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Try a new adventure in Chamonix with a Cicerone guidebook

Cover of Chamonix Mountain Adventures
21 Nov 2016
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.6cm
1st Published
17 May 2012
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Chamonix Mountain Adventures

by Hilary Sharp
Book published by Cicerone Press

A guidebook to mountain activities in and near Chamonix in the French Alps. Walking, trekking, mountaineering including Cosmiques Arête and Mont Blanc, mountain biking, road cycling, via ferratas, rock climbing and bouldering routes, with clear advice for novices, and suggested levels of expertise required. Ideal for multi-activity holidays.

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Cover: Paperback - Laminated
Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 1.6cm
Weight: 340g

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The Chamonix valley in the Haute Savoie region of the French Alps is a perfect base for a whole range of alpine adventures. The routes in this guide range from short walks and cycle rides for the whole family to long mountaineering routes to the highest summits, including Mont Blanc.

Activities covered in detail include walks, treks, mountaineering routes, road cycling, MTBing, rock climbing, bouldering and via ferratas, all within easy reach of Chamonix – with suggestions for other outdoor options in the valley, too, from rafting to paragliding.

Whether you and your holiday companions are adrenalin junkies or Alpine ramblers, or a mixture of both, there’s plenty to keep everyone happy, day after day, in this spectacular region.

  • 6 sections, with basic information gear, terrain, technique and access for each activity and a range of contrasting routes, illustrated with maps or topos as necessary
  • notes about activities such as rafting, canyoning, paragliding and trail running and things to do when it rains
  • clear overview maps to help you choose and plan your days
  • Activities
    walking, mountaineering, trail running, cycling, mountain biking, via ferratas, climbing, bouldering
  • Seasons
    it is possible to hike, climb and ride in the Chamonix Mont Blanc region any time outside winter; many of the activities here rely on lifts and other facilities that are generally open from mid-to-late June to mid-September
  • Centres
    Chamonix Mont Blanc, Argentière, Vallorcine, Les Houches, Servoz, St Gervais, Passy, Les Contamines, Sixt, Sallanches
  • Difficulty
    ranges from very easy strolls for all the family, to moderate rock climbs and glacier hikes which require either technical skills or the presence of a professional guide; climbing and mountain biking require some specialist gear
  • Must See
    Mont Joly, Mont Blanc and the Aiguilles Rouges; Bossons and Mer de Glace glaciers; MTBing the Petit Balcon Nord; cycling down the Col de la Forclaz; climbing on Les Gaillands; tackling the VF beside Sixt-Fer-a-Cheval


August 2013, Update to Family Walk 9

The author writes:

"There is now a new walkway which goes where the old one did decades ago. It's all brand new this summer, and consists of a metal bridge which takes you round to look at the waterfall. Very good, impressive views and accessible to all except dogs which might not like the lattice work metal structure. It's just a detour off the main trail described in the walk, so it's an extra. A stairway then goes up to join the normal path at the bridge by the café."

August 2012

The wrong map appears on pg 11. The correct map is shown below and a replacement page can be downloaded as a PDF.


The region
Flowers and animals
How it all started
Mountain adventures
Other activities
When to go
Getting there and getting around
Tourist information
Health and safety
Using this guide
1 Walks
Classic Walks
Route 1 Mont Joly
Route 2 Le Prarion
Route 3 Aiguillette des Houches
Route 4 Montagne de la Côte
Route 5 Lac Cornu and Lacs Noirs
Route 6 Plan de l’Aiguille to Montenvers
Route 7 Grand Balcon Sud: La Flégère to Planpraz
Route 8 Aiguillette des Posettes
Route 9 Lac Blanc from the Col des Montets
Route 10 Mont Buet by the Normal Route
Family Walks
Route 1 Lac des Ilettes
Route 2 Lacs Jovet
Route 3 Chalets Miage and Truc
Route 4 Charousse
Route 5 Lac du Brévent
Route 6 Argentière via the Paradis des Praz
Route 7 Le Chapeau
Route 8 Montroc–Col des Montets–Vallorcine
Route 9 Bérard valley and Sur le Rocher
Route 10 Dinosaur tracks
Hut Walks
Route 1 Refuge de Platé
Route 2 Refuge de Tré-la-Tête
Route 3 Refuge Moëde d’Anterne
Route 4 Refuge Bel Lachat
Route 5 Refuge du Lac Blanc
Route 6 Refuge Albert Premier
Route 7 Refuge de la Pierre à Bérard
Route 8 Refuge de Loriaz
Adventure Walks
Route 1 Pointe Percée
Route 2 The Dérochoir and Désert de Platé
Route 3 Aiguille du Belvédère
Route 4 Mer de Glace Balcony Trail
Route 5 Tré-les-Eaux Circuit
Route 6 Loriaz to Emosson
Route 7 Mont Buet by the North Ridge
Route 8 Cheval Blanc
2 Alpine Mountaineering
Route 1 Champex to Le Tour
Route 2 Grand Montets to Lognan
Route 3 Aiguille du Midi to Helbronner
Route 4 Petite Aiguille Verte
Route 5 Aiguille Crochues
Route 6 Aiguille du Tour
Route 7 The Cosmiques Arête
Route 8 Mont Blanc
3 Mountain Biking
Route 1 Les Contamines: Truc Miage circuit
Route 2 Saint-Gervais-les-Bains: Prarion circuit
Route 3 Pipeline descent: Saint-Gervais to Le Fayet
Route 4 Tour des Ayères
Route 5 Promenade de l’Arve
Route 6 Petit Balcon Nord: Chamonix to Le Tour
Route 7 Montroc to Chamonix along the Arve
Route 8 Col des Montets to the chocolate shops
Route 9 Vallorcine–Col des Posettes–Le Tour–Montroc
Route 10 Vallorcine to Martigny
4 Road Biking
Route 1 Chamonix to Sallanches
Route 2 Col des Montets
Route 3 Emosson Lake
Route 4 Col de la Forclaz
5 Rock Climbing and Bouldering
Rock climbing
Area 1 Les Gaillands
Area 2 The Index
Area 3 La Joux
Area 4 Les Chéserys
Area 5 Aiguillette d’Argentière
Area 6 Vallorcine Slab (Rocher de la Saix)
Area 7 Barberine
Area 1 Col des Montets
Area 2 Pierre d’Orthaz
Area 3 Les Bossons
Area 4 Le Coupeau
Area 5 Le Médonnet
6 Via Ferratas
Route 1 Le Mont, Sixt Fer à Cheval
Route 2 La Curalla, Passy
Other routes in the Haute Savoie region
Route 3 La Yves Pollet Villard, La Clusaz
Route 4 La Roche à l’Agathe, Thônes
Appendix A Useful contacts
Appendix B Useful French words and phrases
Appendix C Further reading
Appendix D Glacier travel and rescue techniques
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