In reply to Lew13:
We used to doss in the Helbronner station next door. Not sure if thats possible nowadays, depends on how stealthy you are, I guess.
Once, when the border post there was policed by the CRS (French riot control police with a reputation), we were settling down for the night when we were instructed to follow a monster officer ( who would make Brian Blessed look puny).
We expected to be locked up for the night (at least).
Instead the table was set with the best pasta bake I have ever eaten plus about four other courses and wine.
The mattress and down quilt were OK too.
It was a shame to have an alpine start the next day.
Walking up towards the Géant and the Rochefort ridge there are some sheltered spots under the Aiguilles Marbrées which we thought looked like good bivi spots.
A little further along there is a large flat area on the glacier, obvious on the IGN map, just West of the Col de Rochefort where some Finns were camping as we went up to the Dent du Géant. It looked more exposed to the wind but they seemed happy enough. They were planning to do the Rochefort ridge the next day. You could probably make a nice igloo there if you have a snow saw
If you mean the start of the ridge there's the place they call the "salle à manger" on the shoulder under the last rocky pinnacle of the Géant. It would mean going up on soft snow in the afternoon but you'd be right up ahead of the crowds for the ridge itself, nice and early before the sun warms the snow up.
In reply to Lew13: If you walk up past the torino hut there is an old concrete building, the side facing valley blanche is on concrete pillars and you can get under the floor there, but may have to re-arrange the large stones to make a flat place. Was good in 2008, kept us dry during the drizzle. Hope this helps.........Jeff
In reply to Lew13: There's a fairly sheltered spot about 5 minutes walk from the Helbronner lift if you walk back towards the midi along what is the main foot path. You can dig in next to the rocks there, either in bivi bags or with a tent. We used it for the Dent du Geant a few weeks back.
> (In reply to Lew13) There's a fairly sheltered spot about 5 minutes walk from the Helbronner lift if you walk back towards the midi along what is the main foot path. You can dig in next to the rocks there, either in bivi bags or with a tent. We used it for the Dent du Geant a few weeks back.
I second this. We used it a few years back along with several other parties. We just dug a hole and bivvied in it, while I think 3 other parties had tents up.
In reply to Lew13: A couple of years ago we bivvied at the Hellebonner station for a couple of nights. It is all locked up but we had our bags etc and slept by the toilet block. Once we got up we packed everything up and stashed our gear on the glacier, did our climb and went back once the lift had shut down. Chilly but twas great. Dry weather a must I would think.