Ken Baldry's Alpine Pages

Correspondence on other places

Mont Blanc for beginners
Mischabel Hutt
Europe in general

Other places

Mont Blanc for beginners

From: rirelad e-mail Subject:mt blanc
hi ken, i am going to the alps in late july for an attemped at Mont Blanc. this will be my first expedition outside Scotland and was wondering how readily available hut/ sheltered accom. would be on the climb its self. i am prepared to bivvy if recommended. thanks in advance for any info you can depart to me and keep up the good work.

To: rirelad Subject: Re: mt blanc
Hi Whoeveryouare, I wouldn't recommend bivvying outside anywhere in the Alps unless you are very tough & doing an extreme route. Mont Blanc has dozens of routes & all the straightforward ones have proper huts with guardians, who will either sell you or cook your food. I have Robin Collomb's 1967 guide which lists 12 French huts & 12 Italian huts, some of which are tin bivvies. The standard routes: Gouter ridge from the Gouter hut or Grand Mulets from the Grand Mulets hut (food available at both) are your best bets for your first Alpine trip. The local tourist office has lots of info on:-

Things are different in the Alps. You need more time but the air is better, so you can go further.

Mischabel Hutte

From: Martyn Lawrence, e-mail Subject: Mischabel Hutte
Hello Ken, Just been browsing your web site, excellent!!
We went to Saas Fee two years ago, and I have it in my head to walk/climb to the Mischabel Hutte sometime this year. We have already been to Mallig and Gebidem.
Please advise your considered problems, if any, in doing this. Many thanks Martyn Lawrence

To: Martyn Lawrence Subject: Re: Mischabel Hutte
Hello Martyn, No problems in getting there but it is a long slog up interminable zig-zags. Plan to stay the night & enjoy the Sun going down & evening light. Then, get up early with the climbers & watch what the Sun does as it rises. Fantastic! The Ulrichshorn (see my Best Day trip) is dead easy but you do need to have glacier crossing experience & know how to use an ice axe. Otherwise, just go back down to Saas Fee.

Europe in general

From: Coby Cooper, e-mail Subject: Hiking
Hello, I will be coming to Europe this summer to hike and bivouac alone. My goal is to spend 78 days in Europe without running out of money. I will be there from May 22(London) to Aug 7(out of Paris). I found you through searching for information on Switzerland and was hoping you could give me some advice. I would like to hike in Scotland, Ireland, France, and possibly Switzerland and Italy.
1.. Can a person get away with discrete bivouacking in Switzerland? I really need to save money and am willing to be as sneaky as possible (i.e. setting up at or after dark, picking up by early morning)? I don't want to depend on huts that may be full or out of the way.
2.. Are there any places a guy like me can go who is an experienced hiker, but doesn't want to face any danger of high mountain climbing or glaciers? I would like to see green valleys and small towns. I guess train access in and train access at the finish point is necessary. I am willing to be on the hike for days or over a week if necessary.
3.. I see you have hiked a lot from your webpage. Can you recommend any places or have advice for the places I have listed? Any information you have would help.
I have been researching Europe for a while now and am finally in the position to start picking actual places to go. I will search your sight again and look for useful info. Thanks. Coby

To: Coby Cooper Subject: Re: Hiking
Hello Coby, Your questions...
1.. (etc) Swiss huts are placed for mountain climbs & therefore, not well placed for hikers. However, they are never full, as to turn someone away could be a death sentence. There are official camp sites in most Swiss villages & do not charge much. For discreet bivouacing, be discreet & go well up the hill on your route & don't trample anyone's pasture.
2.. (etc) Hitch-hiking works well in Switzerland & saves a lot of money. On my web site, all the routes not labelled 'alpine option' are safe for experienced walkers, so help yourself to them. If you want to do a section of the Cross-Swiss walk as a first timer, start at Grindelwald & do the passes to Kandersteg, then over the Gemmi Pass (from my Kandersteg pages) to Leukerbad. Thumb a lift or get the bus down to Leuk (in the Rhone Valley), thumb a lift to Visp, then up the Mattertal to Tasch & walk up to Zermatt for hills like the Matterhorn. Use my Zermatt web pages for suggested walks there.
3.. (etc)Scotland is easy to camp in but it is a very empty country & hard to get around. Also, hotels etc in GB tend to be outrageously expensive. I have not walked in Ireland. Italy is fairly cheap but I don't know what the hitch-hiking is like. Small pensions in Switzerland tend to be fairly cheap.


From: Marty Banks Subject: Stuebai
Hi Ken, Thanks so much for your advice. I think we will do the hike from Neustift to Neue Regensburger to Dresdener to Nuernberger Hutte. Can you tell me how one (or if one) makes reservations at the Hutte? And how one finds the buses from and to Innsbruck?
Thanks much. You have loads of experience, man. Marty Banks

To: Marty Banks Subject: Re: Stuebai
Hi Marty, No need to reserve at the huts but the tourist office in Neustift can advise. I think the bus to Neustift goes from Innsbruck Railway Station. I got one the other way in 1976.

From: Marty Banks Subject: Re: Stuebai
Really? You just hike up and can be assured that they have space? Thanks for the info. Marty Banks

To: Marty Banks Subject: Re: Stuebai
Hi Marty, It doesn't matter if they have space. They can't turn you away. In some huts, that would be a death sentence. Once, the Dent Blanche Hut (capacity 60) had 300 people in it, because a storm blew up & everyone on the hill headed for the hut. They all got in. But you can get the tourist office to telephone them if you feel insecure about it. Thing is, you might not be able to scramble over the Grawagrubeneider, between the Regensburger & Dresdner huts if it is clogged with snow & ice. However, you can go down into the valley & take the gondelbahn up to the Dresdner Hut if that is the case or stay in the valley for the night (you might be late down) & go up the next day to the Dresdner, screwing up your bookings.

If any of this info is of use to you, please print it off & take it with you

If you need any more info, please e-mail me.

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Contact: Ken Baldry, 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 7359 6294 or e-mail him URL:
Last revised 29/3/2004 © 1998-2004 Ken Baldry. All rights reserved.