The latest information following the good weather over the Ascension holiday weekend.
With the recent high temperatures, the snow has been rapidly melting at the mid altitudes. Nonetheless, there is still a lot of snow above 2200 / 2300m.
With good mountain boots and walking poles, the Cheserys lakes are now accessible. However, the paths to Lac Blanc remain snowbound. Though some lakes are beginning to reappear, (e,g. Jovet lakes), most are still covered
The bigger hiking objectives, such as Mont Buet or the “Jonction”, are still not feasible .
The snow starts at around 1700m in the Berard valley. The Albert 1er hut is best approached from Vormaine via the moraine, the snow starting some 50m below the hut. There is still far too much snow to traverse in from Charmillion
People are starting to walk the Grand Balcon Nord. Careful, there are some large patches of hard snow and one needs to be properly equipped. The path from Chamonix to the Plan de l’Aiguille is OK but the Pré du Rocher path is not.
No particular problems for the Bellachat and the Aiguillette des Houches.
Conditions are improving for the Tour du Mont Blanc but the right equipment remains essential.
The ski touring season is virtually over at mid altitudes, though there are still some possibilities in the Emosson dam area, (Pointe de la Terrasse – Pointe des Charmoz).
Following the several days of hot weather, skiing the Valley Blanche is no longer to be recommended.
In the high mountain there has also been a rise in temperatures and the rock routes are becoming free of snow. (Respect the time of day and the limited re-freezing.)
- Les Conscrits: The Dômes de Miage and the Aiguille de la Bérangère remain popular. The ski touring has basically finished in this sector. The traverse of the Bionnassay was done in generally good conditions.
- Plan Glacier: No problems for the approach from the Chalets de Miage. The Mettrier ridge intergral was done recently. The lower part was dry, conditions improved afterwards.
With better re-freezing, the Dômes de Miage N Face should come into condition; there is very little bare ice at the moment. The approach to the Durier hut via the Lancherons is tracked and nearly all on snow.
- Mont Blanc: the Italian route via Gonella is tracked and in good condition. The Tournette Spur was done on 25/05 in generally good conditions. The Gouter route is also being done (the train and cable car remain closed). Respect the time of day for crossing the Grand couloir.
3 Monts from the Cosmiques is tracked, conditions good, but still with a bit of ice at the Mont Maudit col.
Parties are continuing to ski the Grands Mulets route, (by the N ridge of the Dome and the Plateaux). The N Face of Mont Blanc is still being skied. Conditions for the traverse of the Jonction are worsening, with some fragile snow bridges. It is now necessary to carry the skis in several places to reach the Plan de l’Aiguille.
- Plan de l’Aiguille: Eugster Diagonal and Frendo Spur (left exit) have been climbed, no further information. Likewise, for the Papillons Arete.
- Cosmiques: Climbing on the Tacul Triangle including the Contamine Négri, (quite a lot of ice,) the Grisolle and the Chéré. Start early and check the freezing conditions! The Laurence Arete, the Cosmiques Arete and the traverse of the Pointes Lachenal are all in good condition.
The rock routes exposed to the sun are free of snow, except on the larger ledges.
- Torino: generally good conditions except for the gullies and the normal route on the Tour Ronde. The Diables Ridge has been climbed despite still having a lot of snow.
- Requin: There is about 1h30 of walking to reach Montenvers and the Brèche Puiseux is no longer recommended, (ice/rock in the middle). The Requin hut is reached by the ladders. The way back up to the Aiguille du Midi is OK but beware of fragile snow bridges.
- Couvercle: approach by the Egralets. Parties have climbed the Whymper and the Col Armand Charlet. The normal route on the Droites looks feasible. The traverse from the NE of the Courtes has been done. Descent of the Talèfre face by the Col des Droites OK. A party has done the Couturier, some sections of ice but mostly good by keeping to the right, (looking upwards). Snow shoes useful for the approaches. It is too early for the rock routes in this sector.
- Argentière: No further information other than the Couturier and NE of the Courtes mentioned above.
- Albert 1er: Good conditions for the normal route on the Aiguille du Tour despite the poor re-freezing. The Migot Spur and the Forbes Ridge look to be in condition.
- Good conditions reported for Mont Dolent, normal route and the Gallet ridge.
The Via Corda on the Rochers des Mottets has not been re-equipped after being vandalised for a second time last year. The Via Corda at Argentiere, (opened July 2016,) provides an alternative.