"....because it's there...." - George Mallory
" ....because it's fun...." - Joe Brown
" The one thing that matters among mountains is that we enjoy them." - W. H. Murray
ISM (the International School of Mountaineering Limited) is widely recognised as the foremost organisation of its kind. Since 1965 we have been running the most extensive programme of alpine mountaineering courses available to English-speakers internationally. This is coupled with a range of 'Haute Route' treks across the Alps in summer, with Ski Tours and Off-piste skiing courses throughout the spring, and with ice climbing courses in the winter months. Countless people have discovered the mountains through ISM; experienced climbers return time after time to enjoy and progress through our wide-ranging alpine programme and perhaps share the great adventure of an ISM expedition.
Mountaineering is no dry academic subject. It is a shared adventure that gives joy and lasting satisfaction to those who participate. The International School of Mountaineering is a 'school' in that we teach best and safest practice in all the arts of mountaineering - but we are not institutionalised. We take great pride in gearing our activities to individual needs, and our satisfaction lies in seeing our clients develop into competent mountaineers who often achieve more than they ever thought possible.
Many people have come to us as complete beginners and gone on to make challenging first ascents in remote mountain regions. Others have set their sights on achieving all the great 4000m peaks of the Alps - we are delighted to help them attain this goal. On our instructional courses we have a highly successful approach to skills teaching whereby people do as much as possible for themselves (while receiving the best tuition). This is well-proven as the most effective way to gain skills and knowledge. As various ISM brochures have frequently stated throughout our history, "with ISM, you progress as fast and as far as your ability allows".
The internationally accredited IFMGA Mountain Guides and Aspirant Guides who make up the ISM team are not only dedicated professionals; they are also devoted amateurs who pursue their sport for pleasure. The best climbing courses are run by people with a passion for the mountains - a key factor in the ongoing success of ISM.
Our long experience has given us unrivalled knowledge of the Alps, enabling us to take full advantage of the amazing variety of alpine areas within reach of our Leysin base. Several ISM Guides live in the Alps all year round, keeping closely in touch with conditions in the mountains. As a guiding team having a range of specialities, we work closely together and constantly 'pool' our knowledge. This expertise is reflected in our courses, helping us to achieve more with our clients and to maintain an outstanding safety record.