/ Mer de Glace to Aiguille Du Midi
Has anybody done it ? I was thinking of it as a training trip for my mate. With glacier skills lower down, then a high camp, then topping out with a spectacular ending...and not forgetting a nice cable car descent.
Any advice most welcome.
Decent day out, but it was 25 years ago and the conditions going up the Plan will have changed significantly so getting some info on that will help.
Thanks PbaB, I will check that route out.
I've googled a bit more, avoiding mention of Vallee Blache and got this, which is the route I'm after.
It's that bit after the Refuge du Requin, image 7 of 17, I wonder if there is sufficient traffic for a trail to be established. I don't fancy hacking around or in that ice-field for any great length of time.
This route appears in the book "easy ascents and glacier climbs" for the mont blanc range. I cant remember the author but it's quite easy to get hold of. It gets F or PD, over several days with huts. I think the arete into the midi would be the most exciting bit!
That's a great slide show
It looks like this -
But that was a long time ago. I'm sure it's MUCH worse now.
I did it following the description in that guidebook which suggests a night in the Requim hut.
This was 2006, no problems apart from some active rock falls a few hundred metres past the hut, occasional small bits of back tracking in the ice fall and a few hundred metres of difficult glacier conditions in the basin above the ice fall.
Exactly that. We, along with another group, appeared to be the first people on the route when I did it. Breaking trail was HARD and would have been doubly so without the other group doing their fair share as well.
If you'd like to go for a scenic walk, definitely worth it, just keep your wits about you.
As said it's best to go up to the Requin hut rather than try to go straight through the Géant ice fall. From there there is usually a track traced going up towards the Tour Ronde for example and you can head up right towards the Midi.
Where not to be when the sun is up!
Alternatively climb up from the refuge towards the Midi/Plan traverse - I've done this coming down a couple of times. You go up behind the hut and then head towards the Col du Plan... finding the way might not be too easy in the dark though, which is when you will be doing it.
Best to check out in Chamonix first especially late in the season and make sure to zero isotherm is low enough for a good freeze at the height and start really early or you'll be floundering about in mushy snow for hours - something we did on my first day in the Alps! In any case it's a long slog, have you a particular reason for wanting to do it?
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