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Mountain Conditions 04/05/2019


A quick update for this gap in the bad weather:

Since Thursday the following amount of fresh snow has been reported:

- about 50 cm at the Cosmiques, (slightly wind affected.)

- 15 cm at Grands-Mulets, no wind  

- 30 cm at the Conscrits hut

More snow is foreseen this weekend.

 

The Grands Montets ski area closes on Sunday evening, (05/05). The Argentière hut closed on the 1st May.  There is still a lot of ski touring potential in this sector, (Col du Chardonnet, Aiguille d'Argentière, Col du Tour Noir, Col d'Argentière). Conditions are slowly improving for the steep skiing, (couloir Barbey, col des Cristaux, NE des Courtes) and the mixed routes. The Albert 1er and Trient huts are also closed.

Though there are good conditions in the Talèfre area, the approach to the Couvercle hut is now awkward. The moraine is dangerous and there is a slab to climb in the central gullly, the Pierre à Béranger has no snow and the route by the ladders has too much snow.  More info in the cahier de course, (route book).

The rope protected “Z” path from the Aig du Midi has been dismantled.  The Valley Blanche is still OK, (the snow bridges, especially in the lower part, need care.)  There is walking in some places on the Mer de Glace, as well as for 5 mins to reach the ice cave.  The Brèche Puiseux, couloir du Capucin and the col du Tacul, there and back, are still being done.

The Glacier Rond (rope useful at the start), Cosmiques couloir and the Col du Plan are being skied regularly.  The Mallory-Porter has not been climbed recently.

The Plan de l'Aiguille hut opened on the 1st May. The Grands Mulets hut is due to be very popular for people doing Mont Blanc over the next few days.  A serac fall crossed the track at the Petit Plateau on 1st May.  There is still an ice pitch, (60m, 6 ice screws useful) followed by a section of ice and snow for 300m, (short roping) on the N ridge of the Dôme du Goûter.  The snow appears to be stable but check when there!

On the approach to the Conscrits hut, (closes 11th May), one can start skinning on leaving the forest, (Nant du Tour).  The snow appears to be sticking to the N faces in this sector. The traverse of the Domes de Miage is still in condition.  On the descent the skiing now ends above the lake.

Ski touring is still possible in the Col d'Encrenaz area from the Col des Montets or the Berard valley, (Mont Buet, col de Salenton, col de Beugeant...).

 

Not much has changed for hiking. There is still a lot of snow above 1800m.  The feasible hikes remain the same as in the last update.  The footbridge at Merlet is now in place. Think about checking the list of officially closed paths, (liste)