the car at Les Houche in the garage, for some repairs to be done
whilst we were away, saved us £1 per day fee at the camp site in
Montroc. The train from Les Houche to Montroc stopped in Chamonix
for about 15 minutes. We were wondering what the delay was when
Swiss police got on. They questioned various people and I was slightly
concerned when they searched the rucksacks of two guys in the seats
next to us. What would happen if they did the same with us and found
the little plastic bags, each filled with small amounts of white
powder - our Isostar ready measured for the water bottles! Fortunately
they walked straight past us.
walk started from Montroc at a slow pace to the La Balme telecabine.
At 54FrF each it saves doing the path from Le Tour which Peter Cliff
says "can hardly be recommended". Another team of 5 or 6 set off
along the path in front of us as Bill wants to video the start.
Being a film extra is something I'll have to get used to over the
The path goes easily south, then turns south west, until we reach
the moraine. Bill had been here just 3 weeks before and had walked
up to the hut. "It's just a slog" says Bill and up we go, filming
along the way. Within ¾ hr we are at the hut, which is quite busy
and as we book in we are told we are in the first sitting for evening
meal at 6pm, (next is 8pm). A sign on the wall advertises that they
sell ear plugs.
Refuge Albert Premier is a large hut and the 'new' building was
put up in 1959. This building is only used in summer, the rennovated
old hut serves as winter quarters. Sacks are stored in a seperate
locker room accessible from outside, (padlocks free from reception).
After settling in we had a walk at the back of the hut . There was
still some snow around. Bill said the snow had been much lower down
the moraine in front of the hut 3 weeks before. We made a note of
where the track led off toward the glacier.
the our evening meal we share a table with seven other Brits and
have a meal of cheese and bread starter, soup (tasteless), a meat
stew and apple tart desert. The other team are doing different things,
but the main plan was the west ridge of the Aiguille du Tour. Tomorrow's
route was checked on the map and we turned in as the light disappeared,
although this hut does have electric lights at the touch of a button.