The snow conditions are changing fast due to the recent Spring like weather.
At the higher altitudes the snow cover has been greatly affected by the wind so its suitability for skiing depends very much on the sector and aspect. The avalanche risk remains high, at 3 out of 5 above 2200m.
The south facing slopes are already in Spring conditions, with crusty snow and numerous sloughs, to be avoided later in the day.
On the shaded slopes sheltered from the wind, it is still possible to find powder.
In the Aiguilles Rouges the classic ski tours are been done regularly, though in very warm conditions. It is important to start early and to be off the slopes before they become dangerous.
In the main Mont Blanc massive the routes in the Argentière basin are tracked, despite very variable and not always good snow conditions. The return down the glacier to Lognan is OK for the moment.
The col du Chardonnet and the Fenêtre de Saleina were tracked on 11/02, with the descent by the Col du Pissoir. An abseil of at least 30m is needed from the Col du Chardonnet, (no fixed rope in place).
The Col du Passon is popular at the moment.
Some parties on the Courtes NE, (no further information.)
A party turned back at the bergschrund of the Couturier couloir on 13/02.
The Valley Blanche is being regularly skied, but in conditions that require a very good level of skiing. The Rognon slopes are mostly in good condition. The gullies behind the Requin hut are too dry. The moraine to get from the Grand Envers to the hut also lacks snow and so requires excellent ski ability. The Salle à Manger traverse is OK but requires care.
The Valley Noire, (Italian side) is tracked, as is the climb up to the foot of the Brèche Puiseux. No information concerning the rest of the route other than ski tracks returning to the Valley Blanche from the foot of the gully.
For the return to Chamonix, it is still possible to ski down via the Mottets snack bar, but this is unlikely to be the case for long.
On the Swiss side, the route up the Pointe Ronde was in good condition on 13/02 with powder down to the tree level then “skied out” snow, not always pleasant.
On the Italian side, the conditions at Courmayeur are reported to be generally good.
The recent hot weather has not favoured ice climbing, though conditions are better in Cogne.
Not much activity reported for the gullies, though a few lines have been climbed recently:
- “Pas d’Agonie III” on the Gros Rognon in generally good conditions, albeit with thin ice.
- “Le Temps est assassin”, (Trident du Tacul), with some good ice in places and dry in others, (the party descended by the Allemands Couloir, which was iced up.
- « Goulotte Pellissier » on the Pointes Lachenal.
There are no tracks leading to the Gabarrou-Albinoni or the Modica-Noury.
Super Couloir is dry.
For snow shoers, the conditions remain the same as in the last update, (10/02).
With this warm period the paths below 1500m often have sections of bare ice, a pair of walking crampons could prove useful.