/ Domes du Miage question (and other Chamonix info)

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brunoschull - on 09 Jun 2017
HI. I posted a partner search for Cham in the first two weeks of July, but it does not look like I'll have a partner, so I have a question about the Domes du Miage (here is my original partner search I'll probably solo the Crouches in the Aiguilles Rouges---I've done that route several times before, and I would feel comfortable soling there. I thought I might try the Domes du Miage as well--I've never been into that valley before, and it might be a nice adventure. My plan is to start from the refuge and go straight up the Berangere, along the ridge, and then back. In this way, I'll avoid the glacier. Because I will be alone, I don't want to do any glacier walking, especially considering the warm temps the last few seasons. Anyway, has anyone done the Domes du Miage? How steep/exposed is the climb up to and down from the Bereangere? What about the ridge itslef? How does it compare to the steepness and exposure of, for example, the arete coming down from the Aiguille du Midi (acknowledging, of course, that the Midi arete is short, and nearly always has a superb track. Basically, if the Domes du Miage is a straightforward as it appears, I would be happy to give it a go. But if there are parts that might give an experienced climber pause to do alone, I'd like that information. And just to repeat, my plan is to go straight up and down from the hut--not on the glacier. Last, I have some concern about making my way along the ridge, and then returning later in the day when it might be softer. How long does it take to traverse the ridge (I'll be walking carefully, not running, like Kilian Jornet). Perhaps it would make more sense to to only a partial out and back traverse. OK, thanks, and have a great season.
Philiniqaluit - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to brunoschull:
Hi Bruno, from the hut to the Bérangère is
Easy enough scrambling and a sensible choice if you have to solo. Once on the Miage ridge you should be fine but getting from the Berengere to the Miage involves traversing the top of the Amancettes glacier that has crevasses. Last time I was there I was very glad of a rope and a competent
Partner. Be careful! Phil (guide)
brunoschull - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to Philiniqaluit:

Thanks Phil! That's exactly the kind of information I was looking for. If there are crevasses up there, I'll probably stay away, or wait until I have a partner. These last few years have been really dry!

Thanks again,

BruceM - on 09 Jun 2017

I went along there with my girl in 2012 (great time), and have had that reverse there-and-back idea myself when over there solo since. Didn't have time to do this due to other choices, but it's still a future option. Just don't go as far as the crevassed region, as already pointed out. I filmed the trip here, which clearly shows the terrain:

Have fun
goatee - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to brunoschull:

Perfect advice from Phil. Don't give up on getting a partner. Call in to the OHM and look in the book. There is a good chance you will find someone. I've been lucky enough to find people a few times and all were excellent.
mysterion on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to brunoschull:
Conscrits hut to Berangere is a shallow and wide rocky slope, the top can be seen from the hut so you know where to head in the morning. The Miage beyond is more a broad ridge than knife-edge arete, some down and up to the high point. The walk-in to the Conscrits hut does go on a bit though, you never seem to get anywhere for ages!
Post edited at 22:02
IainMunro on 11 Jun 2017
In reply to brunoschull:


My wife and I did the traverse last year, it's a great route and feels relatively remote and quiet compared to routes of similar stature in the main massif.

We did it in late June and everyone was still using the winter approach to the Conscrits. The lower glacier was dry and easy to negotiate unroped but higher up it becomes a wet glacier and there is a steepening with a few big open slots to negotiate, we were glad of the rope. Some of the snow bridges were very soggy late in the day, similar story the following afternoon on descent.

Important to check if the summer approach to the hut is open/safe - I seem to think it was closed due to some rock fall or damage but you would need to check at the OHM.

mysterion on 11 Jun 2017
In reply to IainMunro:
There is a steel-cable footbridge near the end of the summer approach high on the valley side, this had to be repaired last summer. The glacier approach is collapsing and not very safe
Post edited at 20:52
TheFasting on 11 Jun 2017
In reply to brunoschull:

Are you talking about doing the route from the start of the ridge near Combe Noire and following it all the way up? I see most people skip that part by going up the glacier to Domes de Miage.

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