Classic Haute Route Day 3 – Chanrion Hut to Vignettes Hut

Morning Panorama at Chanrion Hut
The morning view from hill behind Chanrion Hut

We woke up with the others in our room around around 5am for a much busier breakfast than the day before, there was the standard bread and jams/Nutella + cereals and some juice. After the previous day’s efforts we were a bit slower to get going this morning but we knew the day was no where near as long although the forecast was for the weather to deteriorate throughout the day from the clear start we had. We set off around 7 am around the back of the hut following a path down to the valley and picked up track along side the river heading up-stream. Once we got to a small hydro dam the track turned into a path marked by some blue paint and cairns. At some points this did disappear into the river and was diverted but generally very easy to follow.

Otemma Glacier
Steady walk up the Otemma Glacier

After an hour and a half or so we arrived at the toe of the Otemma Glacier it was dry and had a very shallow incline so few crevasses here so we just put on crampons and headed off up the centre of the glacier. This steady walking was a huge change from the previous day which we were still a bit sore from, having other groups out as well made .

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Classic Haute Route Day 2 – Valsorey Hut to Chanrion Hut

The morning started with a half 4 alarm such that we were ready to get away at first light. The hut guardian had left out breakfast the night before as there was no need for her to wake so early too, she was very keen to point out of there were any problems at all to wake her bit fortunately all was fine.

Route up to Plateau du Couloir
Not much snow on route up from Valsorey Hut

Having studied the route the previous day we had a good idea where we we heading, there was quite a clear path up the rocks from the hut up and curving slightly to our left. There were some small patches of snow and the end of the Meitin Galcier which we had to cross to bring us back around and straight up the central rocky moraine. Once we reached the bottom of the snow patches heading towards the col we turned towards the Plateau du Couloir and worked out way up and traversing across. The snow varied a lot, some of it being solid ice and needing to cut steps or front point the crampons, and other parts being quite slushy with lose rocks.

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