We went back to Maison de la Montagne this morning to get a better map before we head out tomorrow. There’s a bit more good information from Maison de la Montagne about camping around Mont Blanc. As far as we understood from reading a lot of forums online which can be very confusing, wild camping is not allowed here in Mont Blanc. Since there is a legal camp site in Tête Rousse used by climbers as their base camp before ascending Mont Blanc we asked the guide if there was another such campsite around Mont Blanc. The answer is a good one! Pitching up a tent for one night anywhere around Mont Blanc is acceptable as long as it’s around sunset, out by sunrise and not close to a refuge. This shows that you have to go and ask the right questions in the right place! We were quite excited about that news…
I purchased a better map which was the same map laid out at the table for anyone to view at Maison de la Montagne.
Today, we get our camping gears out and do a check before we head out. But, most importantly the weather and it looks like we are going to get about 3 days of good warm summer weather. It is a good time to go!
This is critical for us because in our three summers spent here in the valley, weather is crucial in preparing what to bring when hiking whether it is just a day trip or overnight camping as we plan to do. The other thing to really know is the temperature at different altitudes. We are camping at 3167 m (10,451 ft) surrounded by glaciers. Wind can also be a huge factor in getting cold up there. The next three days ahead looks to be okay but you never know! Actually, MeteoFrance which is the weather forecast here in Chamonix have been consistently correct in their forecast so that is a good thing.
We will take the same route we did as the other day going to Col des Rognes. I estimate our hiking with our packs to be around 5-6 hours. The last mile to the campsite is extremely steep with a gain of 400 m (1,320 ft) so that could take longer as the altitude will be close to 3,000 m (10,000 ft). It’s always slower pace, the higher up above 2,500 m (8,000 ft) and it’s best to slug it out to avoid exertion which equates to possible AMS. The good thing for us is, we’ve been above 5,454 m (18,000 ft) and the more exposed we are to higher altitude it gets better if exposed again in our experience.
No wifi at base camp and not sure what to expect!