/ Dix Hut from Arolla
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.
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?
Yes, it's also a summer route.
Hokki, unless things have changed, you've mis-remembered that.
> 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
> 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.
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.
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
And the steepest approach ever!
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.
Thanks for the link to the map as well - I'll have a look!
Ladders are fine. Switchover is a bigger reach than ideal, but hey it's a mountain.
S'pose you get more sensible answers that way....
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!
Elsewhere on the site
Atom Series: Synthetic insulated mid layers AR: All-Round. Significantly warmer and more protective than a fleece hoody, this... Read more
Hot Aches Productions premiered their latest film Redemption: The James Pearson Story at Kendal Mountain Festival on... Read more
Over the years I've been asked many times about work as a Rope Access technician, often by Instructors and Guides working for... Read more
Nikwax’s uncompromising environmental ethos has once again been recognised and rewarded by a trusted authority in... Read more
2012 saw the release of the beautiful first volume of definitive Yorkshire Gritstone climbing, produced by the YMC with Robin... Read more