I’ve split the Alps in two, dependant on their altitude. High crags have massively different atributes to Low ones, as i have found through mis-adventure and varying experiences over the years. They are not great in the winter months, are less well-served by civilisation, but can be absolutely stunning in their character. There will undoubtedly be more appearing in the near future in both categories.
- Magic Wood, Switzerland. Rating: 3-4. Until not long ago, this sat at a lowly 1, following the dismal visit of 2012. A return in 2015 has seen this rise significantly. Granted, if you go out of season, as we did, it would be back to that original score but the same can be said of anywhere and if you get your timing right, with a bustling campsite and good conditions, there’s almost nowhere better (including Font).
- Zillertal, Austria. Rating: 2. Surely a contender to rival Magic Wood in the long term, as the page will attest, although it is slightly marked down due to it’s logistical issues and the extended cost of the toll road over time. Still, certainly in the plus numbers.
- Val Daone, Italy. Rating: 3. Hugely overlooked destination, despite having it’s own comprehensive bouldering guide and hence the high rating. Head here for the best camping spot in the entire world (believe me) and some top class bouldering in a fantastic setting. Definitely deserving of more attention.
- Ailefroide, France. Rating: 1. A very popular destination with Brits, for varying different reasons. While i was there in 2006, the bouldering was developing nicely and i’m assured it has grown since then. Not the type of place for solitutde though.
- Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Rating: N/A. An odd inclusion to Chez de la Bloc, considering no immediate bouldering, it is a spectacular base and a must visit for any outdoors enthusiast. Good venues can easily found within an hour in many directions.