Chamonix: 150 years since the inauguration of The Plan de l'Aiguille refuge


Friday, the 21st of June 2019, was a day of celebration at the Plan de l'Aiguille refuge.

The day marked 150 years since the Plan de l'Aiguille shelter was inaugurated.

Refuge du Plan de l'Aiguille, photo by Tiia Monto, licensed under CC-BY 3.0, photo source
Refuge Plan de l'Aiguille, photo by lunaman, licensed under CC-BY 2.0, photo source

The refuge of the Plan de l'Aiguille has been opened since 1869. 

The refuge of the Plan de l'Aiguille is located at 2,207 meters (or 7240 feet) above sea level, just downstream from the intermediate station of the Aiguille du Midi cable car.

Diversity makes the refuge special

More precisely, the diversity of its visitors.

The Plan de l'Aiguille du Midi refuge is today a dashing building hung on the side of the mountain, on a green and flowered shelf, overlooking the valley of Chamonix.

Everyone is welcomed at the Plan de l'Aiguille du Midi shelter and the refuge has seen thousands of people.

"One time, we even saw two Koreans come in, in shoes and outfits, with suitcases on wheels. It took them a quarter of an hour to go down the last meters to the refuge, "recalls in a smile Céline Milla, help-guard at the shelter.

Quality over quantity

Despite having been functional for one century and a half and having seen thousands of visitors, the Plan de l'Aiguille refuge does not seem that old.

In fact, since 1869, the refuge has undergone many facelifts and modernization works, which were mostly meant at increasing the comfort of the visitors.

The Plan de l'Aiguille refuge has been managed since 2008 by Claude Quenot and Marie-Noëlle Thévenet, the latter having retired in 2017.

Today's refuge is the result of ambitious phases of work throughout the years. "It is our responsibility to not let go. Even if the investment level calms down, we still have plenty of ideas", declared Éric Thiolière, president of the consorts of the mountain Blaitière.

"There are no big future development projects", continues Éric Thiolière.

He mentioned that developing a thematic path would be a great idea, and finishes by stating that the recurrent theme of water remains a priority: "In 2013, we faced the lack of alpine pasture. Today we have many cisterns. We will see if they are sufficient", concludes Éric Thiolière.

Le Dauphine

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