DescriptionIMPORTANT NOTICE: During all summer 2006 the hut is closed for major improvement works. Only the winter quarters are always open. Water can be found a few minutes above the hut, slightly to the right.
Property of the Compagnia Delle Guide di Courmayeur , 104 beds + 10 in the winter shelter, open with warden from June 15th to Sept. 15th, tel. +39 165 809553. Restaurant service, showers, emergency radio, etc.
The Franco Monzino hut is one of the best of the entire Mont Blanc chain. It’s not only very well built and comfortable, but also strategically placed between the Brouillard and Freney basins, in one of the most savage and beautiful area of the Alps. However, it sees relatively little traffic in relation to the rest of the massif. This is partly because of the not elementary (but rather short) access, and partly because many climbs on the farther side of the Freney are now inaccessible – given the state of the glacier. In addition, nowadays many tends to use the higher Crippa and Lampugnani bivouac huts the difficult routes of the Brouillard and Freney pillars.
AccessDiff. F/II°, 2-2.30 h, 1000m
From 1970 until 1999, the starting point for the access was Plan Lognan / La Visaille, and the trail was, in the first part, the same used to go to the Jardin du Miage and the Marmot lake. After the 2000 flood, the common start point is the riverside car park at the Bar Pramotton / public picnic area 500m before Plan Lognan (just before the two road curves).
From there, follow the trail (marked “Chalets Du Freney”) along the river, then cross the Dora over two successive bridges. Few meters after the second bridge, there's a very visible signopoint – choose “S16 – Rif. Monzino”. The trail enters the beautiful pine forest, and ascends following several switchbacks (good chance to spot wildlife here, but beware the vipers) then turns decidedly west. When the forest ends, the trail cross the small but wild Freney torrent (that can be absolutely impassable when the snow is melting!) then turns north and begin ascending the grass slope until a first easy rock barrier (some I°). After that, there’s another grassy slope, which in 30 minutes brings you under the second and far higher rock barrier (130 m.). Ascend this following the metallic chains that equip the trail (exposed, some II° - be careful if wet or if you have another party above – wear you helmet!). At the top of the barrier, simply follow the trail again, until the well visible hut above.
If you’re coming down from the Col De La Seigne, there’s a shortcut at Plan Lognan – go down the road until the (now unused) lower station of the Monzino hut service cablecar . Just befor the station there’s a trail marked by a huge “Peuterey camping” red arrow. Go down this trail, which descends the steep slope into the forest nearby, reaching the previous trail just before the first bridge.