Rock Climbing in Europe

The area where I live has some stunning climbing: single pitch limestone venues in the Arve valley running west from Chamonix are accessible often throughout the year.

Just north of here there are single and multi pitch opportunities in Switzerland: Gietroz just over the border, or the Miroir d’Argentine near Villars, a striking limestone slab whose 13 pitches take a full day of climbing but at a very modest level of difficulty.

To the east through the Mont Blanc tunnel, the climbing in the Val d’Aosta is true quality. One of my favourite venues is Arnad, a beautiful cliff of 8 to 10 pitches, south facing for a great tan with restaurants at the base and the top!

The granite of the Chamonix massif has some of the finest rock on the planet, and although many of us British climbers like to think we should really go alpine climbing when in the alps, in fact a fantastic week can be had on rock routes in an alpine environment, like the South face of the Midi or the stunning rock accessible from the Dalmazzi hut in the Italian Val Ferret.

Further south there’s the Calanques near Marseilles,