With Grande Beaux Temps forecast for a few days, we decided to head up to the Refuge d’Envers for a couple of days. Our plans for an early start were a little disrupted by the unexpected (but very welcome ) arrival of Tashy and Ollie (long story, but broken Beele again! ). To be honest, the delay may also have had something to do with a dozen or so beers and a couple of bottles of vin Rouge.
Anyway, we also found ourselves in a quandary of what to take – with varying reports of the state of the glacier and conditions of access to the routes. We plumped to play it safe and take axes, crampons, big boots and glacier gear. We also took a tent, sleeping bags, mats, stove and a tonne of food. In short, we had a couple of VERY HEAVY BAGS.
The route to the hut starts with the train ride to Montenvers station, which used to be level with the glacier but is now about 200m above it. This means working your way down interminable iron ladders. ….
It’s then a 3 miles walk with 800m of ascent (including a couple of hundred meters of ladders) to reach the hut. We were shattered! It took us almost 4 hours, though we had Neil Sawyer’s company to help pass the time.
The hut is in an absolutely spectacular location, nestled under the Aiguilles d’Envers and overlooking the Dent de Geant and the back of the Aiguille Verte.
We set up camp and lazed away the afternoon, our plan to grab a route abandoned, in a show of common sense for a change!