Chablais is a veritable paradise for climbers. The limestone rock, usually light grey in colour, is compact, smooth and extremely pure. Erosion has sculpted holds, from grooves to sharp edges, that seem to have been specially made for climbers. The region abounds in climbs for all ability levels, from beginning routes to 8Cs. Likewise, all climbing styles are represented, from bouldering (short, difficult problems) to long ascents of over 400 metres, with recently opened routes and old "classic" climbs, closely-spaced bolts for sport climbing and "naked" rock for traditional climbing . If you climb, you're sure to find what you're looking for.
To have more information on the climbing sites of Chablais Region: www.chablais-grimpe.com
Pas de l'Ours, Le Biot
A beautiful limestone, south-facing cliff located a few kilometres beneath the Col du Corbier pass (on the Morzine Valley side), only a ten-minute walk from the road. At the top of the climbs, enjoy a view of Mont Blanc! The routes are mostly split into 2 pitches of 80 metres, with a few longer climbs. The bolts are recent and closely-spaced.
Difficulty: from beginning routes (a small sector below the main cliff) to 8C, with most climbs between 6A and 7A.
Falaise de Porte, Bellevaux
Cliff located after the village of Bellevaux, just before Vallon Lake. A 2-minute walk from the road.
Some 60 limestone routes, from 1 to 3 pitches, for all ability levels (including a small sector for beginning climbers).
Cornettes de Bise, La Chapelle d'Abondance
Undoubtedly the most beautiful rock climbing spot in Chablais. Around fifty routes facing south, allowing them to be climbed from spring to autumn, despite the relatively high altitude (1,850 metres at the foot of the routes). Climbing with the sun on your back and a splendid view of the Mont Blanc Massif and the 4,000-metre-plus summits of the Swiss Valais. A pure mountain experience!
Access: a little over an hour's walk, from Vacheresse and the high mountain pasture of Bise (CAF refuge) or from La Chapelle d'Abondance and the Chalets de Chevenne.
Most routes are from 200 to 300 metres long, with a few longer climbs. All climbing styles are represented, from the classic routes opened in the latter half of the 1970s to the more recent routes of the 1990s, climbing perfect slabs and up to 7B in difficulty.
The sector also boasts the longest route of the massif: the "southwestern ridge", first opened in 1966. In a wonderfully preserved setting, this climb ascends no less than 500 metres!
Most routes require protection and almost all are rappelled down (2 x 45 metres, minimum). Helmets are recommended.
The north face of the Dent d'Oche, Bernex
The routes start at an altitude of 1,900 metres. A "historic" route, opened in 1925 (350 m), of average difficulty and somewhat grassy, but in a cold, impressive setting. A more recent route (1985), 250 metres long, on excellent limestone (ED grading, obligatory 6B). From the summit of the Dent d'Oche, enjoy an unforgettable view of all of Lake Léman, the Mont Blanc Massif and Switzerland.
Access: from Bernex / La Fétuière, via the Col de Rebollion pass. Just below the summit of the Dent d'Oche: a CAF refuge (contact the Bernex tourist office).
La Pointe des Pavies, Vacheresse
Summit located to the north of the Bise refuge. Accessible by road until the refuge, then a hike of about 1 hour up a small valley towards the Col Floray pass to the north. Beautiful, southeast-facing cliff with several routes 160 to 260 metres in length.
Mont Chauffé, Abondance
The mountain's north face is an impressive wall of rock rising 400 metres straight up. The few routes are old, austere and without permanent protection. However, on the south face, the slab of La Raille offers several interesting routes that can be climbed practically all year round thanks to their exposure to the sun. Access: from Abondance.
Mont Brion, Abondance
Next to the Roc de Tavaneuse. Three east-facing routes, 250-300 metres in length, dating from the 1970s (grading: D+ / TD-). Access: from Abondance, take the road to Prétairié. From there, climb to the mountain pasture of Les Serranants, then follow the small valley towards the Pas de Savolaire. The cliff will be on your right.
Abondance et La Chapelle d'Abondance
Tel. +33 (0)6 34 67 16 13/ +33 (0)6 62 00 92 19
Abondance et Châtel
Guide de haute montagne
Tel. +33 (0)6 76 41 61 80/ +33 (0)4 50 73 54 62
Tél. +33 (0)4 50 73 80 98
La Chapelle d'Abondance
Tel. +33 (0)4 50 72 15 12
Tel. +33 (0)6 98 04 16 22
Indoor climbing wall
Cité de l'Eau, Publier
9-metre-high climbing wall, with routes of all difficulty levels, located in the Cité de l'Eau sports centre in Amphion.
Cité de l'Eau sports centre
350 route du Vieux Mottay - 74500 Amphion
Tel. +33 (0)4 50 81 40 70
Maravant gymnasium, Saint-Paul en Chablais
Martial Thomas - 2 rue des Italiens - 74200 Thonon
Tel. +33 (0)4 50 74 95 02 or +33 (0)4 50 71 81 84
"A7 Aventures" centre, Bioge bridge
Tel. +33 (0)4 50 73 30 80