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D'escalade Chamonix
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By Goodhue
From Boulder, CO
Feb 18, 2009

So my buddy is getting married in France on July 24. I think that's a pretty good excuse to go get some climbing in Chamonix! I should have two weeks there. I'd like to get on stuff in the 5.8-5.10 and Grade 3-4 ice range. Anyone got any beta?

Specifically:
-Climbing guide to pick up?
-Anything to avoid?
-Awesome/Terrible campgrounds?

ANYTHING will be helpful. Thanks!


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By fabrizio
Feb 18, 2009

www.camptocamp.org/ is a site similar to 'mountain project' for the alps (focusing on the french speaking part) - you should get all necessary information there (guidebook, outings, and forum). The users are mostly french-speaking but English should be ok...


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By Tradster
From Phoenix, AZ
Feb 18, 2009

Try finding this guide book series for Chamonix: Topo of the Mont-Blanc range by Michel Piola. I have a copy and it lists several rock climbs (nothing mixed)with excellent topos of the routes on various parts of the massif. I have one of these books I purchased in Paris a long time ago. worth it if you can find it, as it is accurate and small in size. We stayed just outside Chamonix, in Saint Gervais-les-Bains, and found it to be much cheaper. You can catch a train to Chamonix from there. It is only about 7 klicks from the town centre. We rented a three bedroom apartment as our French friends had lots of people visiting. Chamonix is the total bomb as far as mountain access is concerned. If you speak a bit of mangled French, the locals will be cool. If you have a spare day, try taking the tele-cabin from Aiguille du Midi over to Point Helbronner in Italy. Not cheap, but the view is completely incredible on a clear day. One warning: Chamonix isn't an inexpensive place.


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By Goodhue
From Boulder, CO
Feb 19, 2009

Cool, thanks a lot for all the information. Yeah, I've heard it isn't cheap but I'm going to try to camp it and stay away from bars/restaraunts/etc.


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By Wensley Barker
From Cos Cob, CT
Feb 19, 2009

Hi. I went to Chamonix last summer. A good guidebook for rock routes is "Chamonix Crag Climbs" by Francois Burnier & Dominique Potard. It's available on Amazon UK or you can buy it at Snell Sports, the local climbing store. Closest crag to town is I think Les Gaillands, which has single and multi-pitch routes in a range of difficulties. If you're interested in mountaineering routes, there's a book called "The Mont Blanc Range: Classic Snow, Ice, and Mixed Climbs". Mostly easier stuff from PD to maybe D, so you won't find the Walker Spur in it but for my purposes it was perfect - descriptive and beautiful color photos.


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By Goodhue
From Boulder, CO
Feb 19, 2009

I'm not really good at interpreting the French alpine rating system quite yet. Think I'll actually have to get on a route to figure it out completely. But, I was thinking of alpine routes rather than cragging. But, if the Walker Spur is in that 5.8-5.10 range that is EXACTLY the kind of stuff I want to try to get on.


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By Tom Halicki
From Boulder, CO
Feb 19, 2009

PM sent. And the Walker Spur is exactly the kind of route you DO NOT want to get on your first trip.


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By Stuart Gillespie
From Boulder, CO
Feb 19, 2009

If you aren't dead set on camping, the ski station next to the Brevard Gondola is a great place to stay: it is dormitory style quarters with a great kitchen for only 8 euros a night. Lots of good company making dinner in the kitchen with climbers and skiers from all over the world.


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By Goodhue
From Boulder, CO
Feb 20, 2009

Not dead set on camping, just figured it would be the cheaper option. 8 euro with access to a kitchen would be pretty sweet. I'll have to check that out.


Haha, yeah, maybe not so much the Walker Spur...I just meant not cragging. Alpine routes are what I want.


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