By Technical alpinism I am referring to routes graded AD or above or difficult major summits. To gain the summit or complete the route, you will have to undertake difficult and exposed sections of scrambling, climbing, abseiling, and the use of crampons and ice axe. The list is endless. There are 61 major 4000m peaks in the alps, many have numerous beautiful climbs to their summits. Some are well travelled, and some are very rarely climbed. The three peaks above (Mt Blanc, Matterhorn, Eiger) are the most famous peaks in the Alps. However this page is to highlight that there is much much more out there. I want to describe some of my favourite alpine peaks and climbs. Often the best trips are where you come out with an open mind, a few ideas in your head but ultimately we just go where the conditions and weather is best. We can travel to other major alpine areas, Saas fee, Bernese Oberland, Zermatt, Val d'Anniviers, Arolla, Monte Viso, Ecrins, Monte Rosa, Bregalia, Dolomites etc...
A five or six day course would be an ideal opportunity to climb some fine routes and stand on top of some incredible summits.
These are a few favourite peaks and routes I have enjoyed guiding to give you some ideas.
€550 per day plus guides expenses.
Dent Blanche 4356m AD
The Dent Blanche stands proud at the end of the Val d'Herens. It is a mighty peak, of huge faces and complex exposed ridge lines. The main route to the summit is the South ridge, from the Dent Blanche Hut. The route follows beautiful snow aretes and stretched of rocky ridges. There are a number of steep pinnacles that are either tackled direct or traversed with epic exposure. The route is reversed to descent.
Grand Combin 4314m AD
The Grand Combin is a big mountain that I feel gets a bit forgotten about. The Meitin Ridge is good route to the summit of this huge mountain. The route is approached via the Valsorey hut. The arete follows a technical rocky ridge to the pre summit of the Combin de Valsorey then a glaciatied snow climb to gain the main summit.
ZinalRothorn 4221m AD
This is a very slim and pointy peak at the end of the Val d'anniviers, and looks down to Zermatt to the East. There are a few classic routes to the summit all AD. The North ridge from the Mountets hut is a fine ridge, with a mixture of snow crest ridge and exciting climbing. The Razoir is an incredible feature of the climb, that has to be straddled with a leg either side. The summit has outstanding views across to the Matterhorn and Obergablehorn. The Rotgrat ridge on the south west flank is a beautiful route with lots of continuous sustained climbing.
Dent du Geant. 4013m AD
The Giants tooth is a Chamonix classic. It is an enormous shard of granite sticking out of a mass of snow and rock. The climbing is steep and strenuous but it can be aided by using fixed ropes. A series of steep to overhanging abseils gets you off the top. It is a difficult and serious climb to gain the base of the tooth involving sound route finding and great care.
Monte Viso. 3841m AD
Monte Viso is the most prominent peak in the southern Alps that is often a great option when the weather is bad in the northern Alps. It is about 3 hours drive south of Chamonix and has its own weather system. A great route is the East ridge which is an intricate and adventurous objective similar in difficulty and style to that of the matterhorn. The summit sports views to the Mediterranean and the entire range of the Alps to the north.
Piz Badile. 3308 m D
The Badile is a mountain of the Bregalia range in the Swiss canton of Graubünden and the Italian region of Lombardy, the border between the two countries running along the summit ridge. Its north-east face, overlooking the Swiss Val Bregaglia near Soglio, is considered one of the six great north faces of the Alps. The North RIdge is a beautiful climb on quality Granite.
Aiguille Du Tour. 3540m
The Arete Du Table is a Chamonix classic that can be a great early season adventure. Approached via a night at the comfortable Albert premier Mountain hut.
The route is an exciting journey up a spectacular ridge with an incredible block table incomprehensibly balanced. The descent is down the easy voie normal.
Gran Paradiso. 4061m. North face. D
Gran Paradiso summit is one of the most popular peaks in the alps. It is the highest mountain that lies entirely in Italy and is situated in the incredibly beautiful Grand Paradiso National park. The voie normal sees many many ascents throughout the summer. The North face adds a bit more adventure and technicality with a 550m steep snow climb in a wonderful situation.