Some new information for the start of a week that promises to be hot. In general, the conditions at altitude are remaining good even if some areas are inevitably becoming dry. The storms at the weekend brought some fresh snow, the snow/rain limit was around 3500m with about 25cms at 3600m and 30cms at 4000m, (very much varying from one area to another.) This snow has quickly transformed and settled, temporarily improving the conditions on some routes. The snow has rapidly cleared from south facing rocks.
- A good track means that, with some care, the approach to the Albert 1er hut from Charamillion/Les Autannes is OK.
-Col du Midi des Grands and Col Supérieur du Tour are dry but OK
- Aiguille du Tour by the Table Ridge and the Normal Route are OK
-Normal Routes on the Tête Blanche and Petite Fourche (a double 50m rope is needed for the abseil back over the bergschrund at the Col Blanc on the Swiss side).
- Dorées traverse is being done, no further info.
- S ridge of the Aiguille de Purtscheller is OK but be careful of loose rocks when abseilling back down.
- Less people on the Aiguille du Chardonnet. It is probably finished for the Migor Spur. Still ice on the “Bosse” leading up to the Forbes Ridge despite the recent snow. The ridge is dry and can be done without crampons: do not traverse onto the N face to avoid the pinnacles, (black ice), instead keep to the rock. You need to be comfortable with this sort of ground in order not to lose too much time, (several short abseils from pinnacles). The descent remains in good condition.
- Hut approach: no problem, the bergschrund at the Col des Grands Montets can be passed without difficulty on the left for the moment.
- The normal route on the Aig d'Argentière is being done.
- Jardin and Flèche Rousse ridges are OK, as are the Argentière and Tour Noir cols
- Traverse of the Tour Noir is no longer feasible.
- Black ice is beginning to appear on the Petite Verte ridge.
The traverse of the Drus is being done regularly. A party went to do the Eveque on 23/07, more info available when they return.
- With the hot weather forecast for this week and the level of dryness, the Whymper is no longer feasible.
- Pointe Isabelle is still in condition.
- the Courtes traverse still feasible if one starts early start and there is a good freeze.
- the "true" normal route on the Droites remains feasible but not the start by the “diagonal gully”.
- Except for the Contamine-Labrunie, (awkward but possible), the bergschrunds at the foot of the rock routes pose no particular problems.
- Moine ridge on the Verte is dry low down but with some snow in the upper part.
- Still one small snow field to cross to reach the hut by the Balcon path, (crampons useful.)
- Périades glacier tracked.
- Climbs being done on the Petites Jorasses, Aiguille de Leschaux (glacier approaches OK) and the routes above the hut.
- The Walker is being done regularly, (mixed above the triangular snow patch), though t is probably worth waiting a day or two after last weekend storms.
Envers des Aiguilles
- N.B. the hut approach has changed, more info here
- Generally good conditions for this sector.
- The bergschrund for the République is becoming more awkward but still OK. The bergschrund for the Ciseaux is very exposed.
- Aiguille du Plan has been done, there and back.
- The rock routes are dry and the approaches globally good for the moment.
- Nobody has been up or down the Valley Blanche recently.
- The slabs to reach the first pitches on Congo Star have been bolted.
N Ridge of the Dôme still being done, tranquillity guaranteed. The warden will be back at the hut on Monday and be able to provide the latest info.
Aiguille du Midi/Plan de l'Aiguille Sector
25 cm of new snow fell at the weekend.
- the Tacul was retracked on Sunday (22/07) and the Maudit on Monday (23/07).
- some parties on the Chéré and there is a track towards the Contamine-Negri, no further info. In general, the conditions for the Triangle are poor.
- Cosmiques Ridge is completely dry, no need for crampons.
- Pointes Lachenal traversed regularly, (warning, in some places the snow cover above the ice is very thin.)
- a little bit of snow on the ledges of the Midi S face. A party climbed the Cosmiques Spur.
- Frendo Spur very dry and has not been done for a few days now.
- The rock routes are generally dry in the Chamonix Aiguilles. Crampons no longer needed for the normal route on the Peigne, (descend by the Papillons ridge.)
- No recent info for the Nantillons glacier, conditions will be continuing to deteriorate.
Mont Blanc Normal Route
L’arrêté préfectoral (municipal law), restricting the approach to the Gouter hut has been extended to 1st August 2018.
Mountaineers who stay at the hut or bivouac at the Tête Rousse are doing the Mont Blanc (there and back) without problems.
- The path to the Plan Glacier from the Col du Tricot is free of snow.
- The traverse of the Dômes de Miage is generally in good condition but be aware that the ice is never far away, (good cramponning technique needed.) The glacier is heavily crevassed and below the Col des Domes can be difficult to spot. No ice on the descent towards the Bérangère.
- No recent info for the Aiguille de Tré la Tête but conditions were OK a week ago.
- A lot of ice on the Mont Tondu.
- The Mettrier ridge no longer in condition, (nobody done it for more than a week.)
- Tricot Ridge is being done regularly, but ice is appearing on the traverse after the Aiguille de Tricot.
- There is a section of ice under the summit of the Aiguille de Bionnassay. The E ridge is airy but with a good track. There is ice about, especially before the Piton des Italiens.
Robert Blanc Sector
- 2 snowfields to cross at the end of the classic hut approach from Lanchettes
- The cables leading to the Col du Mont Tondu have been repaired. The E ridge is dry.
- Dôme des Glaciers: the glacier and Lanchettes ridge (via the Col des Glaciers) are feasible.
Gonella Hut Section
Mont Blanc by the Aiguilles Grises is being done regularly: the glacier is OK; the ridge is airy with some ice at the level of the Piton des Italiens.
Monzino Hut Section
- the rock routes are dry. To get to the Ratti, pass under the E face of the Noire de Peuterey
- Access to the Eccles bivouac via the Brouillard glacier is still OK.
- Innominata and Brouillard ridges are in good condition, (even if a bit dry.)
- Parties doing the Freney Central Pillar and the Brouillard Pillars, no further info.
- No news for the Peuterey ridge, the recent snow may have temporarily improved conditions, (quite a lot of ice in the upper part.)
Punta Helbronner Sector
10 cm of fresh snow at the hut, (already melted,) and about 30cm at 4000m.
- Brenva Spur no longer in condition, lots of ice before the recent snow fall, (which may have improved conditions for a few days.)
- Kuffner being done frequently. It is necessary to approach directly by the couloir and not from the Fourche bivouac. (more info ici).
- Aiguilles du Diable traverse remains feasible, (party foreseen for the 23/07). The bergschrund is OK, the couloir is becoming dry near the top, danger of stonefall from other parties.
- Climbing on the Satellites is still good, no problems reported concerning the bergschrunds.
- Tour Ronde : SE Ridge intégrale is feasible.
-Aiguilles d'Entrêves and Marbrées traverses are OK.
- Good conditions for the Dent du Géant and Rochefort Ridge (retracked on 22/07, no ice.) For the N ridge of the Dent du Géant, go along by the rocks when descending under the E face, (ice and broken rock.)
- Traverse and normal route on the Grandes Jorasses are being done regularly. (Parties left to do the traverse from the Canzio 23/07 but it is probably better to wait a day or two for the snow to go.) The normal route was retracked on 22/07.
Generally good conditions for Mont Dolent . no further info.
- still some snow fields which can cause problems at the Col de Salenton, between the Index and Lac Blanc, at the col de la Glière, by the lacs Noirs and Cornu and between the Col du Brévent and the Brévent summit.
- still some snow on the approaches and descents for certain rock routes.
- still some snow in the Emosson sector to reach the site of the dinosaur footprints, (which itself is nearly completely free of snow,) good boots suffice.
Summer conditions by the Grenairon hut: some easy snowfields to climb the Mont Buet and the Cheval Blanc, (descent towards Emosson is dry until the Col du Vieux.)
Tour du Mont Blanc
- still some steep and exposed snow on the variants at the level of the Col de la Grande Ecaille and after the Cabottes spur, (the path between the Tête Nord des Fours and the col de la Seigne). The Col d’Enclave has snow on the Contamines side. There is still some snow in the Bellaval cwm.
- it is not advised to take the Fenêtre d'Arpette variant due to work being carried out on the Trient side. (The Champex side is nearly snow free.)
Haute Route Chamonix-Zermatt :
- by the paths: still quite a lot of snow on the higher cols but feasible with good boots and hiking poles.
- by the glaciers: crevasses still well filled in.