The Alpine Club Guidebooks
The following is a list of guidebooks published by the Alpine Club and available at discounted prices from Cordee. See Alpinet for discount information. AC members can also purchase guidebooks by the Climbers' Club and the Fell & Rock at reduced prices, also from Cordee.
The Club holds a small stock of books which are available to members at prices in green below. This is what you pay if you collect at the Club. Postage is extra. For the current situation contact the AC Administrator.
Click on guidebook name in the table below, or scroll down, to go to extra information, corrections and readers' comments.
Updates and Reader Comments
Information and corrections for some of these guidebooks.
Some errors have been drawn to the editors attention particularly concerning rock climbs in the Cerces.
1 Page 251. The heading ‘Tête de Colombe 3,023m’ is incorrect. This should read ‘Roche Colombe 2,832m’
2 Page 251 line 18. ‘Roche Colombe must not be confused with the Tête de Colombe which lies behind and to the SE.’ A less ambiguous statement would be: ‘Tête de Colombe must not be confused with Roche Colombe. Roche Colombe lies behind and to the SE.’ Both are clearly marked on map number 3436ET (Meije. Pelvoux)
3 Page 251. The correct name for this route is ‘Ecaille de la Tête Colombe’ and not as printed. In addition the route line shown on Photo 65 is incorrect. The route starts almost at the lowest point of the crag, directly above the chalet shown in the photo. The approach route is also shown incorrectly. There is a good path through the woods on the E side of the huge gully and the whole approach is further R than is shown.
4 Photo 66. The correct title for this photo should be ‘Tête de Colombe SE Facette’
5 Route r10. First ‘Gervassuti’ should read ‘Gervasutti’. More importantly the line shown for this route is incorrect. The line shown is roughly the line of the route ‘Le reborde du monde’ which is 8a (7a obl). The actual line of the Gervasutti route is close to the L-hand of the two rappel descents shown on Photo 66. Route r11 is definitely R of r10 so the line of this route is not as shown on the photo. r12 and r13 are correct. Incidently there is an excellent route (5 star HVS) up the crest of the buttress R of r13. It is called ‘A nous la belle vie’. It has 12 pitches and is graded TD 6a (5+ obl). It is fully bolted and has an easy walk off down the diagonal couloir on the R (which is usually snow free in summer).
6 Photo 34. The line of Route 40a across the lower buttress (the line of the ‘remarkable rake’) is thought to be wrongly shown. The line of the rake is parallel to the line shown but displaced about 1cm L, following the line between sunlit and shaded rock. From the top of the slope the line should cross Rwards to follow the ridge as shown.
Ecrins Massif, Selected Climbs: Mont Gioberney, North- east Ridge.
Comment from AC member, Paul Davies (September 2009):
It is suggested in the script in the club guidebook for the above route
one way of gaining the crest of the central spur of the NE ridge is by a
I was in a party which tried this way this August but backed off in
of the alternative. Judging by the in situ slings I suspect we were not
H24 Gervasutti hut. The approach to this hut is severely threatened by séracs which are hidden from view from below. Ice falling from them has already been responsible for at least one death and one near miss.
Mont Blanc Massif Volume II
Many huts are now supplying duvets rather than blankets for bedding. These should be used with a sheet bag. Check whether duvets are provided for bedding when you book places in a hut. If they are, take a sheet bag with you (or hire/buy one at the hut). It should be noted that if a hut booking is not honoured or is cancelled with little notice there is an obligation to pay a levy of 20 Sfr. Quite how this will be implemented in practice is not clear!
Particularly useful website for basic hut information are www.sac-cas.ch and www.vs-wallis.ch. This website not only provides information about Swiss huts, both private and SAC/CAS, but also about some French and Italian huts close to the Swiss border. Another website well worth visiting for hut information, probably more detailed than the other websites mentioned here, is www.alpenonline.ch. This site has information about transport services that can be used to reach the hut approach and about local tourism. It also includes huts not mentioned in either of the other two websites.
Some updated information has been brought to the author’s attention and is listed below.
1 Route 47c Gross Grünhorn E pillar. There is some loose rock on the route.
2 Route 55a Traverse from S to N Eigerjochs. It is considered better to pass above Pt 3,680m rather than below it as is stated in the description. From the highest point, a better description of the route would be - Cross a series of towers separated by sharp gaps to where the ridge drops away steeply (this is all made harder by snow cover and, especially early in the season, may have cornices on the E side). Fixed ring bolts are in place for a 25m abseil down the W side on to a steep snow slope. Descend diagonally below the last outcrops back on to the ridge where a final rock step is descended to reach easy ground.
3 Route 56a Eiger S ridge. A better description would be - From the N Eigerjoch follow the snow ridge for c100m and then follow a diagonal line L into a broad couloir. Climb this to where it steepens towards a 20m rock outcrop (there is an abseil descent of this directly down the ridge from a ring bolt) and exit Lwards on to the rocks of the SW ridge. Follow this, with a few delicate moves, back to the crest of the S ridge. This point can be reached in c1hr in good snow conditions. In icy conditions, instead of climbing into the couloir, it will be necessary to continue up slabs on the S ridge to the rock outcrop. Climb this by one of the two chimneys just L of centre (both are grade III). Both chimneys are difficult to start especially when icy. The final rock ridge gives good scrambling to the summit although one steeper section is more difficult if crampons need to be worn. In this case climb steep snow on the L. The time given for the route (7-9hr) is rather longer than is necessary. The climb should take no more than 7hr from the Mönchjoch hut. It will take a similar time to reverse.
4 Route 73b Doldenhorn S ridge. A large rockfall may have affected the access to this route. The position is not clear, check locally!
5 Route 86b Gross Fusshorn W ridge integral. This route is often underestimated in length. It is probably better graded D and with difficulties up to IV+.
6 Route 89b Sattelhorn W wall. The correct name of the route is Odeon couloir.
Routes 92a to 94c Wysshorn, Distelberg and Torberg. Glacier recession has made approach to these route delicate. Ask the Oberaletsch hut guardian for information. The descent from the Distelberg on the N side can be on ice, the abseil point can be difficult to find and it leads to a crevassed glacier. A better descent is by abseil down a grassy couloir on the SW side.
7 Route 96a Nesthorn W ridge. For the approach from the Baltschieder hut, see the note below - Descent of Lötschental Breithorn to Baltschieder hut.
8 Route 97a Lötschental Breithorn SW ridge. There is some loose rock.
9 Route 97d Blanchet Ridge. This route is longer and harder than the S ridge of the Stockhorn (Route 102a). The rock deteriorates on the upper part of the ridge. The route probably deserves a D+ grading on account of its length and seriousness (harder climbing in the upper half). The time quoted for the route is considered too short. Allow 10hr in all from the hut (2hr to reach the foot of the ridge).
10 Descent of Lötschental Breithorn to Baltschieder hut (Baltschiederklause). From the summit this is by reversing Route 97a. An alternative is to descend the SE ridge to reach the Gredetschjoch at the foot of the W ridge of the Nesthorn. Descend the S side of this saddle (c100m: a horror show due to glacier recession). From here reverse Route 96a to reach the top of the Baltschiederlicka. This has been equipped with wires on both sides and red arrows to show the way. It is straightforward.
11 Route 99b Jägihorn SW wall. A better route on this wall is thought to be Melody. Ask the hut guardian for details.
12 Route 99c Jägihorn SE ridge (to the S summit). The approach to the ridge, which takes c2hr, is rather scrappy. The initial steep rock is climbed by a couple of ‘knight’s moves’ up and R and up and R again to reach easier ground trending L. Allow 5-6hr for the entire route.
13 Descent of Jägihorn. Follow the ridge or the scree below it Nwards from the S summit to beyond a deep ravine cutting in from the W side. Follow a line of cairns down the N side of the ravine, heading W; where it steepens, chains allow 5 abseils (20-25m) to the snow. At this point do not follow the glacier down, instead cross a slight saddle on the L and follow cairns and a faint path down the bottom of the ravine and then along the edge of the glacier. Red arrows lead across moraine, a boulder field and scree slopes to the hut. 2½hr
14 Route 101a Bietschhorn N ridge. From Pt 3,706m follow the snow crest at first and then on rock, climbing some steps with moves of IV (pitons in place).
15 Route 101c Bietschhorn WSW ridge. Contrary to the information given, this route has quite good rock for the major part, at least after the grey tower. This is only if you keep to the crest.
16 Route 101d Bietschhorn E rib. There is loose rock on this route.
Route 102a Stockhorn S ridge. Less popular these days but still worthwhile. The time quoted for this climb is probably over generous. 6-8hr appears to be more appropriate.
17 Page 36 Finsteraarhorn Hut. 9 lines from the bottom of the page 49a and 49b should read 45a nd 45b.
18 Page 123 Route 49c Hinter Fiescherhorn NW Ridge. First line (see Route 50a) should read (see Route 50b).
18a Page 202 Climbing has been banned on the Cascade Crags. Equipment on the existing routes has been removed.
19 Page 232 Route 97a Lötschental Breithorn SW Ridge. From the Baltschieder hut follow Route 96e .... should read follow Route 96a.
20 Page 270 For Speigelwand read Spiegelwand
21 Page 278 Eldorado. Some think that the route Plaisir Suisse is one of the best climbs. It is just R of Benelli (Route r66).
22 Photo 22 Caption: South Eigerjoch should be North Eigerjoch.
23 Photos 39 and 40 Caption: H36 should in both cases be H37
24 Photo 46 Caption: H26 should be H25
25 Photo 86 The pinnacles marked Petite Puce and Damen are incorrectly labelled. The Petite Puce is obscured from the viewpoint of the photograph. For Damen read Grande Puce.
26 Route r140 Traverse South to North. Alter description from para 2, line 7, last sentence. From the summit of the Eggturm descend on the NE side and then cross a col immediately before the striking pinnacle of the Pt Puce the N side of the ridge. Either climb to the next saddle and from there climb the Gd Puce (2 pitches: 5b) and abseil to the next gap at the foot of Katz, or continue contouring round the N side of the Gd Puce to reach the same gap. The remaining description is correct.
27 Route r140 The parallel route description starting at para 5. Line 5: For the summits of Damen read Pt and Gd Puce.
28 Route r141 Nikita can be climbed free at 7b.
29 Route r143 Pitch grades have been re-assessed. They are now: P1 and 2 5b, P3 6a, P4 4a then scramble, P5 5c, P6 5b, P7 4a, P8 5b with 4 pa, P9 4b then scramble.
The following routes are said to be worth looking at.
(i) SE ridge of the Vorder Galmihorn. AD: III: mixed
Oberland Huts - updated information / additional information
Finsteraarhorn Hut 110 places
Tschierva hut. This hut has been extended in a contemporary style with additional accommodation now available.
Sasc Fura Hut 081 822 12 52
Sciora Hut 081 822 11 38
Albinga Hut 081 822 14 05
Forno Hut 081 824 31 82
Coaz Hut 081 842 62 78
Tschierva Hut 081 842 63 91
Boval Hut 081 842 64 03
Diavolezza (Berggasthaus Bernina Suot) 081 842 62 05
Jenatsch Hut (Chamanna Jenatsch) 081 833 29 29
Es-cha Hut (Chamanna d'Es-cha) 081 854 17 55
Grialetsch Hut (Chamanna Grialetsch) 081 416 34 36
Scersen-Entova Hotel - Closed
Page 41 - Topali hut. The hut has been rebuilt after its destruction by avalanche. It now has 44 beds in rooms for 4, 6 and 10 people, toilets and well equipped kitchen. Guarded on demand, reservation is essential at Tel. 027 956 21 72.
Page 44 - Quintino Sella hut - altitude should read 3,585m
Page 46 - Citta di Mantova and Gnifetti Huts. Approach by cable car from Alagna is not possible because repair work is being carried out. It is just as easy to approach from the Val de Gressoney.
H39 Oberto hut. A new hut has been built with 35 beds. Property of the CAI and open 1st July - 20th Sept Tel 0324 65 544.
Page 61 - Tour of Monte Rosa - Stage 7 - There is a new hut, with all the usual facilities, situated just before the footpath crosses the route (H36) to the Dom hut from Randa (map ref 628.460/105.850). It is called the Europa Hut (Europahütte) and not to be confused with the renamed Täschalp Hotel at Ottavan
Page 82 - Route 5a - Trifthorn S Ridge - Not climbed much in 2003 because the access gully leading to the Triftjoch was truly horrible with no snow in it. In this condition it has sustained climbing at II and III. Best for descent.
Page 83 - Route 6a - Zinal Rothorn - update Sept 2008. The route described climbs the couloir leading to the the notch just N of the Gabel. The couloir is now subjected to serious stonefall and is best avoided in both ascent and descent. The prefered line to follow is the rock rib to the S of the couloir which has steps of III- and is equipped for abseil. The rib is climbed to just below the Gabel from where a traverse R leads into the top of the couloir, which in turn leads to the notch.
Page 181 - Signalkuppe - altitude should read 4,554m
Page 142 - Route 25b - Pollux SW ridge - for ‘rope’ read ‘chain’
Page 252 - Leiterspitzen - A useful base from which to climb this peak is Täschalp Hotel, which has been renamed the Europaweg Hütte, situated at Ottavan (Täschalpen).
Page 262 - Route 66a - Nadelhorn NE ridge - Unless there is a lot of snow it is better to approach the Riedpass by descending on to the Reid glacier from the moraine by the prominent boulder. There is an iron pole and a cairned path. This way avoids an unpleasant boulderfield.
Page 310 - Route 84a - Jegihorn Ordinary Route - A start can be made to this route directly from the Kreuzboden lift station, thus avoiding the ascent to the Weissmies hut. Follow the valley on the N side of the moraine leading towards the Weissmies hut. A vague path follows the R bank of the stream and joins the route from the hut at the start of the zigzag path.
Updated hut information and telephone numbers
Ar Pitetta Hutread Arpitettaz Hut
Turtmann Hut - Places for 72
Topali Hut Rebuilt recently in an ultra-modern style.
Guardian’s home Tel 027 956 38 68
Gandegg Hut Tel 079 607 88 68
Berghaus Flue Tel 027 967 25 97
Page 42 - Regondi bivouac hut - this hut has been rebuilt (a few year ago). It has 12 bunks with blankets but no other facilities at all.
Page 63 - Moiry Hut Tel 027 475 45 34
Page 68 - H49 Lonza Bivouac hut - has been destroyed by an avalanche (2001). Its future is uncertain.
Page 114 - Route 22a Combin de Corbassière S Ridge - Approach: From the hut follow the moraine c500m Swards past the signpost to the Col des Otanes before descending on to the Corbassière glacier. Cross it almost horizontally then hug the L bank to a height of c2,800m. c300m past a large waterfall, an ice-tongue descends from the glacier above (not visible from the hut). Climb this, or rock and scree on the L, to where the angle eases. Traverse horizontally R (N) across the glacier heading for the obvious col in the ridge descending NE from Pt 3,442m. Climb the ridge easily until it is possible to traverse on to the glacier on the far side and climb this (crevasses) to the col at 3,405m at the foot of the S ridge. Descent: From the summit descend W on boulderfields and snow patches to a broad saddle from the E end of which it is possible to descend S on scree and shale.
Page 144 - Route 40a - La Ruinette - Undergraded, worth PD. The overall time is about right at 5½hr but it takes 2hr to the Col de Lire Rose and a further 3½ hr to the summit. To return to Mauvoisin from the Col de Lire Rose descend the W facing combe towards Pt 2,672m, then SW to join the wonderfully scenic path from Lac de Tsofeiret to Mauvoisin. After the initial slope, this gives easy walking on stable scree and moraine followed by rolling meadows.
Page 158 - Route 45b - Pointe d'Otemma S Ridge - Approach read: From the Chanrion hut walk E to join the 4 wheel-drive track and follow this downhill until 50m short of the first hairpin bend. Head uphill, along the line of a small stream at first, then runnels between stones, leading to open grass slopes. Near the top of the grass pick up an old path, now very faint, which leads Rwards following the line of a grassy terrace (obvious from the road) which cut the lower band of cliffs and leads to the base of the S ridge. Easy and very scenic.
Updated hut information and telephone numbers
Brunet Hut (Cabane Marcel Brunet)
Panossière Hut Destroyed by avalanche and now replaced in a different location by the privately owned (same owners as the original Panossière hut) Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Hut (2645m). It is located c800m NW of the site of the Panossière hut, on the moraine path towards Fionnay, from where it can be reached. Telephone as for Panossière Hut
Prafleuri Hut Tel 079 628 46 32
Pantalons Blancs Bivouac Guardian present 10 July to 15 Sept
Aiguillette Hut - Out of service
Dent Blanche (Rossier) Hut
A rockfall in 2004-5 has removed the entire Eastern side of the Torre Piaz/Piz Piaz.
[Valeria Pallotta, the long standing hut guardian is best consulted before attempting any routes on this training tower. Apparently the last ascentionist, was seen eating a panini on the ledge taking in the sun before the summit, 30mins later, while he was wandering back to the hut, he was engulfed in yellow dust as the towers northern flank became detached. A close shave!]
55/56 Charlotte Road, London EC2A 3QF