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
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
Good mixture of progressive instruction and learning, climbing and guiding. We climbed some very good mountains from good huts and made the best of the mixed weather conditions. The course also used a range of situations and locations to cover a wide range of skills and techniques.
Classic AlpinISM (Instructional Course)
"I loved the course and Terry was great. I learned a lot and had a lot of fun and feel confident and secure in my technique".