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MOUNTAIN CONDITIONS 31/05/2019


An update for the last day in May.

There have been only minor changes to the conditions in the high mountain. The weather front last Tuesday put down about 30cms of snow at 3500m. Apart from near the Pointe Helbronner, snowshoes are recommended in order to reach the routes, (and especially for the way back.)  

In the mid mountain, the snow is slowly going but is still restricting hiking. For those wishing to do the trails still under snow, you will need a good basis in mountain craft, (including navigation skills) and foresee crampons, ice axe and snowshoes.

The huts, both high and mid mountain, are beginning to open for the summer season and so their approaches are slowly becoming easier.  

 

Tour Sector

The Albert 1er hut opens on the 1st June. The approach is by the moraine, alpinists only as there is still too much snow for hikers.  The moraine is free of snow up to 2200m but one can start using skis a little lower. The ski conditions higher up merit the hour of carrying them. There is a walking track towards the Col Supérieur du Tour, and there was a party on the Migot Spur on Friday, (ski approach, no further info.)

 

Argentière Sector

The lifts and huts are due to open on the 15th June. It is possible to start using skis at around 1700m on the Pierre à Ric (the track has not yet been cleared of snow). The Couturier was done on 30/05. The ski classics in the area look to be feasible, (Aiguille d'Argentière by the Glacier du Milieu, Col du Tour Noir, Col des Cristaux, Courtes NE face.)  No recent information about the mixed routes, which are still very dry.

 

Talèfre Sector (hut open)

Little change since the last update. The approach is still by Egralets, start early and take care on the moraine at the foot of the ladders.  The Whymper on the Verte, the normal routes on the Droites and Courtes and the Pointe Isabelle are in condition. There is still a lot of snow on the ridge routes.

 

Aiguille du Midi

Here also there is little change in conditions. Snowshoes or skis not strictly necessary for routes close to the cable car station.

The Triangle du Tacul is popular, (Contamine-Negri, Contamine-Grisolle, Contamine-Mazeaud, no further info; Chéré reported to be in good condition).

The normal route on the Tacul is tracked both on foot and by ski. The usual “normal route” on the Maudit is blocked by an impressive serac barrier. Is was done on Friday, by some technical climbing to the left of the face, (a small mixed gully between the rocks.)  Another solution could be to go via the E ridge, (exit of the Kufner).  In all cases, an ascent is going to be much harder and longer than usual, 2 axes recommended.

No problems for the Cosmiques Ridge and the Pointes Lachenal.

The Mallory Porter was skied on 30/05 but has not been climbed recently.  The Eugster Diagonale was climbed on 31/05.

The rock routes still have a lot of snow on the ledges and terraces.  However, since Thursday, there have been some parties on the Cosmiques Spur and with the rise in temperature, the S faces (Aiguille du Midi, Lachenal), are expected to come into condition soon.

 

Helbronner Sector

The classics in this sector are in good condition, with tracks to the starts of Dent du Géant, Marbrées and Aiguille d'Entrêves traverses, Aiguille de Toule and Tour Ronde. Snowshoes or skis are not essential but may be useful on the way back.

Good conditions for the N Face and the Gervasutti Couloir on the Tour Ronde. However, the normal “winter” route is not recommended, (unstable boulders), one needs to go via the Col Freshfield.

The Kuffner has been done, no further info.

There have been some parties on the Dent du Géant, no further info, (still with snow.)  There has been nobody recently on the Rochefort Ridge, which looks to be feasible.  

The snow is slowly clearing from the satellite rock climbs. It is still a bit too early for the Diable Ridge.  

 

Grands-Mulets

Generally good conditions.

The Jonction still goes on ski. To repeat, an early start to go up to the hut is essential and think about spending a second night on the way down, if already late.

The N ridge of the Dôme is in good condition and popular, (about 50 people on Friday morning.)

The N face has been skied, both on the right and left sides.

 

Dômes de Miage Sector

Spring conditions here also, skis or snowshoes recommended.

The hut approach is by the Mauvais Pas and the glacier. The summer path is not feasible.  

The N faces now have a snow cover, (i.e. white not grey). There was a party on the Lex Blanche on Friday and another foreseen for the Aiguille de Tré-la-Tête on Saturday, no further info.

The Dômes traverse and the Aiguille de la Bérangère are in good condition.  

 

Hiking

The snow is slowly going but the trails at altitude, including the multi day routes, are not yet feasible.  This is true for the Tour du Mont Blanc, which still has a lot of snow, (e.g. Col du Bonhomme is still being skied )

Some suggestions: Aiguillette des Houches, Bellachat hut, (there and back from Chamonix), Alpage de Blaitière, Montenvers via the Mottets snack bar (open), Tête de Prapator via the Chapeau chalet (open,) Aiguillette des Posettes, Loriaz chalet.