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Climbingin the Monts de Genève


Did you know that the term “varappe” entered the Alpine vocabulary in 1883? It refers to the practice of rock climbing. We owe it to a handful of brilliant climbers, Geneva “varappeurs” enamored of a Salève gorge bearing its name: “La Grande Varappe”.

Would you like to discover rock climbing? Find our advice, our selection of sites and partners to accompany you.


to climb?

Outdoor Sites

on the Salève

The “canapé”, 18 routes from 6a to 8a, Northwest

Access: Drive into the village of Monnetier-Mornex and park at the start of the Chemin du Funiculaire. Follow this wide path then, a few metres before a large metal barrier, turn left onto a small footpath. There are several forks in the path. Each time, take the right-hand path, which runs alongside a garden fence. Shortly afterwards, you’ll come across another fairly wide path coming from below. Continue horizontally. The path leads to the vire du Canapé.

La Muraz
“Petites Gorges”, 10 routes from 5+ to 7c, Northwest

Access: At the top of the Salève, at the Observatoire restaurant near the relay antenna, take the Petite Gorge path and gain the top of a beautiful rocky promontory. You can then abseil easily and stress-free down to the foot of the wall.

Le Coin, Collonges-sous-Salève
“Paroi des Buttiköffer”, 21 routes 5c to 7a+, Northwest to Southwest

Access: From Collonges-sous-Salève, head up through the village and park next to the “Le refuge” restaurant on route de la Croisette, to the right of the tennis courts. Follow the wide path and enter the woods on a blue and orange signposted trail. When you reach a clearing, the path is opposite. After a minute or two, turn left to reach the split rock, then the Morgan wall and the west face. To reach the Bütikoffer sector, continue straight ahead until you reach the very large dihedral of the same name.

Le Coin, Collonges-sous-Salève
“Chaos des blocs du Salève”, 6 routes 5 to 6b, Northwest to Southwest

Access: Parking du Coin in Collonges-sous-Salève near the tennis courts.

Le Coin, Collonges-sous-Salève
“Massif du coin”, 27 routes 2a to 8c+, Northwest to Southwest

Access: Parking du Coin in Collonges-sous-Salève close to the tennis courts.

And to discover new

sites and horizons

10 lanes, 8a to 9a, South Southeast

Access: From Allonzier-la-Caille, take a road towards Mandallaz. The parking lot is located at the entrance to the former Allonzier quarry. Park near the gate. From the parking lot, follow the track leading to the old quarry. It bends to the right. About 300 m from the gate and 100 m before a tower with antennas, follow a small, well-marked path through the forest to the left. The first sector is reached in 8 minutes.

10 routes, 5c to 6a, south southwest

Access: Park at the parking lot on the route de Saint Blaise, set off on foot along the path that climbs to the right, follow the main path for 20 minutes to reach the foot of the cliff.


Indoor & artificial

UCPA Vitam
Rope climbing wall, 160 routes all levels + two bouldering areas.
Learn more

Arkose Genevois
An 1800m² bouldering park open to all, children and adults, climbers or not, for a moment of relaxation or sport.
Find out more

La Grande Varappe
Next climbing wall arrival station of the Salève cable car. This 20 m-high, 11 m-wide wall is accessible to beginners and advanced climbers alike.
En savoir +

If you’d like to receive a more comprehensive offer, please contact our Tourism Promotion Officers!


When climbing, it’s strongly recommended that you always be insured by people you can trust. The best period for this sporting activity is between spring and autumn. Outdoor climbing is done with respect for the natural environment, so please be careful not to damage the vegetation around you, and don’t leave any garbage lying around – carry it in your rucksack when you leave.


There is still an ongoing decree concerning the practice of climbing in the commune of Collonges-sous-Salève. The sector commonly known as Les Petites Varappes, to the left of the Mule drop, is forbidden and will remain so for a long time. For all other sectors (Grandes Varappes, Face Ouest, Morgants, Buttikofer, etc.) climbing is permitted.



For safe climbing, it’s essential to prepare and check your equipment properly. Here are a few tips and tricks to ensure your day runs smoothly!

The equipment
  • Harness and chalk bag (recommended)
  • Helmet (outdoors)
  • Climbing shoes
  • Ropes (outdoors, one or more depending on location). 60m minimum recommended. Don’t forget to ask about the length of the routes!
  • Belay system (Click up or Grigri are highly recommended) and climbing quickdraws
Tips and tricks

So you don’t miss a thing during the day:

  • Gourd or water bottle
  • Food
  • Suitable clothing
  • First-aid kit
  • Be sure to find out about the location and the weather beforehand