/ Off to Chamonix

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farmerboy - on 18 Jan 2013
Hi
I've been a regular lurker for years but never bothered regestering, so please excuse the lack of profile.
Myself and my mate are both celebrating our 40th birthdays this year, so by way of a present our wives are giving us 7 days to go and play in the Alps, we have both always wanted to visit Chamonix so at the end of June we will be boarding the Eurotunnel and driving down, the problem is, this is as far as our planning has got.
We probabaly won't get this chance again so we'd like it to be memorable. We have both spent time in the Alps skiing but not any form of climbing as we've always been with our families in the past, we have climbed together for just over ten years having regular trips to Scotland, Wales and the Lakes, we also climb regularlary (sp?) on and around the Mendips where we live both climbing E1/E2.
So, a few questions.
1) We need to keep this as cheap as possible, so can anybody recomend a cheap campsite in or around Chamonix? We'll be tenting it so a warm shower is all we require.
2) We're not interested in knocking off tons of routes or anything like that, just soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying being in and around the mountains, but if anyone can recommend an easy route perhaps a nice ridge route or somthing along those lines? or maybe a 2 day route with overnight bivvy etc?
3)Is the Téléphérique de l'Aiguille du Midi worth the money? Could a route be incorperated from it? I appreciate we can't be going too high.
4)We'd like to give Via ferrata a go, any recommendations?
5)Anything else we should know or do?

Thanks in advance, I'm sure there was something else I was going to ask but I forget now.

Cheers
Lee
colina - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to farmerboy:
yes imo the aiguille de midi along with all the telephoniques is definatly worth the money.re the midi- you have the option of continuing the ride in the "pods" (smaller cable car) across and down the other side of the mountain into Italy where you can then catch a bus through the mont blanc tunnel back to Chamonix,
probably a good full day out and one youll enjoy,
you can of course just go up the midi and come down again where you get an excellent view of mont blanc (still worth the money)be prepared to be hit by the altitude if you haven't acclimitized,
Chamonix is a great place albeit not cheap but I think youll love it!
jealous!
colina - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to farmerboy: just thought ,,,if you pop into the tourist info centre you can get a free rail /bus pass for the duration of your stay.you just need to give them an address where your staying ..not sure if a camp site counts but you could perhaps give them the name of a local hotel maybe ..the train is an excellent way of going up and down the valley and popping off and doing a little or big walk.'
top day out would be a train trip over into Switzerland in the mont blanc express.(.think von ryans express) .possibly the best scenic train journey in the world!
dunnyg - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to colina: campsite counts
Ramblin dave - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to colina:
> (In reply to farmerboy) just thought ,,,if you pop into the tourist info centre you can get a free rail /bus pass for the duration of your stay.you just need to give them an address where your staying ..not sure if a camp site counts but you could perhaps give them the name of a local hotel maybe

We stayed in the Camping Des Arolles (which was reasonably priced and nice, FWIW) and they gave us one on the site. Really really useful, although perhaps not as essential if you've got a car...

The key tip for keeping it cheap is to avoid eating out as much as possible and to learn to make a pint last upwards of an hour.

And somewhat counter to the spirit of keeping it cheap, if you fancy doing anything in the Aiguilles Rouges then I'd recommend a night in the Lac Blanc Hut - pleasant people, really good food, and an absolutely phenomenal view...
farmerboy - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Cheers, the (secret) plan is, if we can keep it cheap or at least not much more expensive than going to Scotland for a few days, then maybe we can convince the laydees to let us go again. ;o)
clochette - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to farmerboy: You'll find lots of routes and other info (eg. via ferrata) in Chamonix Mountain Adventures published by Cicerone Press.
http://www.cicerone.co.uk/product/detail.cfm/book/663
farmerboy - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to clochette:

Thanks,looks good.
farmerboy - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to farmerboy:

Can anyone recommend a map of the area?
Bruce Hooker - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to farmerboy:

This one: Carte IGN Chamonix massif du Mont Blanc - IGN 3630OT

http://www.skitour.fr/cartes/detail-carte.php?c=3630OT

A week's a bit short to get used to altitude but even if the weather's poor you can do walks like the North and South Balcony route that follow the valley at about 2000m above the town - splendid views of the mountains.

For a first hut the Albert 1er is an idea, and there are easyish climbs to be done, l'Aiguille du Tour for example. For sheer breathtaking views go up to the Couvercle just opposite the Grandes Jorasses (you'll find better photos on ukc albums, but it's really just like that, straight across the glacier in front of you).

http://www.windmillweb.info/climbing/alps69/images1/grandes_jorasses_detail.jpg

Taking the Midi telepherique is good for the view but if it's clear day you might be better climbing, and if it isn't you won't see anything!

For me the Alps means Chamonix, although not all agree.









farmerboy - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Thanks Bruce, I'm starting to build a picture in my head now. :o)
dave frost - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to farmerboy:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
>
> Cheers, the (secret) plan is, if we can keep it cheap or at least not much more expensive than going to Scotland for a few days, then maybe we can convince the laydees to let us go again. ;o)

You may have to lye im afraid, but good luck ;-)
ads.ukclimbing.com
farmerboy - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to dave frost:

Shhhhhh!! don't tell her that! ;o)

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