/ Aiguille Du Midi Normal route, walk advice

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trollman - on 22 May 2011
Hi,
Myself and a group of friends are going out to try climb MB in early july, we are planning to walk up Aiguille du Midi over two days staying at Requin hut half way, i would like any first hand advice from anyone who
has done this route in last couple of years.We are doing this to start off the week to get our legs,lungs and walking together on the rope sorted.
I have stayed in Requin hut about 6 years ago, but the conditions were too
bad to continue any further so turned back.Its mainly from the hut to Midi
station that i would like any advice, walking times, danger etc
thanks for any info in advance
t
pneame on 22 May 2011
In reply to trollman:
I can't speak to how it is now - but this was 30+ years ago:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=170041

There's probably going to be a trace going through, but it's easier to see going down than up. It's pretty dangerous, more so these days I'd imagine. Early season (June - early July), the snow bridges will be unstable, late season there won't be any bridges.

The vallee blanche has a number of quite large holes in it .

Strongly not recommended, but you'll be able to work all that out from the Requin hut. Then retreat back via the Couvercle Hut and Balcon on the Verte side of the Mer de Glace which more than make up for retreating.
trollman - on 24 May 2011
In reply to pneame:

Wow, i like a beer but walking though that lot?
Im guessing this walk up the Vallee blanche is not a very popular one
found plenty of info to ski down it, but none to walk it.
When we stayed there a few years ago (mid july!) we were the only guests and it
was a great hut with stunning views so wanted to go back, also stayed
in albert hut-never again.I shall look into the alt route you gave
as still want to visit Requin hut, thanks for advice
t
John Workman - on 24 May 2011
In reply to trollman: This won't be much help. I walked from Cham to the Aig du Midi summit, via the Mer de Glace, with a stay one night at the Requin Hut but that was in the summer of 1970. I'm told that the Geant ice-fall - just above the Hut is considered to be too dangerous in summer - these days. You may be able to get more info on this? My other memory is how hot it was in the Vallee Blanche - on the approach to the Midi. Early start from the hut and sun hat and glacier cream a must.
John Workman - on 24 May 2011
In reply to trollman:
What was wrong at the Albert Premier hut? [May be going ther this year]
walts4 - on 24 May 2011
In reply to John Workman:

Hhehhehe, this could get interesting...
pneame on 24 May 2011
In reply to trollman:
> (In reply to pneame)
>
> Wow, i like a beer but walking though that lot?
Er... caught... poetic license. We felt that the beer was too expensive.
The huts around the Mer de Glace all have spectacular views and one could have a fantastic trip just circling from one to another, although they get pretty full mid July - mid August and pre-booking would be pretty vital.
Good bivvies near the Couvercle and below the Envers hut (although the latter get pretty full too in peak season)
Full disclosure - the only hut I've actually stayed in around the Mer de Glace is the Charpoua - empty apart from us (I'm not a big fan of the communal living thing). Great doss. The team didn't like the ladders opposite Montenvers, so I took them down the alternative route. They liked that less
http://www.drones.com/mountain.html

Useful thread here - http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=446340
francoisecall - on 24 May 2011
In reply to trollman: Went to the Requin hut a few years ago in the summer. Never again: apart from the unpleasant hut keeper,who I understand has now been changed, the access was hell amongst rolling boulders. As the glacier recedes it can only get worse. It would not occur to me to continue on to the Midi. If you walk from the valley to Mont Blanc you could try the Italian side or from Bionassay or from Contamine via the Miage ridge.
drunken monkey - on 24 May 2011
In reply to francoisecall: I've descended from the Plan to the Requin hut a few years ago in summer.

Never shit myself so much in my life.

The Geant Icefall looked very broken and very scary from the hut, but i'm sure folk were still finding a way through. The lower part of the Mer De Glace was straightforward to negotiate however.
pneame on 24 May 2011
In reply to drunken monkey:
> (In reply to francoisecall) I've descended from the Plan to the Requin hut a few years ago in summer.

> The Geant Icefall looked very broken and very scary from the hut

The occasional "crump" from within it's bowels was a bit off-putting in the 2 times I went through in the summer a long time ago. But we were immortal, so what did we care!
JLS on 24 May 2011
In reply to trollman:

I did your route in July 2006. While the Geant ice fall looked complex it turned out to be fairly straight forward with only one or two short bits of back tracking. The path between the hut and the ice was subject to serious rock fall. We seen rock coming down the afternoon before so but it I was surprised to see more at first light when we set off (or should I say just after we set off while gearing up at the edge of the ice.) The tricky bit was the basin above the ice fall. I guess it changes from year to year but we found that section difficult going with scary weak looking snow bridges.

The valley blanche had a few crevasses to be jumped but good snow cover made the going easy. Half way up the arÍte to the midi the altitude hit me and the pace slowed to the everest two step.
trollman - on 25 May 2011
In reply to JLS:
Glad to know you made it though, well done!
When we attempted the route, we also witnessed avalanches
from the requin hut across the path, so we retraced our
way back. after gettig all this advice, and because we have a couple
of people new to this game i have decided to plan a u turn at hut,
and back down to "bard up" for happy hour. I do remember the area
of ice at base of rock below requin hut was bit of a pain to cross
so that will be our "fun challenge" section. Regarding Albert hut,
i just found sleeping? in a small hot room with about 25 others, one
of whom kept having a vy loud, jumpy nightmare, a real nightmare!!
t
hamsforlegs - on 25 May 2011
In reply to trollman:

I haven't been up to or beyond the Requin hut, but stayed at Envers for a few days in summer '09. The massive blocks of rock and ice falling over the path to the Requin first thing in the morning were pretty alarming, and the glaciers were pretty complex and covered in a weak crust. Going beyond the hut would have been quite an adventure...
bull2010face - on 25 May 2011
In reply to John Workman:

Along with the Torino it's one of the worst in the Alps. Crap food, crap sleep.

The Dix (and generally Swiss huts) are unreal in comparison. I'd bivy outside the Premier hut if i go back. At least you'll sleep better.
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Boar of Badenoch - on 25 May 2011
In reply to trollman:

I thought the cablecar was the normal route up the Aig. du midi?

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