The Alps are the birthplace of alpine climbing and still to this day have the highest concentration of high-quality routes of any mountain range on the planet. Combine that with well-developed infrastructure, such as lift systems, public transportation, and charming towns, and the Alps are the best choice for a place to maximize your climbing to time away ratio. With most of the approaches done via a lift or gondola and overnight accommodations in mountain huts or hotels, we can climb long, classic high mountain routes with nothing more than a daypack. Thanks to the public transportation system, we can often escape poor mountain weather by changing venues to a warm, sunny rock climbing area. Its hard to beat the quality and convenience of climbing in the Alps.
Guiding fees below cover all fees and expenses for the guide and do not include your lodging, transportation or other personal expenses.
There are several main alpine centers that offer lifetimes worth of classic climbing. In addition to the fantastic climbing, the towns themselves with their abundant climbing history make the trip an unforgettable and unique climbing experience. All Alps trips are booked on a custom basis with IFMGA guides Larry Goldie and Jeff Ward. Only guides with international guide certification (IFMGA) can legally guide in European countries.
A few of our favorite bases include:
Chamonix: This is the birthplace of Alpine climbing. Often considered the center of the Alpine climbing universe, this town offers an incredible diversity of climbing options. An extensive network of lifts and huts make approaching the climbs very quick and possible with minimal effort. Some of the classic peaks of the area includes Mt Blanc (the highest peak in Europe), Aiguille du Midi (several great climbing routes), Augille de l’Index, Augille de l’M, Dent du Geant, Aiguille du Tour, Crochues, Petite Aiguille Verte…. The list literally goes on and on.
Zermatt: This is the charming Swiss village best known for its view of the Matterhorn. Zermatt also hosts an extensive network of lifts allowing access to many classic routes. In addition to the Matterhorn, some of the other classics of the area are the Briethorn, Monta Rosa, Castor, Pollux, the Wiesshorn, Ober Gabelhorn, Riffelhorn… Zermatt also has a variety of great bad weather options, including via ferratta routes, cragging, and adventure courses.
Wengen: Another classic Swiss village, Wengen Offers access to the highest railway in Europe – the Jungfraujolk. This train, which literally goes through the Eiger (with several viewing stops), reaches its top station at over 12,000′, allowing climbers easy access to the Jungfrau, Monch, and Eiger. The Monchjolk hut offers a great base for climbing in the area and is reached by a short walk from the top of the train station
There are a number of other great regions to base a climbing vacation out of in the Alps, including the Engadine and the Bergell Valleys of Switzerland, and the Dolomites or Ortler region of Italy to name a just few of our favorites.
These courses are all arranged on a custom basis with IFMGA certified guide Larry Goldie or Jeff Ward. To arrange a trip to the birthplace of alpine climbing, call NCMG to talk about options and your personal climbing goals. We will arrange an itinerary based on your goals and abilities, and provide some flexibility to accommodate poor weather or your desired route being out of condition. If you are unsure about what you would like to do, contact us and we can suggest some options for classic climbing programs.
Climbers should be in good physical condition, though some of the real benefits to climbing in the Alps are taking advantage of the lift systems to avoid long approaches and staying at mountain huts to avoid carrying heavy overnight packs. That said, we will typically be at higher elevations than much of the U.S mountain ranges and the more fit you arrive, the more you will enjoy the experience. We strongly suggest arriving in the country at least a day or two in advance of your trip to overcome jetlag and get used to the new time zone and elevation.
All participants will be required to sign a release form at the start of the course.