A quick update on conditions following the violent storms.
Most of the lifts will remain closed, (especially the Aiguille du Midi and Grands Montets) for several days, therefore limiting mountain activity.
Since the large snowfalls at the end of December it has been unseasonably warm with the snow/rain limit is around 2500m.
In the high mountain there have been violent winds with gusts over 200 km/h at the Aiguille du Midi; greatly affecting the snow cover.
The faces and gullies remain extremely dry and there is very little snow on the glaciers, especially lower down.
Vallée Blanche: The ridge is not equipped but the route has been skied on a few occasions. A high level of expertise, together with excellent glacier skills are essential.
Le Pas de Chèvre: The exit is totally impractical, the moraines have no snow and are unstable.
Below 3000 m, there is a good snow cover but with the unseasonably high temperatures and the rain, the conditions are mediocre. Sharp edges on your skis are recommended!
Ice climbing: The Cremerie is more like a site for canyoning. On the Rive Droite, (Argentiere), it looks like the lower part of Icelander has collapsed and there is a large fracture line at the foot of Grand Bleu.
Ski touring: The snow is generally good for skiing in the high mountain. At mid altitudes, the snow is less accommodating, (hard and crusty).
The paths along the valley floor and the marked snow shoe trails are accessible, but take care as there are sections with bare ice.
More unstable weather is forecast for the next few days with wind at altitude, (the foehn has already been blowing for two days,) but without much snow.
Please do not forget to inform the OHM of your outings and conditions experienced.