Here is the latest news of what has been happening during this spell of good weather. Following the series of snowfalls, skis or snow shoes are necessary in the high mountain. Temperatures are rising significantly and conditions are changing rapidly. Be warned, avalanches are likely, (especially in the afternoon,) on susceptible slopes that have not yet purged.
Mont Blanc was climbed yesterday by the Grands Mulets. The Jonction is good on skis. On the N ridge of the Dôme, the ice is never far from the surface, despite the recent snow, (technical axe and good crampons, with parties short roping.) The Mont Blanc N face has been skied. Parties left this morning on skis for the ascent by the Trois Monts. No news concerning the normal route, (Gouter).
Cosmiques Sector: the Cosmiques ridge, Lolo (Laurence?) ridge and Pointes Lachenal traverse have been done. The approaches to these routes are tracked and accessible on foot. On the Tacul Triangle, the Chere couloir has inevitably been climbed. Yesterday, a party climbed the Contamine Négri and skied down the Gervasutti couloir, (no info on conditions.) The Gervasutti Pillar at the Tour Ronde was climbed. (N.B. the Skyway Monte Bianco closed this week until 19th May inclusive.)
Conscrits Sector: the skiing starts at the glacier. This morning the Domes de Miage and Mont Tondu were tracked. The Col des Glaciers was done yesterday, skiing down by the Dôme de Neige.
Plan Glacier Sector: skiing starts around 2000m on the approach to the hut. The N face of the Domes was tracked and skied on Sunday, (the skiing started 50m below the summit due to a lack of snow at the top of the face.)
Couvercle Sector: three choices for the approach to the hut, by the ladders, by the central couloir, (dry low down) or by the Pierre à Bérenger. Lots of avalanches have been seen in the area. This morning, parties left for the Whymper Couloir and the col de Talèfre.
No information for the Albert 1er and Argentière sectors. These huts are not staffed and the lifts are closed.
For Hikers: the S facing slopes below 2000m are mainly dry but above this there is plenty of snow. On the N facing slopes the snow level is much lower with deep snow at 2000m. Check the altitude of your proposed hike and adapt your equipment accordingly. The mountain lakes remain snow covered. The hiking season is only just starting, patience needed.