Massif des Aravis

Page Type Page Type: Area/Range
Location Lat/Lon: 45.95473°N / 6.54639°E
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Sport Climbing, Via Ferrata, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 9022 ft / 2750 m
Sign the Climber's Log


The Massif des Aravis is located South-West of Mont-Blanc.
Not as high and impressive as its alpine neighbor, its offers a wide range of outdoor activities.

It has a beautiful and long spine shape and bewteen summits you will find coomb to provide slopes for downhill and mountaineering skiing,
and cliffs for climbing.
The main peak in the area is the famous Pointe Percée (2750m).
Aravis > view of Mont-Blanc

Getting There

The Massif des Aravis is oriented South / North you will therefore access it from the East or West side.

Western access : La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand
You can easily reach both towns from Annecy (by car or bus).
Take road D16 then road D909. You will go through Thônes and at St Jean de Sixt,
you can either go to Le Grand Bornand (road D4) or to La Clusaz (road D909).

Eastern access : Sallanches
It is located near the motorway going from Geneva to St Gervais Les Bains.
Take exit 20, and then road N205.

Central access : Col des Aravis
To go from one side to another of Massif des Aravis you can go through the Aravis Pass.
5 km from La Clusaz and 34 km from Sallanches.

Staying There

Aravis > Pointe Percée (approach)

Aravis > Ibex

You can find many hotels and guest houses in the surrounding cities : La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand, St Jean de Sixt, Flumet, Sallanches, Cluses...
But if you want to get closer to nature you may as well camp or enjoy huts around :


- Camping Plan du Fernuy
Le Fernuy 74220 LA CLUSAZ
Tel : 04 50 02 44 75

- Camping Caravaneige L'Escale
Chef Lieu 74450 Le Grand Bornand
Tel : 04 50 02 20 69

- Camping Caravaneige le Clos du Pin
Clos Pin 74450 Le Grand Bornand
Tel : 04 50 02 27 61

- Camping l'Ecureuil
490 route des Follieux 74700 Sallanches
Tel : 04 50 58 43 67

- Camping Mont Blanc Village
490 route Follieux 74700 Sallanches
Tel : 04 50 58 43 67

- Camping Caravaneige Relais de la Vallée Blanche
390 route Passy 74700 SALLANCHES
Tel : 04 50 58 59 59


- Refuge Gramusset (2164m)
reachable from Col des Annes (Le Grand Bornand)
Tel : 04 50 02 40 90

- Refuge Doran (1495m)
reachable from Burzier/La Charmette (Sallanches)
Tel : 04 50 58 08 00


Aravis chain

Aravis > Le Merdassier

Aravis > Pointe Blanche

As described above the Massif des Aravis is very much a long chain, and could even be seen as a pile of plates lying on their side.
From North to South :

Tête de la Sallaz - 2026m
Tête des Muets - 2075m
Tête du Château - 2288m
Pointe d'Areu - 2478m
Tête de la Forclaz - 2434m
Les Pointes Longues - 2451m (great for Climbing)
Pointe de Bella Cha - 2511m
Pointe Percée - 2750m (great for Climbing)
Pointe des Verts - 2555m
Pointe de Chombas - 2468m
Mont Charvet - 2538m (great for Hiking)
Mont Fleuri - 2511m
Pointe de Tardevant - 2501m (great for Hiking)
Roche Perfia - 2499m
Tête Pelouse - 2537m
La Grande Torche - 2505m
La Roualle - 2589m
La Grande Balmaz - 2616m
Pointe des Verres - 2532m
Aiguille de Borderan - 2492m
Pointe des Aravis - 2325m

Main pass across Aravis : Col des Aravis - 1486m (great for Climbing)

Pointe de Merdassier - 2313m (great for Climbing)
L'Etale - 2483m
Pointe de Mandallaz - 2277m (great for Hiking)
Mont Charvin - 2409m
Les Aiguilles du Mont - 2133m

Climbing in Aravis

Aravis > South side

Pointe Percée > Paroi de Gramusset

Aravis > Pointe Percée

All around Aravis you will find routes to climb.
Mostly with modern equipment, however a few Friends may be useful from time to time. It is all limestone.
The main areas are :

1. Pointe de la Blonnière (access from Col des Aravis)
1 nice route to climb called "L'Arête à Marion" > 300m / 13 pitches / up to 5b.

2. Col des Aravis
97 routes / up to 3 pitches / from 3a to 8a

3. Paroi de Borderan (access from Col des Aravis)
18 routes / up to 8 pitches / from 3c to 7b

4. Aravis coombs (access from La Clusaz)
Along the Aravis chain, between two summits you will often find often find a coomb ("combe" in French)
Some of these coombs have been equiped for climbing :

- Combe du Grand Crêt :
Paré de Joux > 1 route / 200m / 8 pitches from 5c+ to 6b

- Combe de Paccaly :
Rocher de la Salla > 3 routes / 200m / up to 9 pitches / from 5b to 7a

- Combe de la Grande Forclaz :
Aiguille Noire de Tardevant > 5 routes / up to 8 pitches / from 6a to 7a+
La Mamule > 13 routes / up to 12 pitches / 4b to 8a

- Combe du Mont Charvet :
Pilier Sud-Ouest > 3 routes / up to 9 pitches / from 5c to 7b
La Petite Miaz > 1 route / 2 pitches / 6a+ then 5c

5. Pointe de Chombas (access from Le Grand Bornand)
5 routes / up to 6 pitches / 5b to 6b+

6. Pointe Percée (access from Le Grand Bornand)
The best spot for climbing in the Aravis range with the great Paroi de Gramusset
30 routes / up to 12 pitches / 4b to 7b+

7. Pointe Longue (access from Le Grand Bornand)
3 routes / up to 7 pitches / 4b to 6b

Other Outdoor Activities

In Summer, you will find lots of tracks to follow for day hikes.
Many lakes in the area provide peaceful spots and beautiful sceneries.
Via Ferrata are also well represented.

In Winter, Aravis is a good base for all snow activites :

- snowshoes
- mountaineering skiing (in most of the coombs on the West side)
- cross country skiing (La Clusaz is a major place in France for it)
- downhill skiing with 2 big resorts at La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand

Books, Maps and Weather

To climb :
Escalade Massif Bornes Aravis

To hike :
Aravis Les Plus Belles Randonnées
Randonnées sur les sommets de Hautes-Savoie
Randonnées vers les lacs de Haute-Savoie

To ski :
La Clusaz
Le Grand Bornand

IGN Map of the area :
La Clusaz/Le Grand Bornand (3430ET)

And for weather, check on Meteo France...
Pointe Percée - Col des Verts



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