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Max on icy snow slope in Arête Küffner

Big Peaks, Big Challenges: Chamonix's tougher 4000ers

All 82 Alpine 4000ers are tough in some respect - these are tough in several respects, and all the better for it.

Alpine Climbing, Hiking Easy, Moderate, Difficult, Severe, Extreme

Also in Haute-Savoie, France

Max on icy snow slope in Arête Küffner
Max on icy snow slope in Arête Küffner Photo: Masa Sakano


Ironically, Chamonix's most famous 4000 metre peak - Mont Blanc - is actually one of the easiest 4000ers to climb provided you're fit and acclimatised. There are tough routes on the mountain but the 3 classic ways to its summit are all relatively straightforward, as you'll learn when you check out our guidebook to the Alps' highest mountain -


The routes described in this guidebook are lower than Mont Blanc, but significantly more challenging. On every peak described here you'll encounter technical difficulty and need to be accomplished in the "dark art" of moving quickly through all types of alpine terrain. You'll also need to be experienced in judging conditions, route finding and traveling through complex glaciated terrain. Needless to say, the rewards that await if you climb these summits are huge, but there are risks associated with these mountains too, so only tackle them when you've served a thorough alpine apprenticeship.

If you want to know how to get started on that apprenticeship, we've got you covered. Below you'll find a guidebook to some "easy" (nothing alpine is truly easy!) Chamonix routes, and 5 tougher - but still attainable - routes on icy north faces.



Routes included

Related guidebooks