/ Huts you can walk to and what height for acclimatisation
Before I meet up with my partner for this, I will be having a week or so with the wife. This week will be just for walking. The wife is happy hill walking, but doesn't much like scrambling, or exposure. I would plan to start near Chamonix, and then go on to Italy.
I thought I might be able to get a bit of sneaky acclimatisation during this week. But can't find any information on how high you need to go to get an acclimatisation benefit. Anyone know of a source of information on this?
Secondly, can anyone recommend any huts at a decent altitude that can be reached by fairly straight forward walking.
As I remember it is a straightforward walk from a cablecar or trainhead, no glacier crossing involved.
Of course the Cosmiques is higher at 3600, but clearly involves (very mild) glacier walking, more to the point it involves the quite intimidating emergence from the ice-tunnel with severe drops on both sides, so may not suit.
I have done some internet searching but not been able to find anything like a definative answer. You mentioned it 'varies each time'. I was thinking that how you feel might vary each time (which has indeed been my experience) but there would be a point at which physiologically it made a difference?
But perhaps as you say the two are linked.
Thanks for the suggestion of the balcony trail, not heard of that will look in to it.
> As I remember it is a straightforward walk from a cablecar or trainhead, no glacier crossing involved.
> Of course the Cosmiques is higher at 3600, but clearly involves (very mild) glacier walking, more to the point it involves the quite intimidating emergence from the ice-tunnel with severe drops on both sides, so may not suit.
I had thought about the Tete Rouse, having used it when I did MB via the Gouter route. But my experience was not great. It is obviously a very busy hut and when we got there they denied all knowledge of our booking, and we ended up 'sleeping' under a table.
You are right the drops as you emerge from the ice-tunnel rule out the Cosmique.
Thanks for this. I was going to ask about the relative comfort of the various huts, but decided the original post was getting too long, and containing too many questions.
A little extra comfort would certainly be appreciated. So perhaps Italy is the better place to go to, I will look up where these are, I am not familier with either of these huts.
With the obvious exception of the Torrino, which has all the charisma and helpfullness of a third rate motorway services!
Though it does have superb surroundings, is high (3430?) and is of course very easy to reach as there is a cablecar almost right to it.
I have watched people descending that endless pounding zig-zag path (from the cablecar, I am glad to say!), while a UK guide swore he would go without meals, sell a kidney, do anything to avoid it! It was a bit like watching damned souls being tormented in hell, or visits to Bedlam to mock the insane.
I agree about Italian huts generally being more pleasant, though, like most things Italian, they are unpredictable. The Monzino hut seemed very friendly when we stopped at it briefly, but I haven't spent the night there. It is also not that high, plus it has a section of via ferata to get there which might put off the OP's wife.
> I have watched people descending that endless pounding zig-zag path (from the cablecar, I am glad to say!), while a UK guide swore he would go without meals, sell a kidney, do anything to avoid it!
I've walked down.....
To the OP
Monzino in my experience is also pleasant as Simon4 says but the approach is definitely an exposed via Ferrata and needs a rope unless you are very confident.
Rifugio Boccalatte, on the normal route to the Grands Jorasses couldfit the bill at 2800m. I recall it was just a walk.
(I know nothing about the website, just the book)
Vignettes Hut? Nice walk up (very up) and 3100m?
The suggestion about the 'Balcony trail' on the N side of Chamonix is a good one, the paths up there by the Aiguilles Rouge are very nice and there's the scenic Lac Bleu hut up there too (excellent food) which is quite nice too. Well served by teleferiques too, you can go up from Chamonix, walk along to Lac Bleu, then either back a bit to the Flegere (or Index) tele or continue down the paths to Argentiere or even right to the end near Le Tour (frequent buses back).
Any walking up above 2600m is good acclimatisation and this area is about that, staying at the hut for a night will help too.
If you're camping there is a good one at La Praz http://www.chamonix-camping.com/ very handy for the Flegere/Index tele or also at La Praz the excellent accomodation of La Bagna http://chamonix-locations.com/
In Cervinia I recommend the Hotel Joli (MEUBLÉ JOLI) - lots of nice walks from there. You could also do the Breithorn from that side too, with maybe a night in the very nice Guides hut at the top of the teleferique (Rifugio Testa Grigia,3480 m) - You'll want to start your approach to the Italian ridge from halfway up this teleferique and contour around to the Abruzzi hut (being renovated I think) before heading up to the Carrell hut.
- Have a good trip!
> Vignettes Hut? Nice walk up (very up) and 3100m?
Good shout, although some glacier travel required over snowbridges.
Dix Hut is in a similar location, but easier to get to - I met someone with a West Highland Terrier up there last summer.
Thanks to everyone for their information and suggestions. Will following up some of the specific suggestions, when I have a bit more time. Rushed off my feet with work at the moment.
Ah when I last went up to the Vignettes it seemed not very glaciery.
To be fair we did find a hole where somebody had clearly fell through, but every single person heading up and down was unroped. I roped up after finding my third hole.
Elsewhere on the site
On Saturday 13th December Greg Boswell and Guy Robertson kicked off their Scottish winter season early by making the... Read more
F ounded in 1993, Mountain Hardwear are a pretty young mountaineering clothing and equipment manufacturer but are also one of... Read more
This years ROCfest will be slightly different. We've decided to run a Climbing Festival, not just a competition! Over... Read more
The Epicentre Mega Winter Sale starts in store 9am Christmas Eve. We have a great selection of in store only deals from... Read more
At a bar in Llanberis an old man chimed in And I thought he was out of his head Being a young man I just laughed it off When... Read more