/ Aiguille Du Midi bivouac

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r1ckyfrankl1n - on 31 Jul 2012
Hi, Has anyone got any experience of sleeping at the cable car station here? If so, when and how was it?

The only info I can find is very old.

Thanks
highclimber - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to r1ckyfrankl1n: I got caught out this time last year. spent the night in the toilets which is the warmest place though it's a toilet and the heater is NOISY! The staff gave us water and some soup and we managed to find some bubble wrap for a bed. Needless to say, I didn't sleep too well though it was awesome to see a thunderstorm through the window.

I'd say if you were thinking you might get caught out, take at least a sleeping bag with you!
garrett85 - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to r1ckyfrankl1n:
Slept there twice, most recently a couple of weeks ago. The toilets are indeed warm, and have hand dryers, which are fantastic if your clothes/fingers/toes are frozen. Last time the toilets were already occupied when we arrived, so slept on the benches in the tunnel, perfectly warm if you have a sleeping bag. My understanding is that the staff don't mind if you're there out of necessity, although this last time I had the impression that the other people there were bivvying to get an early start (they'd all vanished by the time I was woken up by the staff arriving).
We never had any trouble apart from being asked to get out of the toilets before the lift opened, but on both occasions it was pretty obvious that we'd got there pretty late and in bad conditions. They might react differently if they saw you arriving on the lift and setting up camp, I don't know.

colin harvey on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to r1ckyfrankl1n: only by necessity. once in winter-very uncomfortable. they have heaters but only to keep the place above freezing (just). had a shouting match in the morning with an attendant who accused me of moving the heater to suit my sleeping spot even though i gave a demonstration of how the cables prevented this and why would i not just lie in front of where it already was. partner vomiting in the toilets or pacing up and down. no sleeping bag and the floor saps everything from you. the bastard charged us for the lift down.
not much better last october- no bag, light jacket and no sleep. 2 guys in the gallery above the toilets seemed well set up for an early start and lent us a stove for a brew. staff nice as pi in the morning though
WillRawlinson - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to r1ckyfrankl1n: Yep, the guard who let us in showed us to the room just above the toilets and offered us free hot chocolate; wasn't to bad
george mc - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to r1ckyfrankl1n:

Last time I slept there (by accident not design) we were given water by one of the staff (very much appreciated it was too)and ushered off to a quiet wee corner. This was October time.
verygneiss - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to r1ckyfrankl1n:

This thread has made me more interested in alpinism than ever, is this typically the starting point for the Midi-Plan Traverse and Arete des Cosmiques?

The image of numerous scraggy climbers trooping out of a toilet in the morning also amuses me greatly.
jhw - on 01 Aug 2012
We got the last lift up with the intention of sleeping in the toilets but weren't allowed - they do kick you out. The toilets are open as an emergency shelter if you get caught out, which is different.
r1ckyfrankl1n - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to r1ckyfrankl1n:
> Hi, Has anyone got any experience of sleeping at the cable car station here? If so, when and how was it?
>
> The only info I can find is very old.
>
> Thanks

Thanks guys. I appreciate the info.

I was thinking about possibly spending the night there as an acclimatisation exercise but that doesn't sound possible.

I'm very glad I asked the question. I hate upsetting the French.
Kyle Warlow - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to r1ckyfrankl1n:

Just get an earlier lift up, take a little hike down to the valley and head back up just as the last lift is due to leave. Maybe do the Cosmiques? You just got caught out with the time, didn't you? ;-)

Also, the slog up the snow arete or cosmiques will help with acclimatisation.
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AbbiWalters - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to r1ckyfrankl1n: We went out in April, we intended to get to the Cosmiques Hut but the weather was terrible and I was really ill so we turned back however we missed the last lift back. The guard was really nice, he showed us to the room above the toilets to sleep and offered us a hot chocolate as long as we were up and gone in the morning. If you were waiting in the station before the last lift I think they would make you get the lift down or walk to the Cosmiques however if you intend to get the first lift down in the morning then I think you'll be okay.

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