For last few days it felt as if winter was back. First there was rain, then it snowed down to the valley base, and this together with strong winds at altitude.
The change in conditions means the avalanche risk above 2000m is now 3/5. Regardless of the activity undertaken, one needs to be very cautious this weekend.
For several days, there has been little action in the mountains. Here is the latest information from the hut wardens
There was between 5 and 10cms of snow at the valley floor, about 50cms, very windblown at 2500/3000m and up to 80cms higher up.
Drifting has affected some areas and certain slopes appear to be “loaded”. The tracks to the routes have disappeared.
The Lognan and Gd Montets lifts, as well as the Argentière hut, will close after May 1st.
Concerning the Valley Blanche, the “Z” path has been dismantled and only the crest of the ridge remains equipped. Caution is needed, especially at the level of the “Salle à Manger”, where the snow bridges, already fragile, are masked by the new snow. It is still necessary to walk a little to reach Montenvers.
For hikers and “trailers” there should not be any problems below about 1300/1500m. For example, the Petits Balcons N and S, the Floria and the Chapeau chalet are feasible. The Chailloux chalets, the Loriaz hut, the Lac Vert and the Prarion, even if a bit higher, are also accessible.
Above this, the conditions are tricky, with a real risk of sliding or falling. Avoid travelling to “light” and modify your plans and equipment to meet the prevailing conditions.