Hiking condition from Arolla to Chamonix in July

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Loudpunk
Loudpunk
2 posts
new member
Jun 20, 2019 - 1:25 AM

I and my wife are going to hike from Arolla to Chamonix over 7 days self-guiding starting from July. We are very beginners in terms of alps hiking. I hope to have some advice on what to be cautious and learn hiking condition via the thread.

The Itinerary (staying huts/hotels for nights, no camping)

Day1: Arolla to La cabane des Dix
Day2: La cabane des Dix to Cabane de Prafleuri
Day3: Prafleuri to Cabane du Mont-Fort
Day4: Mont Fort to La Châble
Day5: La Châble to Relais d'Arpette
Day6: Arpette to Trient Chalet des Grands
Day7: les Grands - Argentière (Chamonix)

We are advised that some of the sections require crampons. The questions are

- How has been the hiking condition if anyone has done / knows about information?
- What do we need to be cautious while hiking in alps? Like slippage and avalanches (is it easy to encounter)?
- Are crampons enough for gear? Or do we need other ice/snow specific gears?

Thank you in advance.

Sincerely

-

Annika
Annika
5442 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 20, 2019 - 10:21 AM

Hi Loudpunk, thanks for joining MySwissAlps!

Such a multiple day hike is a great adventure, and July is generally a good month for high altitude treks as there won't be too much snow left. However, please be careful if you aren't trained mountain hikers. The plan to do this on your own might be too ambitious in that case. If you have little experience yet, I'd advise to either join a guided tour or focus on the less challenging routes instead. Many are listed at myswissalps.com/hiking.

You an read about general hiking precautions and tips through the links below:

I don't know the route you've proposed from personal experience, but hopefully other forum members do.

AlanPrice
AlanPrice
212 posts
active member
Jun 20, 2019 - 11:15 PM in reply to Loudpunk

Hi.

I had a look at the map and I see you have to cross the Glacier de Chielon. I've not crossed that one, but as a rule of thumb, I'd use a guide to do this, or at least hook up with other people for safety. Some glaciers will have flag markers to set out the safest route to avoid crevasses and don't need special precautions, just good weather. Be careful crossing onto the glacier itself as the edges can be brittle and break when you step on them. The edges can be hard to spot as they can be covered with a lot of scree (loose rock).

At the very minimum I'd want crampons as well as an ice axe - not a short one, they're for vertical ice work, but rather one about 70cm long that is used as a walking stick. Normal walking sticks are a bit too light, but would do in a pinch and it would save you having to carry an axe for the whole trip. Only attempt a glacier crossing if it is "Dry", that is not snow covered, otherwise you will need to be roped up in a team in case someone goes through a snow brige. Wear gaiters as much to protect your legs against scree as snow. At this altitude it can snow at any time of year so be flexible with your timings

Last thing, wear lots of blockout on sunny days. The reflected sunlight and thinner atmosphere makes sunburn particularly bad in the Alps.

Just reading this back it sounds daunting, but it really isn't, just pay attention to conditions and you'll be fine.

Have fun

Alan

Loudpunk
Loudpunk
2 posts
new member
Jun 21, 2019 - 1:35 AM in reply to AlanPrice

Hi Thanx for the tips Annika. We will consider it if necessary.

Hi AlanPrice. Thank you so much for your info. I actually took a look and found this video on youtube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwBrKtfd5no&ab_chann el=GrandeurNature). Since it is the tail end of glacier, I am not as concerned but we will absolutely be careful. Hope there arent that much snow by the time we get there... Nevertheless, thank you so much for heads up. I am glad that you pointed out.

Sincerely,

Shoko

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