/ Alpine Beginner...

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JAOADMS on 14 May 2013 -
Good afternoon!

Recently I have booked onto the ARC'TERYX Alpine academy as a first introduction to alpine climbing... as I have never been alpine climbing my knowledge is limited and I'd appreciate some advice (thanks in advance!).

This may be a stupid question, but here it goes... on their site ARC'TERYX recommend arriving a day or two early to help acclimate, however the company I work for have just decided that they want to send me over to Amsterdam until the Thursday so I cannot arrive early as the first day out is the Friday. Could this actually be a problem or will I just spend the day out of breath? I wouldn't have thought the day is going to be too strenuous as I have only booked an introduction to glacier travel and surely this would limit the altitude we'll actually travel up to...
What will the approx. temperature in June between 3000-4000m out of the shade? I can't actually find temperatures quoted anywhere, is just below 0C a fair guess?
How much is a ticket up the Aiguille Du Midi?

Could anyone recommend somewhere to stay in Chamonix? I am just looking for somewhere that is cheap and not too far from Aiguille Du Midi base station (ideally walking distance). I was thinking of camping, however now that I have to fly directly from Amsterdam to Geneva it would mean taking a tent ect with me on a business trip, which although not impossible would be awkward.


GridNorth - on 14 May 2013
In reply to JAOADMS: If you go high and don't acclimatise you are likely to suffer from severe headaches and feel very weary although one or two people get so ill that they can't do anything. I find that drinking lots helps to counter the affects somewhat but I've always been lucky. The temperature could be anywhere from below freezing if the weather is bad to very hot. You need lots of high factor cream and lip protection. The sun and the reflections from the snow are intense. A ticket up the Midi used to be about 50 Euros return and almost as much one way. There are dozens of hotels, Gites and Auberges around Cham as well as the mountain huts. You are unlikely to have any problems finding anywhere in June which is really "out of season". Lots of Brits stay at the Gite Vagabond just outside the centre but I found it a bit noisy. Google Gites.
Pero - on 14 May 2013
In reply to JAOADMS: I assume the Arcteryx Alpine Academy is unable to assist with these questions? Including the question over where you'll be going first and what conditions are like there at the moment.

GridNorth - on 14 May 2013
In reply to JAOADMS: It's worth adding that throughout the period of the day which may start at 2am the temperatures could range from well below freezing up to scorchingly hot.
niallsash - on 14 May 2013
In reply to JAOADMS: I've booked into the Vagabond Hostel again this June at 24euro per nite including breakfast which will be limited I expect. It's only 10min walk from Midi station. I find it ideal and sometimes noisy but acceptable. If you do book reception will be closed from 10am to 4pm so if you arrive between then you may not even get in the door as no one around during the day.
testagrigia - on 15 May 2013
In reply to JAOADMS:
For the lack of acclimatisation, I don't think being there two days in advance will make a whole load of difference. It takes 45 days to acclimatise fully to 4,000m. Aspirin, water and abstinence from alcohol will all help (one of body's immediate responses to altitude is to reduce blood plasma volume, so your blood gets thicker, which is alleviated by aspirin and exacerbated by dehydration). And being really fit will help with the scarcity of oxygen.
Pero - on 15 May 2013
In reply to testagrigia:
> It takes 45 days to acclimatise fully to 4,000m.

That may be theoretically true, but not for practical purposes. Most people can do a 4,000m peak without ill effects after a week or so and feel fully acclimatised to 4000m after a fortnight.

45 days is what it takes to climb an 8000m peak, not an Alpine 4000er!
GridNorth - on 15 May 2013
In reply to Pero: 45 days, a week, a fortnight. Blimey I'm glad I didn't know that when I was climbing frequently in the alps. When you only get a couple of weeks holiday a year you have to make do I'm afraid. If we bothered or had time to acclimatise we would go up to 3000/3500 metres spend a night then come down again. That was it.
Kid Spatula - on 15 May 2013
In reply to JAOADMS:

Yeah my last acclimatisation was a trip up to Hohsaas on one day followed by a trip up to the Mittelallalin for some crevasse rescue practise followed by the Wiessmiess normal route. Didn't have any problems.

The Nadelhorn however.............
testagrigia - on 15 May 2013
In reply to Pero:
I didn't say you needed 45 days acclimatisation to climb a 4000m peak. I said it took 45 days to acclimatise fully to 4000m, i.e. that after 45 days the process of physiological adaptation to that altitude is complete. The point I was making is that arriving in Chamonix a couple of days in advance will not make a whole lot of difference.
Kid Spatula - on 15 May 2013
In reply to JAOADMS:

It does though.

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