Chamonix With An American Guide
The Alps of France, Italy and Switzerland offer hut-based mountaineering for all abilities. Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn are the most popular because they are tall, but many other peaks have incredible climbing. Joe's personal favorite trip is to meet in Chamonix and climb moderate technical day routes each day. Let's climb!
A Word of Advice
Hire a guide, not a guide service. A guide service is just an office. The guide is who keeps you alive. All American guides in the Alps are IFMGA-licensed. If you hire a guide directly, rather than go through a guide service, it will cost you less, the guide will make more, and you will both be happier. Find one of the 100+ IFMGA-licensed American Mountain Guides on the AMGA Hire-A-Guide page.
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July 28–Sept 18, 2017
Joe's Choice Itinerary: Chamonix Climbing
Climb the Chamonix classics. Depending on conditions and your interests, we can choose from classics such as:
- Cosmiques Arete, the classic intro-level mixed route on the Aiguille du Midi.
- Lachenal Traverse, an introductory mixed route above the Vallee Blanche.
- Chere Couloir, a five-pitch WI4 alpine ice climb.
- Entreves Traverse, easy fifth class climbing on an exposed ridge high above Courmayeur, Italy.
- Rebuffat Route (5.10a) on the Aiguille du Midi, climb eight pitches of orange granite above a glacier.
- Frison-Roche (5.9) on the Brevant.
- Chapelle de la Glière (5.9) in the Aiguille Rouges, a long, moderate alpine rock climb.
Popular Itinerary: Mont Blanc
Day 0: Meet at your hotel in Chamonix for gear check and trip overview.
Day 1: Hike to Albert Premier Refuge (2,702m). Review ice skills.
Day 2: Climb to Trient Refuge (3,170m), reviewing glacier skills along the way.
Day 3: Climb Aiguille du Tour (3,529m). Return to Chamonix.
Day 4: Hike to Tete Rousse Hut (3,187m) on Mont Blanc.
Day 5: Climb Mont Blanc via the Gouter Route. Stay at the Gouter Refuge.
Day 6: Return to Chamonix.
Popular Itinerary: Matterhorn
Day 0: Meet at your hotel in Zermatt for gear check and trip overview.
Day 1: Rock climb around Zermatt.
Day 2: Climb Pollux and stay at the D'Ayas Refuge.
Day 3: Climb the Half Breithorn Traverse. Return to Zermatt.
Day 4: Hike to the Hornli Refuge.
Day 5: Climb the Matterhorn. Stay at the Schwarzsee Refuge.
Day 6: Return to Zermatt.
- 1 client: $600 USD per day
- 2 clients: $350 USD per person per day
- 3 clients: $275 USD per person per day (non-technical)
- See booking page.
- 1 client: $700 USD per person per day
- 2 clients: $400 USD per person per day (moderate-technical)
- 3 clients: $300 USD per person per day (non-technical)
- See booking page
- AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide Joe Stock
- Guide lodging, transport and food
- Hut booking
- Rope and rack
- Navigation and first aid kits
- Emergency communication and shelter
- Personal gear. See Alps Mountaineering Gear List.
- Client hut fees: about €50 per night per person, except about F150 at the Hornli.
- Client mountain transport: about €25-60 per day, except €100 in Switzerland.
- Client food. Breakfast and dinner are included with hut fees.
- Rescue insurance, required.
- Trip cancellation insurance.
- Wire fee, if applicable.
- Chamonix Weather: chamonix-meteo.com
- Climbing Gym in Les Houches: www.montblancescalade.com
- Chamonix.com for schedules, weather, etc. www.chamonix.com
- Camp to Camp, for route info: www.camptocamp.org
- Topos Escalade a Chamonix: www.grimpailler.com, go to Topos
Getting to Chamonix from Geneva
- Alpy Bus
- Cham Express (most reliable)
- Mountain Drop Offs
- about €20-35 each way
- To find the bus when arriving in Geneva, exit baggage claim, walk directly across the hall to the info booth, purchase a ticket for the next shuttle to Chamonix. Then check in at the shuttle service booth, which is 300 feet left of info booth. Shuttle takes about one hour to Chamonix.
Staying in Chamonix
- $ Le Chamoniard Volant: perhaps the cheapest in town
- $$ Hotel L'Arve: comfortable
- $$ Hotel Alpina: central Chamonix, each room has a sunny deck,
- $$ Le Faucigny: central Chamonix, nice bed and breakfast, helpful and friendly staff, highly recommended
Eating in Chamonix
- Joe's favorite Chamonix eating zones:
- Cham Sud for burgers and beer at the Monkey Bar or Bighorn.
- Train station for food and beer at Elevation, Chambre Neuf or Moos.
- Rue des Moulin for pizza or a fancy meal Munchies.
- Annapurna: Indian
- Elevation: salads, beer, coffee, people watching
- Midnight Express: fast and cheap sandwiches
- Munchies: fusion food, a guide favorite for a fancy meal
- Monkey Bar: perhaps the best burger in town
- Moos: small burgers probably made from kangaroo
- Neapolis: pizza and Italian food, a guide favorite
"Look forward to climbing together again soon because you were FANTASTIC as a guide and a person on this last trip." —Garry Menzel
"My thanks again for your excellent climbing, mentoring, and customer service skills!" —Dave Chamberlin
"Thanks for the great photos, Joe! Charlie and I agreed that you were an ideal guide. We had a great trip because of you." —Howard Tomb