Camping outsid the Gouter Hutgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Mountaineering : One Thread
This July I intend to climb Mont Blanc via the Gouter hut route. This has already been decided.
I have a Terra Nova Ultra Quasar. Would it be feasible for three of us to sleep in it on the way up, and would we be able to pack it up, then keep it safe in the hut? Or would we have to carry it to the top?
I would prefer not to carry it, but I also would prefer not to leave it up during the day. You never know who's going to be wandering around.
-- Drew Withey (email@example.com), June 13, 2003
There are normally bivvy scrapes in the hardened snow outside the Gouter offering protection from the wind which people either pitch tents in or bivvy. These are generally constructed at the start of the season by other climbers and walkers. Only problem with a tent is space- a small 1-2 person tent often fits OK, but don't expect perfect pitching conditions for a Quasar. And because the snow has hardened it is not easy to scrape out more space. Pitching on the snow itself, without the protection of a scrape is a bit dodgy- can be rather exposed & difficult to pin down if windy (ice axe picks & screws will work to a degree, forget snow stakes & normal pegs. Its a bit manic inside the hut in July & I wouldn't necessarily stow my tent in there- too many people coming & going. Better to split flysheet, inner and poles between the 3 of you for the ascent or just leave it up. To be honest, I doubt that you will be too keen to go to the effort of taking your tent down. The normal start time is 4- 5am at which time you will emerge from your sleeping bag, potentially get very cold whilst you fiddle with crampons & rope up & you just want to get moving to warm up. The last thing that you will want to do is take down a tent. At least with bivvies you can just stick them in your rucsac.
Good luck with the weather, Loz
-- Lawrence Dean (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 24, 2003.