Can anyone recommend any easy acclimatisation routes that can be done solo around Chamonix in March?
I’ve never been in March & was just planning on heading to Aiguille Rouge Index until I found out the cable car is closed at that time of year.
Brilliant! Thanks for this.
The article I read must've been from some time ago. Or just incorrect.
I should do my research properly!!
Take a walk from Chamonix to the Montenver mer de glace or the Albert premier hut, not sure what current snow is like both these are both good walks and will get you to altitude.
> Mont Buet
Is walking that in March a thing that people do?
In march you'll need touring skis for everything that will get you high enough to acclimatize. Or snow shoes and a lot of patience
You won’t get very far trying to walk to the Albert Premier in March...
> Is walking that in March a thing that people do?
No, of course not. It’s a decent ski touring day with a fair bit of uphill. Walking it in the summer is long enough as it is. You can overnight at the small hut and go up on firm snow in the morning (depending on freezing level). Nice views! But in March it’s ski touring terrain.
Can you ski and ski tour? If not, I’d recommend using your time to learn to ski or to get into ski touring. It will open a whole universe or winter and spring Alpine climbing for you. Otherwise you’d be limited to easily accessible routes. Depending on snow conditions, you might be able to get to some further away routes but the descents would still be slow and laborious. Say you want to do the Gabarrou Albinoni. You might be able to walk to it in say an hour and a half if the snow is fairly firm. If it’s knee deep, forget it! May be with snow shoes it would work. Whereas on skis we we started climbing an hour after leaving the Midi, even with a bit of faff. But the real issue will be the descent. It’s a long way down just to get to Montenvers and even if you’re fast you won’t have enough daylight. So you’ll be navigating the Vallee Blanche at night, roped up, tired... Then walking all the way down to town, even more tired... Or you can ski down to Montenvers in about an hour. Until mid to late March you should be able to ski all the way down to Cham with a bit of walking, so missing the train won’t be a big deal. A better bet without skis would be walking back up to the Cosmiques hut, doing a shorter route the following day and slogging back up to the Midi. Not a bad couple of days but slow and tiring. Whereas with skiing you’d be ready for another day hit the following day.
Skiing is the way usually at that time of year!
Just to be clear, I’m talking about roped up glacier access and descents, not soloing - that’s not something I’d ever recommend on a wet glacier.
> No, of course not. It’s a decent ski touring day with a fair bit of uphill. Walking it in the summer is long enough as it is. You can overnight at the small hut and go up on firm snow in the morning (depending on freezing level). Nice views! But in March it’s ski touring terrain.
It was a rhetorical question Misha, having skied it and run it myself I'm well aware that walking up it in March isn't really a think that people do!
Will also be in chamonix starting March 13th and looking to acclimate. My plan was to ski until my partners are available, but if you're around and want to take a lap on the cosmiques or something let me know. Maybe we can help each other out.
Also looking to ski some laps on the vallee blanche if nothing else, and my climbing partners aren't super psyched on that, so looking for someone to do it with, whether as acclimatization or just for fun. I've done it before, and played around on various segments of the glacier quite a bit over the years, so I know my way down it as well as any tourist, but I'm not a fan of solo glacier skiing and would want a partner to do it again.
The return of large numbers of people to national parks and other upland areas in England has brought a spike in littering, wildfires and mountain rescue incidents. Some issues appear to be worse than during equivalent periods in past years.