Classic Haute Route Day 4 – Vignettes Hut to Bertol Hut

Route up Mont Collon Glacier
Route up Mont Collon Glacier, the track goes up to the right between the crevasses and the ridge line

We woke at around 5 am for breakfast which included bacon, pancakes and eggs as fresh hot food, this only continued to make me like this hut even more. We got ready downstairs in the indoor area and set off around 6 am back along the route we’d walked the previous day. The snow was nice and crisp after the cold night so we had our crampons on today unlike the walk in the day before.  We removed them again for the scramble down the ridge back onto the top end of the Otemma Glacier which was a lot easier than going up it before as it was also slightly frozen. At the bottom of the ridge we put our crampons and roped up ready for the glacier crossing. There was quite a clear track along the glacier up the Mont Collon Glacier towards the col de l’Eveque, the glacier was fairly easy going initially but then it got a bit steeper and the track went over to the east of the glacier. Further up there were quite a few open crevasses with snow bridges crossing them. Some of the snow was a bit soft in places and had been well trodden by earlier groups so the bridges were not as good as the lower part of the glacier.

We made our way up to the col where the Italian border runs and walked east down the glacier on the other side of the col. This started off good and there were tracks in the snow but further down we kept to the east side on the icy section of the glacier where the crevasses were much clearer.

Continue reading “Classic Haute Route Day 4 – Vignettes Hut to Bertol Hut”

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 .

Continue reading “Classic Haute Route Day 3 – Chanrion Hut to Vignettes Hut”