Refuge de la Charpoua

Refuge de la Charpoua

Page Type: Hut/Campground
Lat/Lon: 45.92393°N / 6.95778°E
Season: Summer
Elevation: 9321 ft / 2841 m



Refuge de la Charpoua.
Awesome Valle Blanche 

The refuge is placed at the altitude of 2841m on a rocky spur on the left side of the "Glacier de la Charpoua" and overhang the "Mer de Glace".

It is considered a real "refuge" because it's managed by a keeper during the summer (not every day). But due to its small dimension, it's used as a bivouac with kitchen and beds in the same room and open permanently.

Its location allows the approach to all the peaks that surround the Charpoua basin, like: Drus, Aiguille Verte, Le Cardinal, L'Eveque and La Nonne.

In addition to this, it is situated in a location wherefrom the view of the mountains around is one of the most beautiful in the whole Mont Blanc group.
Especially for the inpressive view to the Aiguilles des Grands Charmoz and Aiguille du Grepon.
For this reason it is very advisable a tour without mountaineering purposes.

The refuge
The refuge

Getting there

The starting point to reach the refuges is the "Montenvers" rail station situated 900 meters above Chamonix. (train ticket 25 euros return)

From the station follow the indication "to the refuges", on easy path in the begin and than same iron ladders permit to touch the flat glacier (Mer de Glace"
This part of the glacier is very worn-out; all the bumps and crevasses are clearly visible, so the rope isn't obligatory.

Once reached the flat glacier, point to the opposite side of it, exactly in front of Montenvers. A huge white square indicate the position of the first ladders (otherwise invisible from far).

7 ladders very steep and same steel handrails, permit to get the terrace made of grass and trees above the rocky cliff that surround the glacier.

From here follow the easy path that takes to the morraine in the middle fo the Charpoua basin. Pay attention during the crossing of the slippery rocks below the glacier de la Charpoua. Risk of blocks of ice tumbling down from the glacier. A yellow signal indicate the dangerous part of the crossing.

Once reached the marraine, climb it on its edge. The refuge should be visible from there on the top of a spur at the and of the morraine. Same steel handrails help in the last few meter.
From Montenvers 3 hours EEA


The refuge has a capacity of 12 places and its managed in summertime from july to august but not every day. Better to call for a reservation.
During the rest of the year it is open permanently, with beds, blanket and gas kitchen.

The owner of the hut is: the "Chamonix alpin guides"

The telephone number is: +33 4 50530088

Destinations from the refuge


Refuge "Envers des Aiguille" 2520m (3/4 hours EEA)
Refuge "Du Couvercle" 2841m (2/3 hours EEA)
Refuge "de Laschaux" 2431m (3/4 hours EEA)
Refuge "de Requin" 2516m (3/4 hours F)


Aiguille du Moine 3412m
Aiguille Verte 4122m
Aiguille du Dru 3754m
La Nonne 3340m
Le Cardinal 3647m
L'Eveque 3469m

View from the refuge

The refuge and the Aiguille Verte in the background.
The Drus, Aiguille Verte and Le Cardinal

Aiguille de Chamonix
Valle Blanche and Aiguille des Grand Charmoz