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 organising an excellent week. The course format, accommodation and set up was perfect. The guide was outstanding and gave us a full week of constructive tuition. I was able to put his training into practice the following week when I met up with a friend and did the Cosmiques Arrete.
R W (2017)
Classic AlpinISM (Instructional Course)
I just wanted to thank you as well as Mark, our guide for the amazing week. The course was well organized and was just perfect for a beginner to mountaineering. We couldn't have wished for a better adventure. The memories are irreplaceable.
Terry was a wonderful guide and made everything fun, laid-back and an overall good experience. I would be happy to ski or climb with him again. All the logistics in Leysin and in Italy went smoothly. A really nice time.