Plan: Camping de Tête Rousse

Yesterday’s trip up to Col des Rognes, well close to it made us look at the map and see what is farther ahead.  The maps we have which are commonly used for hiking around Chamonix valley does not have the trail we took yesterday.  I did find a few articles and discussions on the internet about the route.  The route we took yesterday was the “normal” route for climbers to summit Mont Blanc.  It is also quoted as the easiest way to summit Mont Blanc and very popular.  We didn’t plan on going farther than Mont Lachat yesterday but since we did see a family and four climbers moving up, we wanted to see what is up there.  Now that we know more about the area, we are really looking forward to going back up there again.

The map I found on the internet had the route we took yesterday.  Indicated in the map in black arrows is the trail we took yesterday.  The red arrow marker is quite an exciting find for us.  That is a campsite with 51 tent sites and it’s open, also free.  No need to make reservation.  There is a toilet in the campsite.  Wild camping is not recommended around Mont Blanc so we were excited to find one so we can do some high altitude camping.

This morning, we went to the Maison de la Montagne where anyone would go to get information about refuges, maps, conditions and all information related to hiking or climbing around Mont Blanc or Chamonix valley.  It is conveniently located across from the Chamonix Tourism Office and beside the main church.  I was curious to see this on Strava map as I plotted what was ahead of the Col des Rognet for my reference.

There is a camp site which I assume more of like a base camp for climbers to acclimate or rest before heading up to Mont Blanc.  I asked for information about the camp site and it is a legal camp site.  From what I’ve read, it is used by climbers who aren’t able to book a bed at the refuge, Refuge de Tete Rousse because in the summer it can be completely booked.  The refuge is quite popular on a popular route!

The camp site sits at over 10,000 ft (3000 m) which is quite high but it’s a great opportunity for us to do an overnight camping trip right from our apartment!  It’s about 6 miles to the camp site and a total gain of over 7,000 ft (2100 ft).  That is quite a long day of trekking.  It’s a bit of a ways from where we stopped to have lunch yesterday.  We plan on camping just overnight then the next day, we head the back to our apartment via Bellevue.  More details as we figure out our itinerary.

I noticed that the weather can change quickly that high and we have to be somewhat prepared to camp.  There will be some ice but this year, there’s not much snow at this time of year compared to last year so it should be good.  The weather is the biggest factor in planning out our overnight trip.  It’s as important or even more important than supplies to camp.

Today, we rode our bikes easy around the village and in our favorite forest in Les Bois.  We stopped by the sporting store to grab propane to pack for camp.

It was such a gorgeous day to be on the bike just cruising around.  We had lunch at the Chamonix center with our favorite tuna sandwich pack lunch.  I always make a sandwich even if we go for short ride or hike or run because 99% of the time, it doesn’t end up short at all!

Going back to the overnight camping trip planned…

It’s so intense what we find out when exploring places.  The research keeps us excited.  Anyway, in our research I stumbled into this article about Mont Blanc natural catastrophe that can still happen today!  It’s very interesting.  There’s so much history in a lot of the hiking trails around Chamonix.  It’s so much fun to discover and learn about it.

Right now, we will keep an eye out for the weather.  We need 2-3 days of good weather to get up there and camp.  Tomorrow, we aren’t sure as there is a small system coming in until Sunday.  It’s been a while since we camped overnight in a tent so, it will be quite fun to do it again feeling like a beginner!  So, this is quite chaotic but fun in a way. So glad I decided to pack our sleeping bags and tent from California for this sort of trip here in Chamonix.

The best thing about this overnight camping trip is that the trail starts behind our apartment.  We get a kick thinking about it!

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