My appologies if this is a fequently asked question, but I'm new on this forum. My wife and I are in the early stages of planning a Europe trip for mid-July, 2006. We plan to spend two weeks in Italy/Switzerland/France and would like to split it roughly half and half between climbing/trekking and cultural travel in the Alps. The amount of information on SP is staggering and I don't even know where to start!
In terms of climbing, we're looking for something pretty moderate. Back home (Colorado, USA), we do a lot of rock climbing (up to 5.7 or so YDS) and easy mountaineering (4th class scrambles, 45 degree snow/ice climbing, etc) and are comfortable with both altitude and mountain weather. Obviously, we'd like to avoid the worst of the crowds and have the best conditions possible. We're not too picky about climbing something famous or tall, we just want to experience the Alps!
Can anyone suggest a region of the Alps to concentrate on (Chamonix, Zermatt, Turino, etc)? Recommend a guide service? Any other resources to get us started?