/ aiguille du midi camping police
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?
Well there were people camping in both the locations you mentioned last week when I was there!
the moral of that story is: 'put your tent inside your rucksack'!
"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.
Hovering the heli 2 meters above your tent will also have desired effect.
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!
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.
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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