/ Dix Hut from Arolla

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ollie20964 - on 18 Jul 2012
Hello, I am going on an Alpine course in August and staying in Evolene. Before it starts I was hoping to help my acclimatisation by spending a couple of nights in a mountain hut. I have heard the Dix hut would be a good bet with a walk from Arolla? I am going to be on my own so didn't want anything too risky. Has anyone walked to the hut from Arolla or know any good guidebooks to work out the route! Many thanks in advance.
jon on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to ollie20964:

It's no problem. Follow signs out of Arolla towards the Pas de Chevres (and Col Riedmatten). Go to the Pas de Chevres - you'll see the hut high up on a rocky knoll on the other side of the glacier. Climb down the ladders on the far side and cross the dry glacier - normally there are markers - and up to the hut.
hokkyokusei - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to ollie20964:

If my memory is correct you can also get to the Vignette Hut from Arolla without going on a glacier? Or have I misremembered that?
Doug on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to jon: From memory the route is clearly shown on the (summer) 1:50 000 map (can't check as I only have the winter edition to hand). I've only used the Pas de Chevres but is the Col Riedmatten a summer route ? (would give a slightly different route each way)
jon on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Doug:

Yes, it's also a summer route.

Hokki, unless things have changed, you've mis-remembered that.
hokkyokusei - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to jon:
> (In reply to Doug)
>
> Yes, it's also a summer route.
>
> Hokki, unless things have changed, you've mis-remembered that.

Ah, thanks for that. I just don't remember roping up. It was a pretty miserable day and I've probably just forgotten!
jon on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to hokkyokusei:

Maybe the glacier has shrunk to such an extent that you can keep off it by keeping hard left? Or perhaps you just didn't rope up...? Certainly the last time I did it, the last km up to the hut was on the glacier. These things change dramatically in a very short time nowadays.
FrJ on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to hokkyokusei:
Fair section of usually dry glacier to ascend or cross. Probably OK unroped but a slip would be serious without so I would want axe and crampons.
Vignette is probably less busy than the Dix: both were good last time I was there.
Kid Spatula - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to ollie20964:

Last year the approach to the Vignettes was on a wet glacier for the top half but everyone was doing it unroped. Oh how we laughed when we saw the obvious people shaped holes in the snow over crevasses.

And by laughed I mean roped up.
Nick Ashwood - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to ollie20964: There is always the Aiguille Rouge hut. It's only 100m lower than the Dix hut and you don't go anywhere near a glacier.
colinakmc - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to ollie20964: Dix hut from Arolla, as someone else said, is very sraightforward. The boulder field just after the Pas de Chevres is the only pain involved, go right when you come off the ladders and you'll get the least painful way!

Depending on how much snowfall there's been you mihgt be abl eto climb La Luette (just behind the hut) without going on the glacier too.
Glen - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Kid Spatula:
> (In reply to ollie20964)
>
> Last year the approach to the Vignettes was on a wet glacier for the top half but everyone was doing it unroped. Oh how we laughed when we saw the obvious people shaped holes in the snow over crevasses.
>
> And by laughed I mean roped up.


Lol. Yes the approach to the vignettes is definitely on glacier that is usually snow covered. i.e. not ideal on your own.

Dix hut is easier/safer, if you don't mind the big ladders.
davidrj1 - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to ollie20964: I was there last year, the Hut Guardian is the same guy on the BMC introduction to Alpine Essentials DVD...I got a bit star struck :)

It's a nice, straight forward walk to the hut from Arolla. It's a fair sized walk, I'm sure it took us around 3-4 hours. Like others have said it is sign posted so you can't really go wrong and there is a clear path to follow to the ladders which take you down to the glacier.

As another post has said, the ladders are pretty big! But so long as you have a reasonable head for heights you'll be fine.

The Glacier is straight forward. It was dry when we were on it and littered with lots of stones and rocks. We never bothered with a rope, in fact there were so many rocks I'm not even sure if we put our crampons on for it.
Doug on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to OP
If you're worried about crossing the glacier on your own, consider the Cabane de Tsa, its a bit lower but no glacier on the approach
Kid Spatula - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to ollie20964:

And the steepest approach ever!
Alan Bates on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to ollie20964: Another option in the areas is the Moiry Hut across in the next valley from Evolene, could even walk it from Evolene across the col de Torrent, or get the bus up to the Moiry Dam. No glaciers to cross on the hut approach.
I stopped there on first night of a recent alpine trip and next morning got up early and soloed up and down NW arete of the Pigne de La Lie in 4hrs, again this route has no glacier crossing and in dry conditions is equivalent to grade2 UK scrambling. Certainly felt like a good start to the trip.
Have a great time.
GH - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to ollie20964: Dix hut is an excellent hut with great food and a great guardian and the walk from Arolla is well signposted and straightforward.Well worth a visit. One of the hut staff passed us on the trail in training shoes and a big tray of fruit and veg balanced on his head. He had fetched hut provisions from Arolla and it looked like a walk in the park for him. Enjoy
Alan Bates on 20 Jul 2012
In reply to ollie20964:
If you've not bought maps, take a look at this site, where you can zoom in to 1:25000 and capture and print
http://map.schweizmobil.ch/?lang=en
ollie20964 - on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to ollie20964: Thank you to everyone for their replies. I didn't expect to get so many, you've all been very helpful and I really appreciate it! Looks like the Dix hut should be a safe bet then. I've heard the glacier is dry from a lot of people so that shouldn't be too much of an issue then. Someone kindly sent me some pics of "the ladders" from their trip and they do look quite daunting. I have got a reasonably good head for heights and am an ok rock climber so hopefully I should find them ok on my own. I take it there is no other way of getting their without going down them?

Thanks for the link to the map as well - I'll have a look!

Cheers!
Ollie
Kid Spatula - on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to ollie20964:

Ladders are fine. Switchover is a bigger reach than ideal, but hey it's a mountain.
ads.ukclimbing.com
BaggieBoy on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to Kid Spatula: I guess that you're going with Martin Moran then. I have just got back from Evolene and the Dix hut is fairly easy from Arolla. The Vignettes hut lis definitely up a wet glacier. When I left on Saturday 21/7 the glacier crossing from the the ladders to the Dix Hut was dry. Enjoy!!
colinakmc - on 27 Jul 2012
In reply to ollie20964: amusing story about the ladders: when my mate & I got to the Pas from Arolla there was a girl coming up from the direction of the hut, we could hear her talking away to someone as she came up. After chatting to us at the top for a minute my pal asked her when her friend was coming up the ladder. SHe smiled sheepishly and admitted she's been talking to herself to get herself up the ladder!
S'pose you get more sensible answers that way....
Hat Dude on 27 Jul 2012
In reply to colinakmc:

Walking over to the Dix hut, we were laughing about some of the "tourists" freaking out on the ladders. Coming back the next day, tired after doing Mont Blanc de Cheilon, we weren't quite as cocky!

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