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Chamonix Valley 2019-2020

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
fixx wrote:
@Ptspeak, if a path has already been well trodden in, I guess it would be possible. It'd be absolutely knackering though - I wouldn't personally want to do it without skins. It's a fair distance/increase in height.

That’s the answer I expected. Thanks.
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@Ptspeak, whilst it doesn't really change the answer i.e. it would be hard work in boots/snowshoes, bear in mind that the vast majority of people just go to the col des Rachasses rather than all the way to the top of the GM. Rachasses is c.45mins at a relatively sedate skinning pace, sub 30 if you're really pushing it, and opens up most of the descent. <200m ascent gets you over 1000m descent. Top of GM is probably the same time again, but only buys you the extra vertical that you've walked up. Poor return on investment unless you're aiming for a route in that direction.
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@snowdave,
Thank you. I plan on heading there late January and wanted to spend a day or two at the GM. I have been considering investing in a light touring setup.
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@Ptspeak, top of the herse at 2632m to top of the top ticket at 3289m is 650m you wouldnt go to that height anyway, the notch on the ridge 3037m which gives lots of access. The Bochard is slightly higher.
The track isn’t that steep but is across a steep slope so boot packing would be a no no plus you’d get loads of stick for trashing the track. Snow shoeing might be an option but not a great one.
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@jbob,
Thanks!
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Coming down thick in town last night and this morning. The bus skipped half its stops meaning I had to walk to work in les bossons from les houches in the snow. A true sign of the start of winter!
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@Meltus, exciting!
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Sorry for butting in however also heading there late Jan and had been hopeful to do some touring on the Glacier off the back of the GM.

With the top bin being closed is it still possible to access the Glacier and the touring routes available from either side of the glacier or does it become a monster day just to get into the Glacier? If it is possible is the glacier accessed by skinning up directly from the top of the Herse or is it better to ski part the way down the blanchots run and hang a right?
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@erennie101, the lognan is around 2000m. The classic tours off the glacier such as the noir etc reach 3500m so a big day. If you stay on the glacier its a lot less the ref argentiere is at 2770m so not too bad. You can approach from the top of the the herse and over the col rachesses which is aprox 500m of climbing followed by a nice decent onto the glacier.
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@erennie101, see above - 45 min from Herse to col des rachasses at a gentle pace, 30min if you hammer it. Faster than queuing for the bin used to be, then ski round to the glacier routes from there. It’s not too different than it used to be, but much less crowded.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
GM opening next Saturday (apparently...). My first ski day was Dec 11 last year so I should beat that handsomely.

Does mean missing the bourse though.
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@snowdave,
Do you need rope/harness/guide for this?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Ptspeak I didn’t use harness or rope at any point last season on that route, but in the interests of not wanting to feel guilty if you plunge to your death in a crevasse, your approach may differ (and conditions may have changed). The guide question is one only you can answer I’m afraid - however, if you’re not confident looking at a route and taking your own view, then definitely take a guide.

It is on a glacier, but I’ve not seen anybody rope up for it. A fair few people are in harnesses, potentially because they are moving onto other routes after reaching the col, or potentially because their risk appetite or knowledge differs from mine.

My personal view is that the traverse from Bochard is more crevassed than the ascent from Herse, and I prefer the latter anyway as it’s a really nice route.
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@snowdave,
Thank you.
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Poster: A snowHead
@snowdave and @jbob thanks very much for your reply, easier to get down onto the glacier than I'd expected with the top bin being out.

Will just need to have a few routes up my sleeve and see how much time and energy we've got when we get there. Thanks again
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While the lift is out of action it would’ve been great for solo skiers if they kept an official patrolled/protected skin track up to the col, and kept the Point de Vue piste down as an open/marked route.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Steve77, yup, that was apparently debated, and for a while it was going to happen, then CdMB changed its mind.
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CdMB score again , always make the worst of .... any situation!!
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Early bird pass restrictions. Are these only dates you can use them? Had indication from one place they're fine past 7th Feb so long as they're started before.

Also, are there any better deals or is this best aside from season passes (not going long enough for that)?

"Valid for the Mont Blanc Unlimited pass only and for the following dates:

- Saturday 4th January - Friday 7th February 2020 inclusive

- Saturday 7th March - Friday 3rd April 2020 inclusive"


Ps,worth looking at the PAYG "RapidCard" pass?
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@deadkenny, what "early bird pass restrictions"?
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@under a new name, I'm confused too. I was wondering if it was some of the Bons Plans offers - but the dates don't line up.

https://www.montblancnaturalresort.com/fr/bons-plans
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The ones in my post. The web sites offering the early bird passes list those restricted dates.

Note, I'm just talking about week or two passes, not season.

e.g. https://www.chamonixskipasses.com/product/mont-blanc-unlimited-early-bird/

https://chamonixallyear.com/book-now-for-25-savings-on-lift-passes-this-winter/

Amongst others.
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@deadkenny, errr, they weren't in your post ...

- the first link is to a dodgy looking site and I can't quite see how they can undercut CdMB ...https://www.montblancnaturalresort.com/fr/montblanc-unlimited

- Cham All Year are a real and sensible company (friends work for them) - and their offers are linked to staying in their accommodation...
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I've not heard of the first one either, and does look a bit odd. Anyway, I suspect it's all discount passes offered to companies offering accom (though the first one says no accom booking with them necessary – but they do offer it).

On that basis, I’d expect that you have to specify the exact dates you want a pass for, and if it's not all within that window, then they will be unable to sell you it. I note the validity dates are exactly either side of the main half-term period, based on Sat-Sat bookings.

Of course the easiest way to be sure how it works is to simply phone up either of those and ask them.
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deadkenny wrote:

Ps,worth looking at the PAYG "RapidCard" pass?


Forgot this, sorry. RapidCard is very good - if you're not planning on skiing every day. It's worth working out how many/what days you will ski and adding it up.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
"errr, they weren't in your post ..."

They're right there! Laughing

Again...

"Valid for the Mont Blanc Unlimited pass only and for the following dates:

- Saturday 4th January - Friday 7th February 2020 inclusive

- Saturday 7th March - Friday 3rd April 2020 inclusive"


As for dodgy sites, this is the same on many others and our group has had an email offer from a site we used previously successfully getting passes. Same date restrictions. Don't have a link to that but this is associated I think...

https://www.mountain-base.com/en/accommodation-special-offers-chamonix.htm

True, does look like they're accommodation provider deals but seems they offer them without having to stay with them. Previous experience is they'll drop off the passes where you're staying.

As said on enquiring, one place says date is ok if you start before the cut off but it's not clear anywhere else. Not convinced.
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@deadkenny, you included some text about dates - but nothing explaining what the offer is, how much it is, or where it's available. Until you later included the links, there was no context to use to work out what you were talking about - or to advise on whether it was a good deal or not. People will try to help if they can - but help us out with as much info as you can too Smile

Mountain Base is a decent operator.

I'd personally ask for confirmation in writing re. validity if you are unsure, and getting conflicting information from different companies. If no one can provide it, that's your answer right there.
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You know it makes sense.
Was only asking about the restrictions, as I posted, so the offers aren't really relevant and assumption was those restrictions were the norm for the early bird passes. Just assumed people already knew about them, but it's clear now it's an accommodation deal specific thing, but it's the same for all of them.

Anyway, moving on as no one here knew about these.
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@deadkenny, you have edited so they actually appear... not so clever.

Such "early bird" passes are not actual "early bird" discounts on the lift passes ... so ... you pays yer money ye takes yer risk

"moving on as no one here knew about these" yeah, well, the sandwich van by the Screwfix near my Mum's gaff does a half price square sausage roll on a Sunday morning. No-one seems that interested about that either.
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No, those dates were there in the post from the start. This is pathetic. Was a simple question.
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Cdmb just announced no opening this weekend but maybe next weekend, for which the forecast is looking promising
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Anyone purchased carre neige season insurance for chamonix. Where did you buy it, and did you need a medical certificate.
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It would seem CdM use e gloo. Purchased at the lift office for 50 euro.
https://www.montblancnaturalresort.com/en/assurance-ski
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@deadkenny, Just a point, you did NOT post those sites originally. So it was not a pathetic question. And just because the rest of us don't get caught by net scams doesn't make you at all clever.

Get a life. And move on.

@jbob, Carre or Carte? Which reminds me I haven't worked out my insurance!

EE-GLOOWW (?) So it's €69 / winter vs (around €55 for carte neige till November and it I presume only covers you for Chamonix...)

I think I will just go Carte Neige. Again.
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@under a new name, last year In Aosta it was included with the pass plus I had Austrian AC insurance.

The Carre Neige one seems to be the one for a season but the office in Le Tour is long gone and it can’t be bought online direct but rather through resort offices. Another thought is the
https://www.auvieuxcampeur.fr/carte-club/
carte, anyone have experience of them.
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@jbob, the seasonal one is Carte Neige. It can be bought online, the trick is finding a club with minimal club charges.

For many years I alternated between the Annemasse Postal Workers Union and the St Julien de Genevois Border Guards Union Ski Clubs (seriously, I did, true story).

The other snag is that I think you may need a relatively current medical certificate.

Friends have used the Vieux Campeur one but I don’t think anyone had to make a claim.

AGF which may now be Axa have a similar policy.

I think iirc I always went with CN as it covered the Inferno despite my Swiss insurances doing so as well.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@under a new name - I was referring to the date restrictions I posted. You said "what restrictions?", @fixx had seen them.

I followed up with a post with some sites as examples. Nothing was edited after the fact trying to be "clever"! You even saw and replied about those links at the time, then accused me of adding them later. You're accusing me of things I'm not trying to do.

I only asked a simple question (and I wasn't saying your question was pathetic, just this argument. When I said it was a simple question I was referring to my question).

Not trying to score points or make out I'm clever somehow by asking about these deals (huh?). I really don't get what your problem is. @fixx was helpful on the other hand and had given a good answer. My thanks for that.

"And move on".
I tried to. I've just tried to be civil but I have to reply to accusations and insults.

Ps. Accommodation deals aren't scams. I've used them before (not knowing at the time they were specific to the accommodation. I do now). That the restrictions are identical across each site suggests they're provided officially, just the price may vary based on the deal.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Sat 16-11-19 13:11; edited 1 time in total
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GM webcam shows the snow making going full pelt which I take as a very promising sign of early December opening.

I’ll be out for afternoon of 7th and morning of the 8th Dec if anyone is around on GM.
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@deadkenny, I think you are now flogging a dead horse, or a non-existent argument, accusation or insult that you have invented out of nowhere. Anyhoo, moving on...

@snowdave, Ah, I will be in Strasbourg I'm afraid. It is looking promising for opening next weekend, I think snowHead snowHead
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