Chablais is the ideal setting for rock climbing. With sublime pale grey limestone that is pure, compact and smooth. Erosion has sculpted natural hand-holds that appear to have been made especially for climbers, from grooves to sharpened ridges.
It caters for all levels from beginners to 8c. All types of climbing routes are accessible: short pitches, short technical routes, long routes of 400m or more, new routes or classic ones, adventurous terrain with equipment or places to use your own gear. There is something for everyone.
Without doubt the most beautiful rock climbing site in Chablais. Around 50 South facing routes and despite the altitude (base of the routes is at 1850m), you can climb here from spring to autumn with an incredible view over the Mont Blanc massif and the Swiss Valais 4000 peaks in a true mountain atmosphere.
Access: it is a little more than a one-hour walk from Vacheresse and the Bise prairies or La Chapelle d’Abondance and the Chalets de Chevenne.
The majority of the routes are between 200 and 300m high. A diverse range: classic routes opened in 1975-80, and recent routes opened in the 1990s, skim across the perfect slabs up to grade 7b.
Here you will find the longest route in the massif: the Arête Sud-Ouest, opened in 1966, and still wild, with a dizzying height of 500m!
The majority of these routes need stoppers.
You can abseil down almost all of them (2x45m minimum). Helmets are highly recommended.
Its north face is an impressive vertical 400m wall. But the few routes that are here are old, austere and without equipment. But, the south face, the Dalle de la Raille has plenty of interesting and practicable routes accessible all year round due to their orientation. The south face has 168 routes between 20 to 450 metres long.
Next to Roc de Tavaneuse, 3 East facing routes 250 to 300m high. They were open in the 1970s (difficulty: D+ / TD-).
Access: from Abondance take the Prétairié road. From there, go up to the Serranants prairies, then follow the vale in the direction of Pas de Savolaire. The cliff face is on your right.
Right in the middle of the Abondance Valley, it wears its name well, “the rock in the middle of the valley” and opens out onto incredible panoramas across the valley and its villages. Also, those who prefer to relax and not climb you can enjoy what’s going on from down below.
The route is very steep and aerial. It goes through some wonderful rocky outcrops with a succession of ledges, corners and overhangs. It has three distinct sections: Cabri, Chamois and Bouquetin, that correspond to the level of difficulty of the via ferrata, that you may do in succession or individually. You must be experienced at via ferrata, or be with a certified guide to do the physically demanding parts, which are more or less intense in the 2nd and 3rd sections.
This route is home to peregrine falcons, a protected species, the 2nd and 3rd sections can be closed from 15/3 to 10/7.
Discover day by day the climbing activities programmed throughout the territory of the Pays d’Evian Vallée d’Abondance!
A guide is available in La Chapelle d’Abondance Tourist Office.
A via ferrata is risky without the correct equipment and the knowledge of how to use it. This is an alpine route kitted out with aerial cables, ramps and ladders, which are sometimes physically demanding.
Always follow the route’s direction and do not leave it. You do this route at your own risk. Take into account the mountain conditions before setting out. Do not hesitate to call professional services.
They ensure your group or individual safety on a via ferrata. They will also show you other spots in the region.
2 hours from €45
Would you like to try rock climbing? In a group or individually? Why don’t you come along and learn to climb with a state-certified instructor on different sites in the Abondance Valley.
Climbing: minimum 6 years old.
Via Ferrata: minimum 1.40 metres and 40 kg.
The high mountain guides initiate you and supervise you: via ferrata, climbing, canyoning and mountaineering in the French Alps and Switzerland.