MOUNTAIN CONDITIONS 10/01/2019
Though large amounts of snow have fallen in Eastern Europe, we are still waiting for conditions to significantly change in the Western alps.
The last snowfall gave 20cms of light snow at 2000m, improving conditions both on and off piste, (take care the underlying base is hard.)
Ski touring is popular, despite the variable snow depths. Ski crampons remain essential. Still some walking for Loriaz and Bel Oiseau. In the Contamines Montjoie valley, the roman road is bare ice, (crampons.).
The wind over the last few days has caused drifting, especially in the high mountain. Do not forget to check the weather forecast and avalanche risk before each outing.
More snow is forecast for this weekend.
In the high mountain conditions the faces and gullies remain extremely dry. Patience needed!
Ice Climbing: The right and left banks of the Argentiere glacier are OK but the Cremerie and Berard still do not have much ice.
With the lack of snow, the signposted snow shoe tracks are accessible for walkers. Lightweight crampons could be useful, even essential in some places, together with good boots and hiking poles. This should allow one to walk up to 1500m without too much problem.
Be warned that despite the lack of snow the paths at higher altitude, such as the Grand Balcons or to the Lakes, are not feasible for hikers or snow shoers.