The high pressure since the last update has resulted in stable but very cold weather. The region was not affected by the bad weather elsewhere on Wednesday. There has been a cold wind since Thursday, causing windslab in places and probably large snow drifts at altitude.
Ski touring and ice climbing remain the main activities for the moment. The winter mountaineering season has not really started yet, the routes are still very dry.
Ski touring: touring possibilities throughout the Mont Blanc range, (Aiguilles Rouges – Argentière sector - Requin sector – Col de la Forclaz – Loriaz sector …..) Possible to start skiing from 1000m, (cover initially poor, but good above 1500m.) Take ski crampons because certain passages have been stripped down to hard ice/snow by the wind (ridges, cols.)
Ice climbing: Lots of activity last week in the following sectors: Trient (Pétoudes and Barre des Charcotins), Argentière (left and right banks) and Crèmerie. A rope was seen on the Sainte Marie Viaduc icefall. The lines looked to be formed at the Col des Montets (Barre du Chenavier) but no more information. The Loriaz icefall looks to be well formed. In the Aosta valley, conditions remain unchanged from the last update, (19th Jan).
Valley Blanche: the ridge is now partially equipped, with a rope on the crest, (very hard snow.) The “Z” track is not yet in place. The current conditions require a good level of ski ability. The run down to Chamonix (via the Mottets,) remains OK.
With regards to the re-opening of the Plan Praz lift. this should open on Sunday 27th January. However, check the CMB site for the latest information as it might open already during the day on the Saturday. It always remains possible to reach the Brevent ski area from the Flégère cable car.
Winter Hiking: the valley floor paths are icy, foresee using walking crampons. The signposted snow shoe trails at mid-altitude, (prepared by the Mont Blanc Company) are proving popular as they have plenty of snow. Those in the valley floor, (prepared by council, Communauté de communes,) have enough, albeit compacted, snow.