Though the snow is slowly disappearing at mid altitudes, hiking above 2000m still remains unadvisable. Good boots and hiking poles are essential for outing around or slightly above this 2000m level. Some passages might require crampons.
At higher altitudes, the periods of snow, wind and good weather which have followed each other these last few days have led to variable ski conditions, but mainly OK. Snow slips are being observed in the heat of the day, respect the timing!
Here is the information from last week, (which saw some heavy snow falls at altitude):
- Argentière Sector: parties on Petit Viking, Col d’Argentière, NNE of the Courtes, Aiguille qui Remue, Voie des Suisses and the Aiguille d’Argentière by the Glacier du Milieu and the Y Couloir. Skis or snow shoes essential for the approach.
- Couvercle: the Whymper was done in good conditions (approach on skis but descent by abseilling) on the morning of 21/05, to be avoided later in the day. The best approach to the Couvercle hut still remains by the central couloir, rather than by the ladders, (risk of avalanche from the snows above.)
- Torino and Aiguille du Midi Sectors: Aiguilles d’Entrèves, Aiguilles Marbrées and the Tour Ronde by the normal route are in good condition. The Gervasutti couloir and the Tour Ronde N Face were climbed on 21/05 in good conditions. Tracks seen leading to the Diable Couloir, the Gabarrou-Albinoni, the Jager Couloir and the Chéré Gully. The Cosmiques Arete and the Pointes Lachenal are tracked, as well as the route up Mont Blanc via the 3 Monts.
- Plan de l’Aiguille: No news from this area, except for extreme ski descents.
- Mont Blanc by the Grands Mulets in good condition via the N ridge of the Dôme.
- Conscrits Sector: It is better to do the Dômes de Miages there and back, rather than to descend via the Bérangère. The Armancette side is not in very good condition. Some activity on the ridge of the Aiguille Carrée, though the slopes are heavily loaded.
Some additional information:
The Val Vény road is still closed. The Val Ferret road is open up to Lavachey.
The Curalla via ferrata at Plateau d’Assy is open.
The Via Corda Alpina and the Voie Câline at the Rochers des Mottets are dry and amenable.
Climbing is happening at all the valley crags, including Barberine, but not the Chéserys slabs yet.
Ski touring is still popular from the Emosson dam as well as Mt Buet via the Berard Valley.