We suggest you bring your own snacks that you can take out on the hill each day such as cereal bars, dried fruit and nuts, chocolate, sugary sweets or your favourite hill snacks. Huts do sell snacks but it’s expensive and sometimes stocks run low.
If you have any food allergies or dietary requirements especially if you are a Coeliac (Gluten free) or have a dairy allergy we strongly recommend you bring some food to supplement your hut dinners. The huts are fairly good at providing for vegetarians but less so for other dietary needs. The huts can provide a small basic packed lunch of bread, salami, cheese and chocolate that you can buy each day but it’s important that you don’t rely on this option only. You do need to carry some snack food for each day.
You will also generally stop for short breaks each hour where you should eat and drink something each time so you maintain your energy levels throughout the day.
Staying in Mountain Huts
The high alpine huts are one of the big attractions to mountaineering or trekking in the Alps. They allow us to enjoy the mountains with only light packs and without having to worry about meals or finding somewhere to sleep! Most huts have only very basic facilities. Sleeping arrangements are in mixed sex dormitory-style rooms with bunks; there can be up to 20 people in one room.
Washing facilities are limited and generally there is no running water in any of the huts although this may vary in some huts. There are basins in which you can use bottled water to wash the best you can and clean your teeth, but they are NOT generally in private cubicles and are mixed sex. Toilets are generally septic-tank type (so non-flushing) and again mixed sex. You need to be prepared for simple living in the huts and appreciate they are located at high altitude and in inhospitable terrain.
A 3-course evening meal and breakfast are served by the guardian and his team and food is usually nourishing and filling. Beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks are also available. All food and drink in the huts is delivered by helicopter and consequently prices will be high e.g. between 3- 5€ or 8CHF for a 1.5litre bottle of still water.
There are a few basic hut ‘rules’ that you need to follow so that you (and your fellow climbers) have a pleasant stay:
➢ On arriving at the hut you must take off your boots and leave these together with your ice-axe, crampons in the foyer. Be sure to store these carefully as the hut is likely to get very busy and you’ll need to find all your kit in the morning rush!
➢ House slippers are provided and must be worn in the hut
➢ Your guide will register you with the guardian and will assign you your bunk
➢ Follow the instructions of your guide and keep requests to the guardian and his team to a minimum – they are usually very busy sorting out groups, cooking meals, keeping the hut clean
➢ In the morning your guide will often want to leave early – be sure to have all your kit ready to go the night before. Be organized and everything will be much easier!
➢ It is recommended to bring ear-plugs for the nights – but make sure that you will get up on time!
Getting to Chamonix
Chamonix is one of the easiest alpine resorts to get to, being just over an hour's drive from Geneva international airport. Lyon, Turin and Milan airports are also all within a few hour's drive. The best way to get from Geneva airport to Chamonix is by transfer bus, either shared with other passengers or private. You will be met in the arrivals lounge by your driver and dropped at your accommodation in Chamonix, there is no extra charge for your luggage or equipment. We work only with the most reliable transfer companies in the valley and are happy to organise your journey for you, please contact us for prices and booking.
Accommodation in Chamonix
If you wish to book accommodation in Chamonix we would be happy to recommend some local hotels, gites, self-catered apartments, or chalets and advise on the best locations. Please contact us if you would like help finding accommodation in Chamonix.
We highly recommend that you take out specific insurance for mountain activities. We can organise this at a cost of 8€ per day for EU citizens and 12€ per day for non-EU citizens. This will cover you for search and rescue services, evacuation by helicopter and emergency medical treatment. You should also make sure that you have adequate travel insurance that covers you for the usual things such as cancelled flights, lost luggage, hospital treatment, etc. Please contact us to organise mountain rescue insurance for your trip.
All Chamex mountain guides are fully qualified, highly experienced and passionate about what they do. Everyone who works as part of the Chamex team has been thoroughly vetting and is trusted by us to give our clients the best experience possible - you are in safe hands! If you would like to know more then you can meet the Chamex team here.
Please see the list of recommended equipment on the other tab. Most technical equipment can be rented here in Chamonix, please contact us if you would like prices and advice on whatever you need. Chamonix has dozens of outdoor shops selling everything from basic headtorches to expedition standard sleeping bags, so whatever you don't already have you can find it here.