MOUNTAIN CONDITIONS 19/01/2019
The bad weather the previous weekend, together with that on Thursday, has greatly improved the skiing conditions. The amount of snow fallen varies from one sector to another, for example there is less snow at Vallorcine.
The ski domains are in near perfect condition; blue skies, well prepared pistes and not too many people. However, still take care, particularly in controlling one’s speed. Also check the bulletin on the Compagnie du Mont Blanc site to see what is open!!
Good conditions for ski touring, though the snow quality can be unreliable, (wind slab in places,) and there are still snow some icy patches away from the snow bowls. (This can also mean a hard base with rocks just below the surface in some areas.) It is now possible to put on the skis directly from the valley start.
All the Aiguilles Rouges classics, (Col de la Terrasse, Mont Buet, Col de Beugeant, Col des Dards & du Belvédère, Crochues-Bérard, Brèche de Bérard, Col de la Floria, Col de la Glière, Aiguillette des Houches) and in the Argentière sector, (Col du Passon, Col du Chardonnet there and back, Col du Tour Noir) are tracked.
Concerning the Aiguille du Midi, the ridge is still not equipped (only some stakes in place). It is still early season, crevasse danger. There are some exposed rocks on the Mer de Glace but the following ski back down to Chamonix is good. The Mottets Buvette is open for the season, as is the Requin hut.
Ice climbing is possible in the usual sectors: Trient (Pétoudes), Argentière (left and right banks, Crémerie) and Les Contamines. In the Aosta valley, the icefalls below 1800m are not well formed. However, the lack of snow means those higher up are more easily accessible than usual.
No information concerning the mixed routes; still not in condition!!!
Lastly, conditions for snow shoeing, ski du fond and winter hiking are good.