The refuge is placed at an altitude of 2687m on a balcony that overhang the "Mer de Glace"
The brand new refuge was built recently to replace the legendary old shelter made of sheet metal placed under a huge slab of granite as a shell (from that the origin of the name).
Its location allows the approach to all the peaks that surround the Talèfre basin, or as a rest for who come from the Argentiere side.
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 alps arch (Aiguille Verte
chain, north wall of Grandes Jorasses
, and Mont Blanc
For this reason it is reached even without mountaineering purposes.
Views of the refuges
The new hut. Grandes Jorasses and Mont Blanc massif
The old hut: The Talèfre basin
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 glacier", 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.
In the begin, the route is in common with all the routes to the others refuges, and change every year related to the ice condition.
However, during the hike, move in the middle of the glacier untill the confluence of the glaciers "Leschaux" and "Tacul".
On the top of the morraine between the two glacier, an alluminium tank (placed on purpose) indicate the easyest access to the Leschaux glacier. Otherwise the access would be too strenuous, amongst huge crevasses.
On the rocky cliff on your left side, a white big square signal is clearly visible. It indicate le ladders that take to the grass meadows above the cliff.
The iron ladders haven't any protections (like the cables of the "ferrata"), so be aware!
After 5 ladders, same steel handrails helps along a less steep part untill the and of the rocks. From there, a confortable path take to the huts in 30 minutes.
The routes takes 3.30/4 hours, and it is recommended for skilled hikers.
The drop is 778 meters.
The refuges have togheter a capacity of 128 places.
The new refuge is managed in summertime from 15th of june to 15th of september.
During the rest of the year the old shelter is open permanently, with beds, blanket and wood stove.
The owner of the hut is:
the "French Alpin Club" of Paris.
The telephone number is:
+33 4 50531694
Destinations from the refuge
Refuge "Envers des Aiguille" 2520m (3/4 hours EE)
Refuge "Charpoua" 2841m (3/4 hours EE)
Refuge "de Laschaux" 2431m (2/3 hours EE)
Refuge "de Requin" 2516m (3/4 hours F)
Weather forecast sites and mountain informations
Wheather forecast sites:
Snowinfo: 0033/836 681 020 (only in France).
In French and English lenguage.
Regione Valle d'Aosta meteo
Office de Haute Montagnes (OHM)/
Phone: 0033450 532 208
Bureau des Guides in Chamonix
Guide alpine Courmayeur
Tel. +390165842064 Fax. +390165842357
Cable cars and Trains:
Montenvers Train schedule
Phone: 0033/450 53 1298 - 0033/8 36 35 35 35 -
0033/450530702 (Train station Chamonix)
Phone of the Montenvers-train: ++33(0)450/531254
Funivie del Montebianco
Tel.+39016589925 - Fax+39 016589439 -E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org