ISM - International School of Mountaineering
Why Choose ISM?
Our pedigree speaks for itself
Founded in 1965, ISM is by far the longest established provider of Alpine courses to English speaking clients. The majority of our clients come from the UK, although we attract English speaking clients from all over the world.Read More
The ISM Team
In the early sixties an ex-fighter pilot named John Harlin lived and worked in Leysin at the American College of Switzerland. A very determined and charismatic mountaineer, he was eventually joined there by Royal Robbins. Leysin became the 'basecamp' for leading American and British alpinists of the day, such as Gary Hemming, Layton Kor, Dougal Haston and Don Whillans. They began exploring the Leysin Tours (limestone towers above Leysin up to 500ft high) and many of the classic routes bear their names.
At that time there were still 'last great problems' to be solved in the Alps. The South face of the Fou was unclimbed and there were no 'Directissimas' on the Dru West Face or the Eiger Nordwand. With Robbins, Harlin succeeded on the first two objectives; then in 1965 he made another far-reaching contribution to mountaineering by founding ISM.Read More
Testimonials For ISM
The classic alpinism course last week led by Swedish Daniel was excellent! The itinerary was really well planned taking into account the less than perfect weather and the abilities and aspirations of the group - we all learned loads.
Classic AlpinISM (Instructional Course)
Thanks for a great week, in some pretty challenging and extreme conditions. Thanks for keeping us safe, teaching us loads, and being all round fantastic fun. I'd look forward to coming on another trip with you guiding.
Ski Grand St Bernard
Just a quick word of thanks for the course last week. Our guide Tom was excellent and covered a lot of miles to ensure we got the best conditions and great routes in and was always ready with a word or two of advice when needed - please pass my thanks on to him,
Technical Alpine Rock