Now Spring has arrived the conditions are evolving rapidly. It is important to respect the timing (early starts) and take on board the latest information on conditions.
Here are the results from reports received since the last update:
The Valley Blanche is still popular, now ending at Montenvers, using the cable lift and train to get back to Chamonix. The Valley Noire, on the true right bank of the glacier, is still OK. Ski tourers are regularly doing the Col d’Entrèves, the Brèche Puiseux and the Col du Tacul.
Stonefall has been reported on the normal route of the Tour Ronde.
The gullies remain very dry, though there has been some activity near the Cosmiques Ridge.
Conditions are OK on the Aiguille de l’Eboulement and the Whymper Couloir. The approach, (and descent,) to the Couvercle hut from the Leschaux glacier is best via the central gully.
A party has climbed the Frendo Spur, (with a bivvy), no further info.
A party also climbed the Eugster Diagonal in difficult conditions.
There was a party on Lesueur, N face Drus and another on Rolling Stones, N Face Grandes Jorasses. The routes were very dry, but were not a problem for the climbers involved.
Argentière sector: the classic ski tours are popular, e.g. the cols Argentière, Tour Noir and Passon. It is important to respect the timing, especially on slopes that get the sun early in the day. There is a fixed rope on the descent from the Col du Chardonnet but, apparently, it does not quite reach the foot of the gully
Some parties on the Aiguille d’Argentière by the Glacier du Milieu and the Y Couloir.
Conditions on the NE des Courtes and Col des Cristaux are also OK.
Couloir Couturier: the bergschrund goes on the right, which is then followed by snow with some sections of ice, 50m at the kink and 30m hard ice to exit.
On the Droites, the Rhem-Vimal and the Lagarde Gully have been climbed.
In the Aiguilles Rouges the snow varies, depending upon aspect and time of day. The slopes warm up rapidly, so it is important to get away early.
The Dômes de Miage and Mont Tondu are tracked. Likewise, the cols in the area, e.g. Cicle, Chasseurs, Bonhomme.
One needs to gain about 400 to 500m in height before skis can be used towards the Tré-la-Tête. The roman road is still OK, though crampons maybe necessary soon.
The Grands Mulets hut should open on 28 or 30 March, depending on conditions.
There are less options for snow shoers. However, the Prarion plateau, the Loriaz hut, the Bérard valley and the Aiguillette des Posettes, (from the Vallorcine bubbles,) remain feasible.
Hikers are recommended to stay below 1500m, to avoid risks.
It looks like the weather is going to be unsettled for the next few days, which will limit the activity at altitude.
We encourage you to report to the OHM the conditions experienced on your outings.