> (In reply to pec)
> Actually that was something I was wondering about - there's no ethic of packing out your own waste around Cham?
> And how about bivvying below the snowline? no problem as long as you don't leave a tent up?
I walked past a few open "poo holes" while crossing from the aig du midi towards the cosmiques hut
below the snow is fine, leave the tent pitching til dusk, and make sure you're out of the way and it shouldnt be a problem at all.
Saying all that, people were leaving tents up all day on the col du midi and I saw a few cheeky bivi tents pitched barely 50m from the albert prem hut.
I bivvied on the Argentière glacier in 2006 and we found some nice gravelly spots on the side moraines on the way up towards the Aiguille Noire. You can level off such places to pitch a tent or put you bag down and it's warmer than sleeping directly on ice or snow. If you do need to sleep on snow (better than ice) then make yourself a little snow wind break round you, as you suggested, and use every last bit of soft gear underneath - ropes, slings, rucksack etc - to insulate yourself from the cold. You should be all right at the sort of temperatures you can expect in the Alps in Summer. A little bivy mat would add a touch or luxury though, but you can do without if you arrange the gear carefully.
You have to choose a spot that is out of range of any rock or serac fall, of course. The moraines I mean are the ones actually on the glaciers, the stones have fallen higher up and moved down and away from the cliffs they fell from over the years. The place we bivvied on was on the way up to the Aiguille Noir, a km or so above the refuge. I'll put a photo up this evening.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
Nice pics Bruce - I'd echo your comment on staying away from potential rock fall, of any sort. The first (or second?) season I went to the alps, a lad coming down the upper bits of the mer de glace, a bit late; decided sensibly to bivvy under a moraine boulder. Unfortunatly, the boulder moved during the night...
Bad outcome and very sobering given that I'd used moraine boulders for shelter a couple of times...
> also kipped in the Aig du midi station, the guards werent too fussed
Yeah, just before the last lift the guards come round and say 'You know you really must leave, nudge nudge wink wink.'. They then promptly don't care that despite the "Yes, but of course, we are on our way now" reply, you continue to stay, cook supper, and kip for the night. It's all a jovial game.
The bad thing to do is set out your pit while the station is still open. That's just not cricket.
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