Alpine Meet 2016, Chamonix

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    Rachael Spraggs

    Roll up roll up….fancy a few weeks in Cham? Ok so I have the dubious pleasure of co-ordinating the alpine meet this year so am posting some logistics early.

    Dates for the full trip are: 16th July (Saturday) – 6th August (Saturday). I intend to be out there for the first 2 weeks.

    We stayed in Vallorcine last time we went to Cham but after a brief consultation with Paul and Andy I’m suggesting Argentiere because:

    1. Its lower so warmer at night. Vallorcine got quite chilly.
    2. Walk into Argentiere
    3. Short walk to railway station (still free trains for campers) and to Montets uplift

    The URL for the campsite is:

    They don’t take bookings – I have emailed them to double check but despite my best French they haven’t replied. I am going to Chamonix next week so I’ll go and have a poke around see if anyone is about but given the weather and season I doubt it.

    Complications for this year are the Tour de France – stage 17 on Wednesday 20th July goes very close to Chamonix, ending just above Finhaut at the Emosson dam. Another reason for being slightly further away in Argentiere I suspect. Stage 18 starts in Sallanches and heads to Megevre so they are missing out Chamonix so Argentiere should be ok.

    Personally I will be taking my road bike and cycling up to Emosson to be on the final climb – it’s a great ride anyway so well worth doing in it’s own right and it could be a tour decider!

    I will update this post with any campsite news, feel free to message me with any specific questions.

    Andy Hardy

    I have added a page for the meet here to keep all the info in one place. I’ll attempt to make this accessible from the meets menu (like the Skye meet page)


    This page is now in the Meets menu dropdown for easy access 🙂

    Rachael Spraggs

    Thanks both.

    OK so I should put some info about the climbing I guess….although I suspect most know all about it.

    Chamonix has a bit of everything and there’s always a trip through the tunnel on offer for some Italian sun too. High up rock routes on lovely granite and mountaineering for all abilities. If you fancy a day in the valley then there’s some polished limestone sport climbing to make you feel at home – there’s some other stuff to go at too and it’s all in the various guidebooks on offer. Lots of hiking available with an extensive hut system on offer. I’ve already mentioned the cycling which again is pretty good.

    We’ll be in Argentiere so easy access to all areas. Guidebooks – there are loads, most available in English, but Needlesports seem to have the best selection online. Rockfax are going to publish a rock climbing guidebook too – not sure when it comes out but I’m sure it’ll be advertised on UKC. You can buy guidebooks in Cham from the Maison de Presse, it’s on the main street near / opposite Snells.

    For those wanting lift access, all information is on the Chamonix website including prices. If you’re planning a ski trip this winter then consider the Chamonix Rapid card – gives you discounts all year round but you have to pay for the card up front – it means if you just go for a 6 day ski trip it’s not quite worth it but if you’re going back in summer you’ll get discounts on any lift passes (Aiguille du midi €32,50 vs €50/58,50 for a return trip. You also get flash offers throughout both seasons and every 7th day free. One thing to note – it’s auto-renews each year so if you do go for it be aware!


    Anyone wanting to hire kit – you can do this from various places, they hire everything including ice axes, crampons etc – Snells is a good place to start:

    Dave Liz Wilson

    Hi Rachel, we can recommend two Cicerone guide books for the Chamonix area, both by Hilary Sharp, who lives in Vallorcine:
    ‘Mont Blanc Walks’ 50 of the best walks and short trecks
    ‘Mountain Adventures Chamonix’ Highly recommended! This has easy and moderate alpine routes eg Petit Aiguille Verte, Cosmiques Arete; single and multipitch climbs up to 5c; Via Ferratas; mountain bike and road bike routes, and walks.
    We had this guide last time and it was all we really needed!

    Mark Ward

    There’s quite an expensive but absolutely stunning (coffee table) book by Philippe Batoux called Mont Blanc: the finest routes.

    You probably already know about it but for anyone who doesn’t, it’s like a modern version of Gaston Rebuffats 100 best routes in the Mont Blanc Massif.

    It came out 2 years ago so takes into account climate change etc and the photos are great!

    Rachael Spraggs

    Bumping this back to the top of the list 🙂

    Mark Ward

    There’s also a new guidebook (2015) in English called:
    ‘Mont Blanc: Classic & Plaisir Guidebook 2015’ by Marco Romell

    Have some leave approved…….and have ordered the book! 🙂

    Mark Procter

    …or you can save your £s for the new Rockfax guide, soon to be published. Likely to be a beautiful guide but care needed if the Dolos guides is anything to go by…

    Rachael Spraggs

    I’m sure they’ll do a better job on the Cham guide – most of the UKC/Rockfax team live there!

    Rachael Spraggs

    I have positive news from the campsite – they are going to sort something out for us despite not normally doing bookings and anticipating a busy week for the TdF – yay! This means I need to start getting together a list of people who are coming and what dates AND whether you’ll be in a tent or camper van. Andy has been kindly updating the main meet page so I have the following information so far:

    Me and John – 23rd July to 6th August
    Simon C – 23rd July to 6th August
    Phil and Oli H. – 16th to 30th/31st July
    Matt Box – 24th July to 6th August
    David K. and Abi -23rd July to 6th August
    Alex Shipp – 23rd July to 6th August
    Rachel B & James H – 23rd July to 6th August

    If I’ve put your names together I’m assuming you’re sharing a tent or campervan – please correct me if I’m wrong.

    I am assuming that most of these people will be in tents – please can you either email me or post on this forum post to let me know and confirm dates. And for everyone else roll up roll up – when are you coming and how long for and will it be a tin tent or are you roughing it with the rest of us 😉

    Jules Lane

    Rach. I’m planning on being there from 19th to 28th ish in a proper tent. I think Mark W may have similar dates. J


    Hi Rachel,
    Me, sue street and Chris moore from Saturday 16 th July to sat 6 th August.
    So the whole three weeks 🙂


    OOps sorry .. arrival date will be Sunday 17th July!
    Cheers, Trish

    Dave Liz Wilson

    Hi Rachel, Liz and I plan to be on the meet for the majority of the time, probably arriving shortly after the weekend- say the 18th July
    Cheers Dave

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