/ Huts you can walk to and what height for acclimatisation

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Adderbury Climber - on 22 Apr 2012
I am planning a trip to the alps this summer with the main target being the Matterhorn, probably by the Italian ridge, as I don't fancy the crowds I have heard of on the Hornli.

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.

cheers
cannichoutdoors - on 22 Apr 2012
In reply to Adderbury Climber: Albert Premier hut at side of le Tour glacier. 2700m from memory. A short chair lift and a few hundred metres of height gain. About two and half hours easy walk, although the ;last drag up to the hut always hurts. Acclimatisation starts about 2500m - 3000m, but is different every time. Someone with more knowledge than me can point you in the right direction, but an internet search for 'acute mountain sickness' would be a good start.
altirando - on 22 Apr 2012
In reply to Adderbury Climber: You have to take your wife on the balcony trail on the north side of the Chamonix valley - one of the best mountain walks in the world. Every little helps for acclimatisation! You might try Le Buet as a peak to day walk. Perhaps leave your wife at the refuge for lunch.
Simon4 - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to Adderbury Climber: What about the Tete Rousse hut at 3167?

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.
Simon4 - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to altirando: Good suggestion for a superb walk on a fine day, but not sure it will do that much for acclimitisation.
MG - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to Adderbury Climber: Italian huts are generally a bit more comfortable than French ones, I think. If you are in Italy, consider the Chabod or Vitorrio Sella huts at 2750m and 2550m respectively. Both easy walks to reach, in superb surroundings, helpful wardens, and both offer good walks from the huts up to 3200+m without glaciers. The VS has showers too.
Adderbury Climber - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to cannichoutdoors:

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.
Adderbury Climber - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to altirando:

Thanks for the suggestion of the balcony trail, not heard of that will look in to it.
Adderbury Climber - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to Simon4:
> (In reply to Adderbury Climber) What about the Tete Rousse hut at 3167?
>
> 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.

Hi

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.
Adderbury Climber - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Adderbury Climber) Italian huts are generally a bit more comfortable than French ones, I think. If you are in Italy, consider the Chabod or Vitorrio Sella huts at 2750m and 2550m respectively. Both easy walks to reach, in superb surroundings, helpful wardens, and both offer good walks from the huts up to 3200+m without glaciers. The VS has showers too.

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.

Cheers
Simon4 - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to MG:
> Italian huts are generally a bit more comfortable than French ones ...... in superb surroundings, helpful wardens

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.
MG - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to Simon4: Yes, I almost noted the exception with the Torino. No real options of walks from it without glaciers either, except down (and down and down).
Simon4 - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to MG:
> ... down (and down and down)

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.
MG - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to Simon4:
> (In reply to MG)
> [...]
>
> 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

http://www.rifugiochabod.com/rifugiochabod/index.php/eng/pagina/6
http://www.rifugiosella.com/indexinveng.html

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.
lowersharpnose - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to Adderbury Climber:

Rifugio Boccalatte, on the normal route to the Grands Jorasses couldfit the bill at 2800m. I recall it was just a walk.

MG - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to MG: And I recommend this book if you are looking for ideas. It list all the huts in Aosta and gives ideas for walks, climbs and ski tours from them. In Italian but easy enough to follow.

http://www.ibs.it/code/9788881770267/ardito-stefano/rifugi-della-valle.html

(I know nothing about the website, just the book)
Kid Spatula - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to Adderbury Climber:

Vignettes Hut? Nice walk up (very up) and 3100m?
Derby Grit - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to Adderbury Climber:
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!
AlasdairM on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to Kid Spatula:
> (In reply to Adderbury Climber)
>
> 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.
Adderbury Climber - on 24 Apr 2012
In reply to Adderbury Climber:

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.

Cheers
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Kid Spatula - on 24 Apr 2012
In reply to Adderbury Climber:

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.

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