Some information for this weekend:
Following on from the recent Foehn winds there was fresh snow down to the valley floor last night, (Thursday). On Friday morning there was :
- 20 cm at the Grands Mulets hut (wind affected)
- between 30 and 60 cms of accumulated snow at the Cosmiques hut
- 20-30 cm at the Plan de l'Aiguille
- 25 cm at the Argentière hut
The weekend’s forecast is for wet weather, including the possibility of more snow.
The snow is melting quickly low down but remains above 1500m (south facing and 1700m, (north facing.)
Most of the lifts are now closed, (Les Houches, Brévent, Flégère, Balme-Vallorcine). Only the Grands-Montets (closed on 2nd +3rd May and then closes definitively on the 5th,) the Aig du Midi, Montenvers and the Skyway MonteBianco, (Italy) remain open.
Ski touring is accessible in the Argentière sector from Grands Montets, for example : Col du Passon to La Tour, Col du Chardonnet, Aiguille d'Argentière via the Glacier du Milieu (more information in the OHM route book), Col du Tour Noir, Col d’Argentière. Concerning the N faces, only the Col des Cristaux and the NE face of the Courtes. (large bergschrund) are skiable, though not from the summit.
The Valley Blanche and the Brèche Puiseux remain feasible, (the descent ridge from the Aig du Midi is still equipped.) Be aware of crevasses concealed by the recent snow and snow bridges weakened by the recent warm winds. It is still possible to ski almost to the foot of the stairs leading to the Montenvers (ice cave) lift.
As far as Mont Blanc is concerned, the Three Monts route is not yet OK, (avalanche risk and Mont Maudit is not in condition.) The N ridge of the Dome du Gouter is also not in condition, (ice.) The Plateaux route is the most feasible option. Skiing the N face by the usual ramp is not possible, instead take the true left side, (40m wall of ice, for excellent skiers only.) N.B: the Foehn wind together with the recent snowfall means there is a significant avalanche risk.
No major changes for the Tour, Talèfre and Dômes de Miage sectors since the last update of16th April.
Some suggestions for ski tours which remain feasible and do not involve glaciers:
- Col de l'Encrenaz from (just below) the Col des Montets
- Bérard Valley (Beaugeant, Bérard, Salenton Cols and Mont Buet) from Le Buet (Walking for 15 mins to the Cascade buvette plus some walking sections after that.)
- Col de la Terrasse/ Cheval Blanc from the Emosson dam road, (closed still, some walking involved.)
For those still wanting to snowshoe, a possibility is to ascend the closed La Tour pistes to the Col du Balme and/or the Aiguillette des Posettes.
Spring has very much arrived in the valley and the trees are beginning to blossom. However, appearances can be deceptive, many of the hiking trails are not yet in condition.
Some suggestions for hikers are, (suitable footwear and poles needed for the higher paths) :
- Chalets d’Ayères from Servoz or Plaine Joux
- Chalet de Chailloux, there and back, from Flatière or Merlet
- Chalet du Cerro and its viewpoint
- Petit Balcon Sud : Gaillands - Les Praz / Les Tines.
- Petit Balcon Nord between Chamonix and Argentière
- Chalet de la Floria, there and back, from Chamonix or Les Praz only (path free of snow).
- Chalet du Chapeau from Les Praz – Les Tines – Le Lavancher, there and back.
- Buvette des Mottets from Les Bois (Filia path) or Les Planards (do not take the path for Montenvers via Caillet)
- Chalets de Loriaz
Check the feasibility of the paths at the Office de Haute Montagne and also for paths closed by council order, (arrêtés de fermetures .)