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Les Gaillands

International > Europe > France > Northern Alps > Chamonix Mont B… > Valley crags


Les Gaillands is the closest crag to Chamonix and as such is immensely popular. But don't give up if you arrive and find a swarm of schoolchildren on the easy routes on the main crag, because there's a lot to choose from here, plus there's more rock just out of view to the left.

Another reason for Les Gaillands' popularity is that it's one of those something-for-everyone crags--unless you hate bolts--with varied difficulty, multi-pitch options, fantastic views of Mont Blanc and the Bossons Glacier, and a buvette at the bottom if you want to grab a drink or snack.

The rock? Gneiss. The main crag (Grand Gailland, Echelles, Petit Gailland, left to right) faces south and has no shade until late afternoon, and mosquitoes come out in the evening. Shade abounds at the other crags, though (Viperes, Forestiers, Chausseurs, Frendo, Piscou, continuing left up the hill).

Getting There

There's a bus stop at Les Gaillands (Line 9), but you can walk there from Chamonix Centre in 20 minutes or so. Follow the signs for Les Pèlerins--it's a much nicer (and safer!) walk than the main road out of town. Walk through Les Pèlerins, join the main road and pass a small hotel and bar, Le Vert, on your right. The crag is in the park just beyond, on the right; you'll easily see it from the road.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

The main crag at Les Gaillands
[Hide Photo] The main crag at Les Gaillands
Sport climbing on rain day
[Hide Photo] Sport climbing on rain day
View from the right side of the main crag at Les Gaillands--busy as usual, but plenty of routes to choose from.
[Hide Photo] View from the right side of the main crag at Les Gaillands--busy as usual, but plenty of routes to choose from.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] Fun cragging in town. However, in February we were chased away by the gendamerie because of avalanche danger! Apparently the cliff is in a prime spot to get dumped on, when the conditions are right. Mar 4, 2012
Ryan Marsters
Golden, CO
[Hide Comment] Wide range in climbing difficulty and well bolted for sport. Mostly single pitch in the main area with some longer routes available. A bit hot and sweaty in the sun. Close to the bus/train stations and well within the carte d'hote zone (free public transport if staying at a hotel in the Chamonix valley). Jul 9, 2014
Bruce Hildenbrand
Silicon Valley/Boulder
[Hide Comment] As a bit of history, this crag used to be a bit shorter in height. In the mid-80's they excavated dirt from the base to make it taller. Jul 13, 2015
[Hide Comment] That's wild Bruce. I'm looking for a topo with route names for this crag to try and recall what I climbed when I visited Chamonix.
I remember printing topo's and route information for climbs in Cham from some website??? Can't recall what site Aug 10, 2018
Guylaine Briere
[Hide Comment] My first climb. Initiation with the company of Chamonix guides. Perfect to learn. June 17, 2019. Jul 3, 2019