help with Alps trip

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help with Alps trip

by CharlesD » Thu Dec 29, 2005 10:15 pm


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?



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Gabriele Roth

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Re: help with Alps trip

by Gabriele Roth » Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:00 pm

why not Dolomiti ?
ask your fellow citizen Fabio (brenta)

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Re: help with Alps trip

by Moni » Fri Dec 30, 2005 12:11 am

Berner Oberland: really big time stuff that's not so hard to climb and has a little bit of everything. Base out of Kandersteg and you can be in the Wallis (Zermatt, etc) or in the Urner Alpen plus a lot of local stuff. It is easy to get to by rail and neither as expensive or as touristy and not as overrun as many other places.

Fred and I are planning to be in Klosters for 3 weeks during that time: also a good place. Has quick access to the Bernina Alps as well as the Bregaglia area plus with the new Vereina tunnel you can quickly be in Italy! Klosters lies down the valley from Davos and is also more reasonably priced.

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Gangolf Haub
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Re: help with Alps trip

by Gangolf Haub » Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:44 am

Charles, the Alps are large and there are so many places to go. July is a good choice since the French and Italians who prefer to vacation in August are still at home. In late July it will get crowded anyway wherever you go.

Apart from the obvious (Ecrins, Chamonix, Berner Oberland) you might want to check out:

<li>Valle d'Aosta - the eastern and southern slopes of the Alps 4000ers. It is much less crowded (especially if you don't go in August) has better weather and you can reach a lot of 4000ers (Gran Paradiso, Mont Blanc, Grand Combin, Matterhorn, Monte Rosa) easily

<li><a href=""><b>Ortler / Cevedale Group</b></a>, <a href=""><b>Ötztal Alps</b></a>, <a href="">Stubai Alps</b></a> - not the real big mountains but a lot of glaciers and not so heavily crowded.

<li>The same goes for <a href=""><b>Hohe Tauern</b></a> - beautiful 3000ers and not so very crowded (apart from Großglockner)

<li>If you rather like rock, visit the <a href=""><b>Dolomites</b></a> or the neighbouring <a href=""><b>Carnic Alps</b></a> and <a href=""><b>Julian Alps</b></a>, there are some very interesting multi-day trekking trails (Alte Vie delle Dolomiti 1 - 7 and Karnischer Höhenweg). The huts close to these trails will be very crowded in July however.

One last consideration: weather is much better on the southern side of the Alpine Main Ridge. We generally have western winds which deposit their rain on the western flanks of the mountains. The farther south and east you get the better the weather.

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