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Alps Guide Gives Season Overview

The Alps are a mag­i­cal place. Just one hour from the major air­port in Gene­va, you can be in the cen­ter of the uni­verse. The uni­verse of alpine climb­ing that is. From your com­fort­able hotel in Cha­monix, the tele­pherique (French for tram) can eas­i­ly whisk you from the val­ley floor to high alpine ter­rain. Less than an hour after your depar­ture from town, you will be don­ning cram­pons to explore the glac­i­ers and rock spires that tow­er above Chamonix.

The 2010 Moun­tain Mad­ness sea­son in the Alps was the biggest in recent mem­o­ry. Two and three guides were going out at one time and groups met on the glac­i­er as well as on tram rides to reach the climb­ing. Despite Mad­ness being busy, there was plen­ty of soli­tude to be found in the Alps.

The trips ranged from the clas­sic Mont Blanc and Mat­ter­horn pro­grams to the more scenic Sum­mer Haute Route and the Spaghet­ti Tra­verse. Due to weath­er and route con­di­tions, not all the groups were able to achieve their desired objec­tives. The effects of the weath­er did not deter our intre­pid climbers. Instead we were able to seek out the less trav­elled and incred­i­ble peaks of the Alps! Some of these includ­ed: Dri Horn­li Tra­verse, Weiss­miess Tra­verse, Belvedere and Dent du Geant. There were also ascents of the Mat­ter­horn and Mont Blanc for those that had the fit­ness and the dri­ve. Great job to all!

The take home point from the sum­mer was not that we were dis­ap­point­ed to miss our ini­tial objec­tives if we didn’t make them, but rather that we were excit­ed to find high qual­i­ty routes all over the Alps rang­ing from begin­ner to advanced. Please con­sid­er climb­ing with Moun­tain Mad­ness next sum­mer. We look for­ward to climb­ing with you.

Geoff Unger

IFMGA/UIAGM Guide