Logistics- Bivvying while traversing the Monte Rosa range

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 cacheson 24 May 2023

Hi all,

I'm looking into traversing part of the Monte Rosa group over a few days this summer and I'm interested to hear thoughts on bivvying. I'm looking at starting at the Breithorn end and heading over towards Castor/Lyskam. It has been a few years since I last bivvied in Switzerland and I hear that it's getting trickier (especially around the Matterhorn).

Firstly, I'd be interested to hear if anyone has any recommended bivvy spots, particularly if a storm rolls in. If the weather gets properly minging there's the huts on the Spaghetti tour, but I'd like to stay up high if possible.

I've witnessed many a pile of sh*te around the alps before, and don't want to become part of the issue. Is there a poo pot system or any infrastructure in Switzerland like there is in the Cairngorms?


In reply to cacheson:

If you are just looking to save money then you could stay at the volante bivvy hut by breithorn/pollux and Giordano bivvy hut near the ludwigshoe.

If you are looking to bivvy because you genuinely want to bivvy... hopefully someone else can help you

 Jim blackford 24 May 2023
In reply to cacheson:

When are you thinking of going? in high season all of the bivy huts on the sphagetti tour will likely be crammed. Lots of others will have the same idea of staying high to reduce effort and save a bit of cash. 

If you're looking to bivy out you'll avoid all of that but i dont know any good spots personally

OP cacheson 24 May 2023
In reply to cacheson:

Thanks for the replies, that's really helpful. Yeah I'm largely looking to save some money. I reckon the bivvy huts sound good, and if they're crammed so be it. We are looking at early July- I believe that's "early peak" season around that area..? Still looking for advice on poo pots. Do the volante biv etc have any sort of toilet?

 mcawle 25 May 2023
In reply to cacheson:

Not sure on poo pots, it's not something I hear much talk about in the alps so I doubt there's a system but could be wrong.

Unsure on the potential long drop facilities at the bivi huts I'm afraid.

These work well:

 streapadair 25 May 2023
In reply to cacheson:

The Bivacco Giordano on the Balmenhorn at 4167m, where you get a blessing from Christ the Redeemer.

In reply to streapadair:

If I remember correctly, the contraption of left of the hut in that photo is a loo, of sorts.

 cdpej 27 May 2023
In reply to cacheson:

yes you can leave poo pots just outside the Zermatt guides office.

 pec 27 May 2023
In reply to cacheson:

Heading from the Breithorn there's the Rossi e Volanti bivi hut below the Roccia Nera, i.e. the furthest end from the Kleine Matterhorn cable car. It has bunks and blankets but no toilet and the only water is snowmelt. Be careful with where you get your snow from because the lack of a toilet means the snow can be contaminated. I was violently ill there when I mistakenly drank from the bottle of snowmelt we had only melted rather than the one we had boiled. There are no cooking facilities.

As someone has said above there's also the Balmenhorn Bivi hut. At over 4000m you want to be well acclimatised to stop there and because of the altitude there's no running water, only snowmelt. It has bunks and blankets and also a gas stove with pans etc. and a toilet with a unique flushing mechanism, a highlight of any stay there.

Apart from that there are no other bivi huts but I have bivvied on the rocky ridge below the Gnifetti hut (uphill of the Mantova hut) on a decent flat spot.

In reply to cdpej:

> yes you can leave poo pots just outside the Zermatt guides office.

Is this actually true or are you joking?

 cdpej 28 May 2023
In reply to pancakeandchips:

it should be true - but no I am joking

In reply to cdpej:

Thanks for clarifying! Yup, it should be true.

 checkshipment 07 Jun 2023

Responsible waste management is vital to protect the fragile mountain environment. In Switzerland, there are generally no specific "poo pot" systems like the ones found in the Cairngorms. However, it's essential to adhere to the principles of Leave No Trace and practice proper waste disposal. This means carrying out all your waste, including human waste, and disposing of it appropriately in designated facilities in towns or at mountain huts.

Post edited at 12:55

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