In the Aiguilles Rouges on the North side of the Chamonix valley, La Grande Floria offers a wide variety of multi-pitch technical rock climbs on her many faces. Due to it's easy access, you are guaranteed to encounter other groups on this mountain in the Summer. Other Aig. Rouges pages on SP: Aiguille de la Glière. Aiguilles Crochues. Aiguille de la Persévérance Aiguille L'Index Le Brevent
Get the guidebook, Les Aiguilles Rouges, by Thomas Dulac and Godefroy Perroux, available all over Chamonix; also available for perusing at the OHM where notes or copies of selected climbs can also be made.
From Chamonix head towards Argentiere and at the first small village of les Praz follow the signs to the Flegere telepherique (15.50 euro, Summer 2004). Head to the top and it's the large dome-shaped mountain in front of you (right hand peak in photo above). Late in June, there was much snow but by the first week in August only a small patch between the station and the start of the climb.
May thru October
There is a privately owned hut, Refuge de la Flegere (tel: 0603582814/demi pension 37 euro), at the top of the first of two sections of telepherique that takes you up to the Index Station. There is also Chalet du Lac Blanc that is 1 hour and 45 minutes further to the NNE from Index Station. Bivies are permitted in the Aiguilles Rouges and I'd recommend to use this approach if you are planning to do a couple of climbs over a couple of days, just have to have gear packed up each day, not a problem. Plenty of camping in Chamonix...so you should never find yourself in the position that you have to use Les Drus campground. The people that run it are NOT worth dealing with. If you want the full story ask me. If you are looking for a nice place that is cheap, it's a bit far afield but Camping des Montets toward Vallorcine was a winner at 5.8 euro/night for person/tent combo (reduces to 5.1euro/night if stay is longer than 3 days). L'Ile des Barrats located right across from the hospital in Chamonix was a winner at 10.30 euro/night for a person/tent combo and located 15-20 min. walk from Aig. Midi station. Both have good, hot water showers provided in the cost. For when the weather is wet can recommend the gite, Le Chamoniard Volant (open year-round). The owners, Sylvaine and Erick, do a good job of dealing with almost every situation. Winter Campgrounds around Chamonix: Les Deux Glaciers, located in Les Bossons open from Dec. 15 to Nov. 15 tel: +33 (0)450 53 15 84...offer all inclusive price of 12.50 euro for 2 people/tent/auto. Les Rosieres, between Les Praz and Chamonix on the North side of the L'Arve River open from Feb. 2 to Sep. 30 tel: +33 (0)4 50 53 10 42; www.campinglesrosieres.com.
see Rahel's Mt. Blanc Group page for excellent assortment of mountain conditions and camping info in the Chamonix valley.
For hours, rates, accessibility etc of the Flegere telepherique. Dated but well writen article that covers a lot of info regarding alpine climbing and the bolting of routes on the Mont Blanc Massif and beyond. If you like a bit of history or just want to know what's up with all the bolted routes, you'll enjoy this article.