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Report 16th August 2018

An update following the recent unsettled weather. The lower temperatures have resulted in better re-freezing and so reduced the risk of stonefall.  However, take care, the mountains remain dry and it is still warm during the day.   

Tour Sector

- Col du Midi des Grands is dry but still no bergschrund.

- Table Ridge (integral) OK but the approach is complicated, (crevasses)

- Normal route on the Aiguille du Tour: a good track, but more crevasses appearing and increasingly icy at Col Supérieur du Tour, bergschrund OK.

- Tête Blanche: normal route OK, NE ridge still feasible.  

- Petite Fourche:  a lot of ice at the summit slope but still feasible.

- S ridge of the Purtscheller : OK

Argentière Sector

- Petite Verte is still very dry, not for beginners.

- Care needed at the Col des Grands Montets bergschrund, (stonefall risk on the left-hand side, 25m vertical abseil on the right).

- Care needed with the crevasses on the Rognon glacier

Charpoua

Weak network reception at the hut, reserve by SMS on 06.31.17.74.03. The water supply has nearly dried out, (there is some bottled water.) Bring your own if possible.  The hut closes on the 31st August.

- The Drus traverse is being done regularly, in good condition, take a high line on the glacier and make a 50m abseil to reach the starting ledges, Glacier OK on the descent, (as for the approach to the Contamine on the Grand Dru)

- No remarks for the rock routes.

Couvercle 

- Normal route, S Ridge and E face rock routes on the Moine: snow approach and bergschrund OK.

- Nonne-Évêque traverse OK

- the Moine Ridge on the Aiguille Verte is still being done

- it is over this summer for the Droites normal route

- Normal route on the Courtes is feasible, though very dry, bergschrund OK. Still some snow in the upper part.  The traverse is possible but the descent from the Col des Cristaux is totally dry, (delicate).

Leschaux

- Petites Jorasses : Still snow on the approach glacier, best to take the true left side as there is a dodgy snow bridge on the (true) right.

- Aiguille de Leschaux and the other rock routes are OK.

- Today there were parties on the Walker, (Cassin route).

 

Envers des Aiguilles/ Requin

- no change with République bergschrund and the Nantillons glacier descent, (awkward but possible, though for how long?)

- Requin hut approach: follow the green and yellow marks on the moraine.

- rock routes on the Pierre à Alain and Dent du Requin in very good condition, (snow approach.) 

- Parties are still going up the Valley Blanche.  There are a lot of crevasses to circumvent.

Secteur Aiguille du Midi

3cms of snow fell at the Cosmiques hut on Monday/Tuesday, 30cms at Mont Maudit.

- Midi descent ridge is still in a reasonable state.  Take care with the bergschrund and crevasses.  

- Midi-Plan ridge is re-tracked but still very dry, for good mountaineers only, (e.g. those doing the complete Aiguilles traverse.)

- Valley Blanche traverse tortuous but nonetheless popular.  Care needed.

- Gervasutti Pillar bergschrund still passable. Frequent stonefall reported.

- Pointes Lachenal traverse is in dry condition, (risk of stone fall at the abseil and in the chimney.)

- Cosmiques Arete is popular every day.

- The way across the bergschrund for the Contamine on the S face of the Midi has collapsed.  Possible to approach from the start of the Rébuffat.

- Some parties on the Triangle, no further info. An early start is essential to minimize the stonefall risk.  

- Generally good conditions for the 3 Monts, still a bit of ice at the Col du Mont Maudit (2 axes recommended.) and on the traverse to Col de la Brenva (take the lower track, beneath the bergschrund.)

Grands Mulets

No longer a warden at the hut.) The Jonction goes both high up and low down.  Some fresh snow on the N Ridge of the Dôme du Goûter but the ice is not far away!

Mont Blanc by the Goûter

The conditions have returned to “normal”.  The bye law restricting access now remains in force until 17th September.  See here.

Dômes de Miage / Aiguille de Bionnassay

- More and more crevasses appearing on the Tré-la-Tête glacier, check soundness of the snow bridges.  

- Dômes de Miage traverse is no longer really feasible, (too dry.)

- There and back to the Central and East Dômes OK, passage of mixed between the col and the Central Dôme.  

- Aiguille de la Bérangère there and back : OK.  It is best to keep to the rock ridge on the left when descending. 

- Aiguille de Bionnassay traverse remains popular, ice on the summit slope and before the Piton des Italiens

Mont Blanc by the Aiguilles Grises

The route is still in condition, good track on the glacier, (care needed as there are a lot of snow bridges to cross.)  The recent snow has improved (albeit temporarily) conditions for the ridge after the Col des Aiguilles Grises.

Monzino

- The glacier approach to the Eccles is still OK.

- Still some parties going for the Innominata ridge, even though it is very dry.  The end is near! 

Freney Pillar is still being done despite the very dry approach, (be aware of stonefall when descending from the Eccles col.)

- The traverse of the Freney glacier from the Col de l'Innominata is becoming more awkward but remains possible: The Ratti-Vitale (Aiguille Noire de Peuterey) and the Picco Gugliermina are no longer really feasible, (mainly because the return route is very complicated.)  The Aiguille Blanche by the Schneider ledges, finishing up Mont Blanc by Peuterey Ridge, remains feasible. 

- Parties on the Peuterey Intergral : no further info.   

Helbronner Sector

- Still some parties doing the Küffner even the approach is very difficult; the bergschrund is getting bigger and the wall above steeper.  The snow in the gully ends with 60m of broken, loose terrain below the ridge.  The ridge is generally dry, the traverse under the Androsace OK, the slope under the Maudit is on snow.   The descent direct to the Maudit col is OK.

- same as above for the Aiguilles du Diable traverse.  

- Approaches to the satellites generally OK but be aware of the crevasses.

- For the way up to the Salle à Manger, the glacier and bergschrund are OK. It is still possible to climb up the small gully, (but for how long?). It is better to descend by the rocks on the true right.  The rest is dry.

- Dent du Géant : OK but very crowded.

- Rochefort Arete: good track, ridge mostly on snow, though some ice beginning to appear.

- Jorasses traverse and descent by the normal route still OK, (some ice descending the Whymper and below the spur which comes down from the Walker.)

- Hirondelles ridge done on 11/08, no further info.

 

Aiguilles Rouges

- the Col de la Glière is free of snow but there is a snowfield to cross towards the Cornu col, perhaps hard in the morning.

- Crampons no longer needed to reach the rock routes, (Pouce included).

 

Report 8th August 2018

With the hot weather, the conditions in the mountains are rapidly evolving, especially for the snow and mixed routes.  Given the forecast  for afternoon storms over the next few days, mountaineering has become a morning activity!  

 

Tour Sector

Conditions OK on the glacier, (good track), some ice at the Col Supérieur du Tour but not a problem.  Normal routes on the Aiguille du Tour, Tête Blanche and Petite Fourche OK.

 

Argentière Sector

No major changes since the last report, the bergschrund at the Col des Grands Montets is still awkward, (see last report) but still good conditions for the Rognon glacier. 

 

Talèfre/Charpoua Sector

Conditions are slowly deteriorating, the bergshrunds are getting wider but generally the approaches to the rock routes are still OK.

- Drus traverse remains feasible, cross the glacier high up.

- Normal routes on the Droites and Courtes are  too dry, no longer practical.

- Moine, Nonne, Évêque : OK

 

Envers des Aiguilles

- As you can imagine, the bergschrund for the République/Grépon Mer de Glace (better to start by the République “bananière”) and the Nantillons glacier descent, (ice, a crevasse to abseil, stonefall) are not getting any better!

- No special problems for the (numerous) granite rock climbs.  

 

Valley Blanche/Aiguille du Midi Sector

- Still possible to ascend the Valley Blanche, (some crevasses to avoid).

- Parties on the Renaudie (Aiguille du Requin)

- 3 Monts route re-tracked on 07/08, fresh snow down to 3900m.

 

Aiguilles de Chamonix

- Keep low on the approach the normal routes on the “M” and Petits Charmoz, to avoid stone fall from Nantillons glacier.

- No problems for the classics in the area, e.g. on the Pilier Rouge de Blaitière and Aiguilles du Peigne/Pélerins.

 

Grands Mulets

- the hut closes next week.

- conditions are becoming awkward, difficult to find the best route through the Jonction, (the way now goes lower down, as shown on the IGN map), rock hard snow on the on the N Ridge of the Dôme du Goûter, (2 technical axes needed.)  This sector is now for expert mountaineers, who like solitude!

 

Mont Blanc by the Goûter

Conditions have seriously deteriorated in the Grand couloir and on the way up to the Gouter hut.  The route is no longer recommended. More info more here.

 

Dômes de Miage/ Bionassay / Aiguilles Grises Sector

- Traverse of the Domes is in difficult condition, (ice in places, sections of the ridge airy and necessary to keep to the rocks on the ridge down to Bérangère).  For competent parties only.

- There and back to the E Dôme (take care on the glacier) and to the Aiguille de la Bérangère are still in condition.

- Bionnassay traverse is technical but OK, (E ridge airy, ice at the Piton des Italiens). However, given the conditions on the Gouter route, one needs to be fit enough either to continue up to the summit of Mont Blanc and to descend by the 3 Monts route, or descend by the Aiguilles Grises (Gonella).

 

Monzino

- A lot of stone fall around the Eccles, parties leaving for the Innominata or the Freney Pillar returned to the hut. 

- Brouillard Ridge integral is feasible, (rock quality poor in places,) the Col Emile Rey is not.

-approach to the Noire de Peuterey (Ratti Vitali) and the Blanche de Peuterey (Schneider ledges) by the Col de l'Innominata and the Freney glacier OK.  However, one needs to finish by the Mont Blanc summit because returning by the Eccles is no longer feasible.  Some parties on the Peuterey integral, no further info.

 

Helbronner Sector

- the Kuffner and Aiguilles du Diable are still being done (becoming more and more dry.)

- the bergschrunds for the satellite rock climbs are still OK except for the Pyramide du Tacul, which becoming increasingly awkward.

- Dent du Géant and Rochefort Arete in good condition, given early start: sleep at the Torino hut.  The climb up to the Salle à Manger is dry but OK if the right line is taken.  Given its popularity, care is needed with stone fall, often from other parties going the wrong way

- Grandes Jorasses traverse is in condition, descent by the normal route still OK.

 

Do not hesitate to consult and contribute to the online Route book

Report 2nd August 2018

An update just before the weekend. As you will have noticed it has been very hot during the day recently and freezing levels have been variable.  The conditions on the snow/mixed routes and glacier approaches have changed rapidly.  Also, there is a risk of afternoon/evening storms for the longer routes. The best option is to stick to the beautiful Chamonix granite!

 

Tour Sector

- the Aiguille du Chardonnet is no longer in condition, lots of ice on the descent route.

- glacier approaches OK, e.g. for the Table ridge integral, normal routes on the Aiguille du Tour, Tête Blanche and Petite Fouche.

- rock routes like the Dorées traverse and Purtscheller S ridge are OK.

 

Argentière Sector

- Petite Verte : A lot of ice, not for beginners

- the bergschrund for the Col des Grands Montets can still be crossed on the left but is very exposed to stone fall.  A rope sling is in place on the true right bank (less exposed) to make a 15m abseil.

- The Aiguille d'Argentière is no longer in condition (Flèche Rousse, Glacier du Milieu). There has been a lot of stonefall on the N faces making the routes here dangerous.

- only the rock climbs or the Rabouin ridge are to be recommended

 

Talèfre / Charpoua Sector

- Drus Traverse: it takes time to find the right route for the glacier.

- Pointe Isabella (bergschund and crevasses are opening up beneath the seracs but no ice on the ridge), Courtes traverse (some snow on the ascent, ridge and descent dry), and the Droites “true” normal route (the traverse under the Droites col very dry) remain feasible.

- no comment for the Moine, Nonne, Évêque

- Aiguille Verte: Moine ridge, (bergschrund goes on the far left, 30m abseil), and Grand Montets ridge (the gullies between the Pointes are very dry) are in condition.

 

Envers des Aiguilles

The bergschrund for the République and Grépon/Mer de Glace is awkward but still passable, check it the night before and have 2 technical axes.  The Nantillons glacier descent is also complicated (e.g.25m abseil from a flake on the true left bank at a crevasse) but OK for experienced parties.

 

Aiguille du Midi Sector

- The Frendo is very dry and no longer in condition.

- Midi Plan: conditions have deterioated, (lots of ice and poor quality, sandy rock.

- Vallée Blanche traverse: The crevasses are opening up, the route through changes every day.

- Gervasutti Pillar: the bergschund is still passable, (left), but stonefall has been reported.

- Mont-Blanc by the 3 Monts : popular (there and back), several ice sections e.g. at the Col du Mont Maudit, (2 axes recommended).  

 

Mont Blanc by the Gôuter

The access restrictions to the Goûter hut have been extended.

A rockfall has destroyed the cable across the Grand Couloir, so is not protectable.

 

Dômes de Miage / Aiguille de Bionnassay

The ridge is popular. It is very sharp, (need to progress on one side or the other.  There is ice at the Piton des Italiens. No problems for the glacier approach to the hut.  Lancherons ridge is completely snow free.

 

Mont Blanc via Aiguilles Grises

Still in condition. There is a new phone number for the hut +39 0165 885 101.  (N.B the “0” is necessary in Italy).

 

Monzino

- Glacier approach to the Eccles still OK.  

- the bergschrund for the Red Pillars no longer passable.

- Innominata Ridge: very dry, stonefall reported.

 

Torino Hut Sector

- Kuffner : very dry, being done every day, stonefall reported.

- Parties still doing the Diable ridge: the bergschrund remains passable (on the right), approach gully dry, (stonefall especially from other parties), rock snow free.

- No problems reported for the bergschrunds on the Satelitte rock routes, (if you have information, please use the Chamoniarde online route book).
Apparently,there are fixed ropes at the bergscrunds for the Voie des Suisses (Grand Capucin) and Lifting du Roi, ( Roi de Siam).

- Dent du Géant : the approach to the Salle à Manger is dry, afternoon stone fall reported, otherwise good conditions for the Rochefort arete.  

- Jorasses traverse is been done regularly in generally good conditions Conditions on the glacier decent are deteriorating.  

 

Grandes Jorasses

- Walker Spur still in good condition, the Red Chimneys gradually drying.

- Jorasses traverse still in good condition, some ice near the Point Walker

- descent by the normal route OK despite limited re-freezing.  

 

Miscellaneous Info : 

There is a new Via Ferrata at the St Gervais Thermal Park.  It is not suitable for beginners, 1st part AD+, 2nd part TD/TD+. 

A bolt is missing onthe first pitch Piano Forte (Tour des Crochues) with serious consequences in case of a fall.

 

Report 29th July 2018

This report starts with the conditions for hikers.

No longer any problems on the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB), the work on the Arpette path down to Trient is finished.

For the Tour des Aiguilles Rouuges, there are still some hard snow patches near the Col de Salenton and the Buet summit.
The Col de la Glière also still has snow, good boots and hiking poles needed.

It is very hot, sun protection and taking lots of fluid are essential, especially for children.

 

High Mountain :

The long spell of hot weather is affecting the conditions, particularly for the mixed routes.   The snow is giving way to ice on certain routes and the danger of stonefall is increasing.

 

- Albert 1er : The Migot Spur is no longer feasible and the Forbes Ridge is not  to be recommended.  The other “classics” in the area are OK, though care is needed at the bergschrunds.
The Col du Midi des Grands was done there and back, the traverse was not in condition.

 

- Argentière : the recent rain has affected the Glacier du Milieu, which is now hard snow/ice, particularly under the Vierge. The bergschrund is difficult to cross as the bridge has collapsed, two axes and cramponning skills needed.
Good conditions for the rock routes near the hut.

There is a stonefall risk on the Petite Verte.  

 

- Couvercle : the Courtes traverse is being done. The ridge and descent are fairly dry, so the route is for fast parties only.   The Pointe Isabella remains popular, the snow bridge is still intact. The “true” normal route on the Droites is OK, (the diagonal couloir variantion is no longer feasible). The Moine ridge on the Verte and the rock routes on the Moine are in condition. On Sunday, some parties went for the Grand Montets ridge, awaiting further info. The Jardin ridge is no longer feasible.

 

- Leschaux : The Walker has been popular recently.  Big boots and crampons for 2 pitches at triangular snow and at the red chimneys, otherwise OK in rock shoes.  No problems for the descent (normal route). The approaches to the Anouk and Contamine on the Petites Jorasses are OK. The Périades remains feasible, the glacier is OK, (with just a little ice at the start). The approach to the Aiguille de Leschaux is OK.

 

 -Charpoua : The traverse of the Drus and the Contamine on the Grand Dru are popular.  The glacier goes both above and below the serac, (melted snow).  Below the serac there is short, steep section.  The glacier descent goes on either side of the rognon.

The Contamine on the Evêque is popualar. Getting on to the rock from the snow is awkward due to a plug of snow.   A fixed rope was replaced at the end of summer 2017, though there is still some old rope around.  

There has been recent work on the summer approach path to the hut, a ladder was added at the start and several chains repaired.  

 

- Envers des Aiguilles : It is finished for the Ryan; The République bergschrund is awkward but still goes.  No problems reported for the other routes in the area. The descent of the Nantillons, is awkward since the snow bridge collapsed.

 

- Requin : The route up the Valley Blanche and the approaches to the routes behind the hut are in condition.  

 

- Torino : Good conditions for the Rochefort Arete and the Jorasses traverse. The way up to the Salle à Manger is dry, stonefall risk.  Parties are doing the Aiguilles du Diable and the Kuffner, (direct start.)  The Grand Capucin bergschrund is awkward but the other approaches appear still to be OK.

 

- Cosmiques
Triangle du Tacul : The Chéré is still being done (early morning).  The Negri is no longer feasible. The snow slope on the Grissolle before the narrows appears to be black ice, the rest looks OK.  Cosmiques ridge is very dry.  Midi Plan: there is ice on the north side.

Mont Blanc by the 3 Monts : 2 axes needed for the Maudit, (ice).

 

- Grands Mulets : It is still possible to get to the hut from the Gite à Balmat. The way through the Jonction is difficult to follow. The N ridge of the Dôme is hard snow, (with a bit of ice), 2 axes needed.  The Plateaux is tracked.  

 

- Les Conscrits : the Tondu is no longer recommended.  Dômes traverse: some ice between the col and the 1st Dôme and towards the Bérangère.  Tré la Tête traverse : no info. 

 

- Monzino : stonefall reported on the Eccles bivouac approach, (under the fore summit of the Pointe Inominata.)  Inominata Ridge is still being done.  Doubts about the Freney Pillar approach.  The Col Emile Rey is no longer feasible.  Go via the Pointe Innominata to reach the Schneider ledges, Ratti/Vitali and the Noire de Peuterey.

 

Report 23rd July 2018

Some new information for the start of a week that promises to be hot.  In general, the conditions at altitude are remaining good even if some areas are inevitably becoming dry.  The storms at the weekend brought some fresh snow, the snow/rain limit was around 3500m with about 25cms at 3600m and 30cms at 4000m, (very much varying from one area to another.) This snow has quickly transformed and settled, temporarily improving the conditions on some routes.  The snow has rapidly cleared from south facing rocks.

 

Tour Sector

- A good track means that, with some care, the approach to the Albert 1er hut from Charamillion/Les Autannes is OK.

-Col du Midi des Grands and Col Supérieur du Tour are dry but OK

- Aiguille du Tour by the Table Ridge and the Normal Route are OK

-Normal Routes on the Tête Blanche and Petite Fourche (a double 50m rope is needed for the abseil back over the bergschrund at the Col Blanc on the Swiss side).

- Dorées traverse is being done, no further info.

- S ridge of the Aiguille de Purtscheller is OK but be careful of loose rocks when abseilling back down.  

- Less people on the Aiguille du Chardonnet.  It is probably finished for the Migor Spur.  Still ice on the “Bosse” leading up to the Forbes Ridge despite the recent snow.  The ridge is dry and can be done without crampons: do not traverse onto the N face to avoid the pinnacles, (black ice), instead keep to the rock.  You need to be comfortable with this sort of ground in order not to lose too much time, (several short abseils from pinnacles).  The descent remains in good condition.

 

Argentière Sector

- Hut approach: no problem, the bergschrund at the Col des Grands Montets can be passed without difficulty on the left for the moment.

- The normal route on the Aig d'Argentière is being done.

- Jardin and Flèche Rousse ridges are OK, as are the Argentière and Tour Noir cols

- Traverse of the Tour Noir is no longer feasible.

- Black ice is beginning to appear on the Petite Verte ridge.

 

Charpoua Sector

The traverse of the Drus is being done regularly.  A party went to do the Eveque on 23/07, more info available when they return.

 

Talèfre Sector

- With the hot weather forecast for this week and the level of dryness, the Whymper is no longer feasible.

- Pointe Isabelle is still in condition.

- the Courtes traverse still feasible if one starts early start and there is a good freeze.  

- the "true" normal route on the Droites remains feasible but not the start by the “diagonal gully”.

- Except for the Contamine-Labrunie, (awkward but possible), the bergschrunds at the foot of the rock routes pose no particular problems.  

- Moine ridge on the Verte is dry low down but with some snow in the upper part.

Leschaux Sector

- Still one small snow field to cross to reach the hut by the Balcon path, (crampons useful.)

- Périades glacier tracked.

- Climbs being done on the Petites Jorasses, Aiguille de Leschaux (glacier approaches OK) and the routes above the hut.

- The Walker is being done regularly, (mixed above the triangular snow patch), though  t is probably worth waiting a day or two after last weekend storms.

 

Envers des Aiguilles

- N.B. the hut approach has changed, more info here

- Generally good conditions for this sector.

- The bergschrund for the République is becoming more awkward but still OK.  The bergschrund for the Ciseaux is very exposed.

 

Requin Sector

- Aiguille du Plan has been done, there and back.  

- The rock routes are dry and the approaches globally good for the moment.

- Nobody has been up or down the Valley Blanche recently. 

- The slabs to reach the first pitches on Congo Star have been bolted.

 

Grands Mulets

N Ridge of the Dôme still being done, tranquillity guaranteed.  The warden will be back at the hut on Monday and be able to provide the latest info.

 

Aiguille du Midi/Plan de l'Aiguille Sector

25 cm of new snow fell at the weekend.  

- the Tacul was retracked on Sunday (22/07) and the Maudit on Monday (23/07).

- some parties on the Chéré and there is a track towards the Contamine-Negri, no further info. In general, the conditions for the Triangle are poor.

- Cosmiques Ridge is completely dry, no need for crampons.  

- Pointes Lachenal traversed regularly, (warning, in some places the snow cover above the ice is very thin.)

- a little bit of snow on the ledges of the Midi S face.  A party climbed the Cosmiques Spur.

- Frendo Spur very dry and has not been done for a few days now.  

- The rock routes are generally dry in the Chamonix Aiguilles.  Crampons no longer needed for the normal route on the Peigne, (descend by the Papillons ridge.)

- No recent info for the Nantillons glacier, conditions will be continuing to deteriorate.

 

Mont Blanc Normal Route

L’arrêté préfectoral  (municipal law), restricting the approach to the Gouter hut has been extended to 1st August 2018.

Mountaineers who stay at the hut or bivouac at the Tête Rousse are doing the Mont Blanc (there and back) without problems.  

 

Plan Glacier/Durier/Conscrits

- The path to the Plan Glacier from the Col du Tricot is free of snow.

- The traverse of the Dômes de Miage is generally in good condition but be aware that the ice is never far away, (good cramponning technique needed.)  The glacier is heavily crevassed and below the Col des Domes can be difficult to spot.  No ice on the descent towards the Bérangère.

- No recent info for the Aiguille de Tré la Tête but conditions were OK a week ago.

- A lot of ice on the Mont Tondu.  

- The Mettrier ridge no longer in condition, (nobody done it for more than a week.)

- Tricot Ridge is being done regularly, but ice is appearing on the traverse after the Aiguille de Tricot.

- There is a section of ice under the summit of the Aiguille de Bionnassay.  The E ridge is airy but with a good track.  There is ice about, especially before the Piton des Italiens.

 

Robert Blanc Sector

- 2 snowfields to cross at the end of the classic hut approach from Lanchettes

- The cables leading to the Col du Mont Tondu have been repaired. The E ridge is dry.

- Dôme des Glaciers: the glacier and Lanchettes ridge (via the Col des Glaciers) are feasible.

 

Gonella Hut Section

Mont Blanc by the Aiguilles Grises is being done regularly: the glacier is OK; the ridge is airy with some ice at the level of the Piton des Italiens.

 

Monzino Hut Section

- the rock routes are dry.  To get to the Ratti, pass under the E face of the Noire de Peuterey

- Access to the Eccles bivouac via the Brouillard glacier is still OK.  

- Innominata and Brouillard ridges are in good condition, (even if a bit dry.)

- Parties doing the Freney Central Pillar and the Brouillard Pillars, no further info.  

- No news for the Peuterey ridge, the recent snow may have temporarily improved conditions, (quite a lot of ice in the upper part.)

 

Punta Helbronner Sector

10 cm of fresh snow at the hut, (already melted,) and about 30cm at 4000m.

- Brenva Spur no longer in condition, lots of ice before the recent snow fall, (which may have improved conditions for a few days.)

- Kuffner being done frequently.  It is necessary to approach directly by the couloir and not from the Fourche bivouac. (more info ici).

- Aiguilles du Diable traverse remains feasible, (party foreseen for the 23/07). The bergschrund is OK, the couloir is becoming dry near the top, danger of stonefall from other parties.

- Climbing on the Satellites is still good, no problems reported concerning the bergschrunds.

- Tour Ronde : SE Ridge intégrale is feasible.

-Aiguilles d'Entrêves and Marbrées traverses are OK.  

- Good conditions for the Dent du Géant and Rochefort Ridge (retracked on 22/07, no ice.)  For the N ridge of the Dent du Géant, go along by the rocks when descending under the E face, (ice and broken rock.)

 

Grandes-Jorasses Sector

- Traverse and normal route on the Grandes Jorasses are being done regularly.  (Parties left to do the traverse from the Canzio 23/07 but it is probably better to wait a day or two for the snow to go.)  The normal route was retracked on 22/07. 

Generally good conditions for Mont Dolent . no further info.  

 

Aiguilles Rouges

- still some snow fields which can cause problems at the Col de Salenton, between the Index and Lac Blanc, at the col de la Glière, by the lacs Noirs and Cornu and between the Col du Brévent and the Brévent summit.

- still some snow on the approaches and descents for certain rock routes.

 - still some snow in the Emosson sector to reach the site of the dinosaur footprints, (which itself is nearly completely free of snow,) good boots suffice.  

Summer conditions by the Grenairon hut: some easy snowfields to climb the Mont Buet and the Cheval Blanc, (descent towards Emosson is dry until the Col du Vieux.)

 

Tour du Mont Blanc

- still some steep and exposed snow on the variants at the level of the Col de la Grande Ecaille and after the Cabottes spur, (the path between the Tête Nord des Fours and the col de la Seigne). The Col d’Enclave has snow on the Contamines side. There is still some snow in the Bellaval cwm.

-  it is not advised to take the Fenêtre d'Arpette variant due to work being carried out on the Trient side.  (The Champex side is nearly snow free.)

 

Haute Route Chamonix-Zermatt : 

- by the paths: still quite a lot of snow on the higher cols but feasible with good boots and hiking poles. 

- by the glaciers: crevasses still well filled in.

Report 11 July 2018

Some complementary information to the last report and route book , (5th July,) for the mid and high mountain.  

 

High Mountain

 

- Conditions still good for the Dômes de Miages traverse and the Aig de Bionnassay.

- Dôme des Glaciers : Lanchettes ridge is still accessible from the behind the hut and by the col des Glaciers ; the Glaciers glacier is feasible.

- Robert Blanc sector : Mont Tondu : the E ridge is dry, Mont Tondu glacier is feasible.  The W face, (above the Jovets lakes) still has some snow. There is 30m of cable missing to reach the Col du Mont Tondu.

- Mont Blanc by the Aiguilles Grises : the Dôme glacier is still good, the ridge after the Piton des Italiens is narrow for about 30m.

- Eccles bivouac is popular, with climbing on the Freney pillar,and Peuterey Integral.  Be aware that the rock quality on the Brouillard ridge is often mediocre.  

- Brenva Spur: More and more ice is appearing on the Gussfeld variant, foresee extra ice screws. 

- Kuffner :  The ridge between the Fourche bivouac and the start is no longer really possible (unstable terrain) and so one needs to start by the direct gully.  The ice is surfacing here and there, (notably on the traverse under the summit of Mont Maudit.)  2 axes and some extra screws recommended.

- The abseil line from the Canzio bivouac has been re-equipped. (30m abseils).

- Mont Blanc by the 3 Monts : the rope which was in place at Col du Mont Maudit is in a very bad state.

- Contamine-Grisolle / Contamine-Mazaud : still feasible if you sleep at the hut, conditions OK but there are sections of black ice.

- Nantillons glacier is still snow.  

- Frendo Spur, feasible with an early start or from a bivouac at the top of the rock section, (stonefall reported higher up.)  Recent parties have used the righthand finish.  

- the approach to Congo Star (Aiguille Pierre Alain) is awkward, (slab difficult to protect,) numerous parties have turned back.  Best avoided until it is « equipped », i.e. bolted.

- Drus traverse popular, still snow on the approach to Flammes de Pierre.

- Courtes normal route in good condition.  For the traverse, the ridge is very dry, and unstable in places, (notably at the level of Aiguille qui Remue.)  A route for very fast parties only.   

- Petite Aiguille Verte in good condition.

- Grands Montets ridge popular, the Segogne slabs are not dry, but can be passed easily.   The Whymper Couloir is still feasible in descent (but maybe not for long).  The Moine Ridge is perhaps the better option, (still quite a lot of snow, crampons all the way.)

- Aiguille d'Argentière : Flèche Rousse ridge still in condition, The upper slope of the descent by the normal route is by abseil from Abalakovs, (check them !), bergschrund OK, Glacier du Milieu OK, (still snow).

- Col du Tour Noir in excellent condition.

- Tête Blanche : the bergschrund on the N face is no longer passable, NE ridge OK.

- Generally good conditions for the Dorées traverse : rock dry, (including the Copt gully), crampons to cross the Copt col and then for the mixed section on the N face  of the Aiguilles Penchées.  50m abseil form a rock spike to cross the bergschrund on the descent.

 

Mid Mountain

 

No major changes, there is still snow in some places.  

- The Col des Fours variant on the TMB is feasible with good boots and hiking poles.  

- Robert Blanc sector: The classic approach to the hut is free of snow up to about 2600m, (at the top of the Lanchettes glacier moraine).  With each day the snow is disappearing higher up and the path, with its yellow markings, becoming more apparent. There are still some steep, exposed snow slopes on the traverse path between Tête Nord des Fours and the Col de la Seigne. Not recommended for the moment.  For the Col d’Enclave, the spur up from the Jovet lakes is free of snow.  There is some snow on the summit and a lot of snow still on the Bellaval Combe side.

- Fenêtre d'Arpette : still snow on the Champex side but not a problem if one is properly equipped. Work in progress on the Trient side and best avoided.  Please respect the workers.

- Crampons still needed for the normal route up Mont Buet and the Salenton Col (Tour des Aiguilles Rouges). The snow is stable and the is a good track.  N ridge of the Buet is dry

- Steep and exposed snow slopes to reach Lac Blanc from the top of the Index chairlift, crampons needed.  A lot of snow on the approach to the Lacs Noirs from the Cornu Col and on the Glière Col, (steep and dangerous snow slopes.)

- the path between the Are chalets and the Nid d'Aigle is in a bad state and  for the “sure footed” hikers only.  

- several bolt hangers have been removed from Label Virginie (Clocher de Planpraz).

- Rockfall on pitch 3 of Martin Ravanel (Jumelles des Crochues):  a bolt is missing and the party turned back.