/ aiguille du midi camping police

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pimp.daddyo - on 01 Jul 2012
we're heading up to mont blanc in the middle of august and i was wondering if the camping police were still taking tents down or have they calmed down a bit?

we were up there in 2010 and were told that they were being very strict on people camping below the cosmique hut.

i know its best to take our tent down during the day but i was just wondering if they had relaxed at all. i've herd rumors of camping being allowed above the gouter hut and wondered if this was the case elsewhere?
Caterham - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to pimp.daddyo:

Well there were people camping in both the locations you mentioned last week when I was there!
highclimber - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to pimp.daddyo: can't speak for this year but we managed a night on the glacier last year (around this time) and didn't get bothered. We did pitch late and then a storm came in the day after. I'd risk it again
pimp.daddyo - on 02 Jul 2012
the plan was to stay up there for a couple of nights and do a few routes on the triangle du midi. Not too worried about taking the tent down during th day it would just be a lot easier if we could leave them up.
roxyroundtheworld - on 07 Jul 2012
Camping police were out in force last summer - spotted my tent attached to the outside of my rucksack on the way up to Gouter and we were very strongly advised not to continue if we intended to camp up there. If we did, the mountain police guy said we would have our tent "confiscated" and a 200 euro fine. we ended up camping at Tete Rousse in the permitted area by the hut which wasn't ideal. Clearly though some people just go for it and get away with it. Good luck!

highclimber - on 07 Jul 2012
In reply to roxyroundtheworld:
> Camping police were out in force last summer - spotted my tent attached to the outside of my rucksack on the way up to Gouter and we were very strongly advised not to continue if we intended to camp up there. If we did, the mountain police guy said we would have our tent "confiscated" and a 200 euro fine. we ended up camping at Tete Rousse in the permitted area by the hut which wasn't ideal. Clearly though some people just go for it and get away with it. Good luck!

the moral of that story is: 'put your tent inside your rucksack'!
67hours - on 08 Jul 2012
In reply to pimp.daddyo: Plenty of tents up there last week, many left up during the day. Didn't notice any problems at all.
stuart58 - on 08 Jul 2012
In reply to pimp.daddyo: why dont u use the hut and respect the reasons because of all the crap that is left.
JanBella - on 09 Jul 2012
In reply to pimp.daddyo: yeah good luck with booking gouter hut. we cant climb on days we want coz it goes on sale and within a second all places are gone.... most of it sold to bloody guiding companies and hardly anything left for the rest of climbers. to be perfectly honest camping police can kiss my skinny ass. i'd love to see them on really hard routes taking tents down but that's not gonna happen is it? why cant they just sell a permit to climb for certain routes and let people get on with it?
Jon Bracey - on 10 Jul 2012
In reply to JanBella:
"most of it sold to bloody guiding companies and hardly anything left for the rest of climbers. "

In reference to your comment I would like to point out that under the new online booking system introduced at the Gouter hut this summer, half of the beds are now allocated to members of the general public. The other half are for guiding companies/agencies and independent guides.

So far this summer the hut have been very frustrated because often they have had lots of empty beds.
Blinder - on 10 Jul 2012
In reply to JanBella: 'to be perfectly honest camping police can kiss my skinny ass. i'd love to see them on really hard routes taking tents down but that's not gonna happen is it? '

Hovering the heli 2 meters above your tent will also have desired effect.
pimp.daddyo - on 10 Jul 2012
In reply to stuart58: we don't use the huts because last time we used them they were bloody roasting hot and couldn't sleep. If we opened a window then someone instantly closed It. There was a guy in our room getting up every 10 minutes to un pack and re pack his kit while waking everyone up and blinding them with his super bright torch. It was probably the worst night sleep I've ever had. I'll take my tent down when we set off in the morning and everyone will be happy
summitjunkie - on 10 Jul 2012
In reply to pimp.daddyo:
> (In reply to stuart58) we don't use the huts because last time we used them they were bloody roasting hot and couldn't sleep. If we opened a window then someone instantly closed It. There was a guy in our room getting up every 10 minutes to un pack and re pack his kit while waking everyone up and blinding them with his super bright torch....

Yep, can second that emotion! Huts are so variable in sleeping facilities and the 'quality' of punter that in one hut you can have your own bed within a set of bunks in a room and get a good kip before a route whereas in others you are lucky to get a three foot wide bedspace in a room shared with a motley group of a-holes who make your kip-time a misery, so much so that the last time I stayed in a hut dorm I went and slept downstairs on the bench.

I now prefer to bivi if the only other option is a hut dorm. On last years Mont Blanc trip I bivied in the rocks above the Tete Rousse (being lardy in nature I didn't want to lug everything up to the Gouter!) and slept like a log. It's not everyones cup of tea though due to the fact that you will have a much longer summit day (took 14 hours and the downclimb from the Gouter was a bitch).

However, I did note at least 10 tents up above the Gouter and a couple of chaps I met en route at the Vallot had just put a tent up on the Col du Dome, which was a bit brave of them. So, a betting man might just risk taking his tent up. Don't forget that you have to lug it back down though!

I will be bivying again on this years Alps trip during the Monta Rosa traverse (three nights) and on the Three Monts traverse (three nights, climbing up from the valley floor), though I do have a slot in a hut (with a bunk bed in a private room) for a week in Austria.

If you choose to bivi or tent out, the huts will still be there should there be a grave emergency (they won't turf you back out into a blizzard or thunderstorm) and the guardiens are quite happy to sell food, drinks and water even if you are not staying there.

Hope that helps!
Scholes - on 10 Jul 2012
In reply to pimp.daddyo:

I've been up on the midi several times the past few days (4 out of the last 8 anyway) and every time there's been 3-4 tents pitched, if not more. Hope that helps. This is indeed during the day at all hours.
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doc_h - on 11 Jul 2012
In September 2010 they were stopping people climbing up on the small shoulder just below the Tete Rousse glacier to check if they had a booking at the Gouter hut or if they obviously had a tent with them. Anyone with no booking or a tent was sent back down! (Luckily I was on my way down anyway after doing the traverse from the Ag. du Midi.) There were lots of tents below cosmique though - this summer mine will be one of them!

A bivi is preferable to a hut anyway as
a) you can sleep,
b) the date of your climb is dictated by the weather, not the hut booking sheets
c) you can leave before anyone else
d) you can usually bivi a Km or so beyond the hut and get a head start.

Of course you do need to dispose of waste properly or bring it back down.

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