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A weekend update to the report from the 12th  June, (which for the most part is still valid).

 

Most of the lifts in the valley opened on the 16th June, (more info here) but there is still a lot of snow above a certain altitude.  Check that your chosen footpaths are passable and have the right equipment with you.

 

The work at the Grand Balcon Sud between Planpraz and Flégère is finished and the footpath now open.  There is still a lot of snow on the way to Lac Blanc, (from the Index and Flégère: crampons essential).  No problems to get to the Chéserys lakes and to descend to Trè- le-Champ or the Col des Montets

The Grand Balcon Nord, between Montenvers and the path descending to Chamonix via Blaitière is OK.  However, there are steep snow fields to cross to reach the Plan de l’Aiguille.

 

The large boulder which was blocking the path up the Berard valley has been cleared (dynamited!)  Above 1700m there is still a lot of snow.

 

At Loriaz, the snow is still causing problems both towards Emosson and the col de la Terrasse: crampons and ice axe needed.

 

For the Tour du Mont Blanc, there is still snow at the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme but there is a good track.  The Fours variation is only feasible with crampons.   The bridge at the level of Arnuva is not yet in place.  For the moment crampons are necessary for the Grand Col Ferret, because of the exposure on some sections, (though the track is improving with each day.).

 

Crampons and ice axe advisable for those wanting to access the rock climbs in the Aiguilles Rouges.

 

The return of good weather on Thursday, has encouraged activity in the high mountains.

The Grands Montets lifts opened on Saturday.  The Petite Verte looks to be in good condition.  The Couturier has been done in good conditions, (glacier approach OK, a small vertical section at the bergschrund, no ice but very firm snow for the whole of the couloir), descent by the Whymper.

 

The Leschaux hut is open. The SW couloir of the Eboulement is in good condition and popular.  The rock climbs above the hut are dry.

 

The damaged ladders on the way up to the Envers hut have been replaced.

 

The N ridge of the Dôme du Gouter is tracked.

 

Concerning the 3 Monts route, there is quite a lot of fresh snow, (20cms at the Cosmiques), making the avalanche risk on the Maudit too important. (Tacul tracked).  Patience needed.

A party turned back on the Midi Plan Ridge, (no further info). Chéré, Cosmiques Ridge, Laurence Ridge and Pointes Lachenal traverse are all popular.  

The annual Mont Blanc Unlimited pass is valid on the Skyway (Courmayeur) while the Aig du Midi lift is closed.  

 

Concerning the Gouter route up Mont Blanc, the MB Tramway is open as far as the col du Mont Lachat.  It is forbidden to go up the rail tracks to the Nid d’Aigle. Either take the path by the Chalets de l’Are or by the Dérochoir (lots of snow, crampons and ice axes essential). More info here

 

On the Italian side, the Monzino and Gonella huts have opened for the season.  To get to the Monzino, there is 80m of hard snow at the exit of the equipped section, (a rope is in place and with good boots it is OK).  Climbing on the Aiguille Croux (Ottoz, some snow on the normal route descent,) and the Aiguille Noire (S ridge, Ratti). The Freney glacier is OK.  No tracks yet up to the Eccles bivvy but the glacier and the Innominata ridge look to be in good condition.  Too early for the Brouillard ridge, (too much snow).

 

No specific information for the Voie des Papes , (Mont Blanc from the Gonella), but with all the snow this year one would expect it to be in good condition, (if there is a good freeze.)