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The warm weather continues to degrade the snow conditions in most areas. There has been virtually no new snow since 6th February.

When ski touring one often has to walk for a bit in the lower sections, for example, the Berard valley or the return from Loriaz.  Crampons can prove useful.
The main areas for touring remain the same as last week.

Some extra information:
- Brèche Puiseux is tracked, it can be very warm in the couloir so one needs to be up it early. There are two 30m abseils on the Mallet side. The lower part of the des Périades glacier does not have much snow, so roping up is recommended.
- The Cols du Passon, Tour Noir and Argentière remain popular. The Col du Chardonnet is also being done (2 abseils of 30m minimum, depending on your ski ability). Glacier du Milieu is tracked, conditions OK, though treacherous on the lower part.  No information on the upper part, (it looks to have enough snow.)  The Y Couloir on the Aiguille d’Argentière is OK except for upper part of the right branch, which is ice.

- Col des Cristaux and the Courtes NE are tracked, the upper parts lacking snow.

 - Ski touring remains popular in the Aiguilles Rouges an on Mont Buet.
- Col des Autannes in good condition, as is the Pointe de Bron from Trient.
- Conditions are good above Contamines (e.g.Tête N des Fours). The Roman road has bare ice in places.
- Dômes de Miage was tracked on 16/02, starting from Cugnon. No specific problems. Descent by the Armancette, not much snow but still feasible.  Lots of wet snow slides, avoid coming down late!

 
The dry conditions are not favourable for gully climbing but, nevertheless, some lines have been attempted:
- A party did 3 pitches of the Claire Chazal on 15/02; A track was seen towards the Ravanel-Frendo, no further information.  
- A lot of ice on the Couturier, sometimes with a thin covering of snow; exit completely on ice for 150m. Whymper in good condition except for bare ice in the top part

- Goulotte du Col des Petites Jorasses: the bergschrund goes well, first 2 pitches on ice, the 2nd finishing on snow plastered rock.  The remaining pitches in better condition.  Abseil descent.
- Couloir de l’Eboulement tracked, conditions OK, some stones at the start of the route.

- Cristalliers Direct on the Aiguilles Marbrées in good condition but take care if it gets any warmer, serious stone fall risk.

The Valley Blanche is still popular, the upper part has the better ski conditions.  The snow cover is getting thin near the Requin and towards Montenvers. Prudence and a good ski ability needed.
The Valley Noire (Italian side) goes OK on the true right bank.

No important changes for snow shoers or hikers since the last bulletin.


We take this opportunity to remind you that, even though the snow conditions have made it awkward to do some activities, it is forbidden to go upwards on the ski pistes, whether on foot, ski or with snow shoes.

Some routes have been set up to avoid these forbidden areas.  See:
http://www.chamoniarde.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Espace-ski-de-rando2visu.pdf
http://www.chamoniarde.com/?page_id=730