/ Chamonix Bivouacs

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JFT - on 13 May 2017
First trip to the alps next month, got a place on a JCMT course and sticking round for a few weeks after to put into practice what we learn.

Wanting to keep costs down so hoping to get some general advice on where to bivvy out, also information on the (as I understand) free to use 'bivouac huts' and winter rooms

Mark Haward - on 13 May 2017
In reply to JFT:

Officially bivouac is only allowed in the mountains between sunset and sunrise. Unofficially, it is usually tolerated as long as you are discrete. Plenty of sites near most of the huts such as Albert Premier, Couvercle, Cosmiques, Torino, Tete Rousse. Winter rooms usually locked up in Summer.
JFT - on 13 May 2017
In reply to Mark Haward:

Thanks, Mark!
gear boy on 15 May 2017
In reply to JFT:

Depends on how much shelter you want!

dig a snow hole is an option in quite a few places. Puts you close to start of routes etc. bear in mind you will be walking in with a slightly larger sac than those staying in huts.

Albert premier. open rock sites, flat areas with stone walls built above hut

Argentiere. below hut "les oreilles du lapin" on map from memory. BIG boulder to fit 3 or four people under.

Couvercle. between the 2 huts boulders, some even had wood floors a while back

Mid station midi. good for rock routes. boulder field underneath piegne. full cover for 2.

There are usually good places to bivi you just need to find them, allow more time for this. also if its an open bivi enjoy the night sky. unless the weather turns. thunder and lightning is not fun when you are exposed up there.....
teh_mark on 15 May 2017
In reply to JFT:

The Col du Midi is also a fairly popular bivi site, at least judging by the amount of snow dug out for tents that I've seen every time I've walked through!

Also worth considering that most huts are only about 10E/night with a reciprocal rights card, if you take your own food. A couple of friends last year bivied near the Albert Premier hut and had a fairly cold and sleepless night. Me and my partners elected to spend the night at the hut; my night was equally sleepless (I've never been able to sleep in huts), but at least I was warm!

I'm personally leaning more and more towards bivying this year, but that's entirely down to not being able to sleep in huts.
JFT - on 15 May 2017
In reply to gear boy:

Cheers man, that's some really good info!
JFT - on 15 May 2017
In reply to teh_mark:

Yeah, the sleeplessness of huts is something I'll probably be a victim of, although I can usually sleep okay in bothies. I am intending on staying in huts too at least a few nights so I suppose I'll find out what works for me

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