowledge of the area. Although Chamonix has a fair concentration of frozen waterfalls, I think you might be served better near Grenoble or Briancon. The guidebooks are easy to find in sport stores (you will find that ice climbing is quite popular in France) and they list a fair amount of WI2/3 climbs. A good place to check out near Grenoble is l'Alpe d'Huez. This is a ski resort, but I think many of the people who work at the lifts know where the climbing area is. It used to be very popular, so that you could try to hook up with people. Near Briancon, Freissiniere valley has a good "practice area" just opposite the Tete de Gramusat. Ceillac has a few moderate climbs which are accessible with no approach. They start next to the ski resort.

-- Quang-Tuan Luong (, December 17, 1997.

In answer to your guides in Chamonix; there are several British guides available if you feel languauge is a barrier and these can be found at There are a couple with e-mail addresses, but the rest have phone and fax numbers etc. Good pages Tuan, I have found them useful

-- Michael Dutson (, January 09, 1998.

There is also a board at the Maison de la Montaine in Chamonix where you can find people who are looking for climbing partners. Most are looking for partners for Mont Blanc, but it might be a good place to start and make some connections. This is the same building as the major guide service in the valley as well as the mountian information office.

-- Peter Mango (, June 24, 2002.

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