La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 07 September 2022
The summer season is gradually coming to an end. Huts are beginning to close. Most of the lifts are still open.
The nights are now longer and cooler and the refreeze is good. Recent storms have deposited some snow at altitude without significantly improving overall conditions.
Rock climbing remains a safe bet.
The hut is open until September 18th. The Vallorcine cable car will close on the 11th.
From the hut, you now need to go down to the glacier and then climb back up (on ice) because the route by the Signal Reilly is unstable and even dangerous (slope with blocks on the ice).
Still a lot of people on the Tête Blanche and Petite Fourche.
Little or no activity on the Aiguille du Tour, the rimaye is still very delicate. You need to cross via the Col du Tour. One team has climbed the arête de la Table intégrale. On the descent, a 40m abseil is necessary to pass the rimaye safely.
The Chardonnet is still not an option.
The Plan Joran gondola and the refuge have been closed since 4 September. The winter room of the refuge remains accessible.
Climbers and crystal hunters can now share things!
The Montenvers train is open until 2 October.
The Charpoua refuge has been closed since 25 August. Building work has started and there will be no refuge or winter accommodation until next summer.
The Couvercle refuge is open until the end of the month if all goes well (water, weather).
No big changes in the sector.
All good on the Moine (Normal Route, S Ridge, Contamine, Miss Tique).
It's a bit less good on the Nonne-Evêque traverse (complicated rimaye, very dry descent couloir).
The Moine Arête on the Verte ridge is still not recommended: Not very inviting.
The Leschaux refuge closed on 5 September.
Envers des Aiguilles/Requin
The Envers hut is normally open until 15 September. The rimaye for the République is no longer crossable and you will have to use the fixed ropes installed last year (technical and physical, bring a jumar).
The Requin refuge closed 26 August.
The hut is normally open until 1 November.
There is still some activity on the Marbrées and the Aiguilles d'Entrêves. A few teams on the Dent du Géant. The access to the Salle à Manger is still very dry. The Courmayeur guide company will soon re-evaluate the conditions to see if they are acceptable to bring clients there.
The starts of the routes on the Clocher du Tacul have been cleaned and belays added following the drop in height of the glacier. The rimaye of the Grand Capucin is still in use, as is the rimaye of the Gervasutti route on the Pointe Salluard.
Aiguille du Midi
The hut is open until 25 September if the weather permits.
Small snowfalls have covered the ice on the Pointes Lachenal. The latter is once again being done especially the first summit. Rockfalls have affected the chimney on the 3rd summit (blocks at the foot) but not recently.
The arête Laurence (“Lolo”) is still being climbed. For the Cosmiques arete, you have probably seen the pictures of the rockfall. The main collapse (500m3) took place below the traverse under the Digital Crack gendarme. It's still very dry and not very inviting. (See photo below).
Mont Blanc du Tacul remains in fairly good condition. The slope before the rimaye is becoming steeper. The rimaye is crossed by a turn to the left. Of course, you need to be comfortable with cramponing to be able to do this route. Beware of the risk of avalanche after snowfall.
There has been no activity on the Trois Monts for a long time. A team made an attempt last weekend but stopped at the rimaye of the col du Mont Maudit after a lot of trail breaking (40cm of new snow). Concerning this rimaye, it is possible to cross it but a steep wall of snow/ice (80°) is waiting for you on the other side: you need two technical ice axes per person, you can use ice screws but the quality of the ice is not good.
There is still climbing on the S side of the Aiguille du Midi. Not much activity on the S side of the Lachenal because you have to abseil.
Plan de l'aiguille
No changes, the refuge is open until 31 October.
Mont Blanc by the Aiguille du Goûter
The Bellevue cable car and the Mont Blanc Tramway are open until 18 September.
The refuges remain open until the beginning of October.
The couloir remains dry but the cool nights guarantee a good refreeze. Crossing the couloir at the right time will reduce rockfall risk.
The glacial parts are in reasonable condition (beware of snow bridges).
Dômes de Miage/Bionnassay
The Durier refuge closed on 31 August. The Aiguille de Bionnassay and back is not too bad. The E ridge is very narrow, sometimes “a cheval".
The Plan Glacier hut closes on Saturday 10 September.
The Conscrits hut is open until 24 September.
No one on the Dômes de Miage but still some activity on the Aiguille de la Bérangère and back.
Italian side of Mont Blanc
The Monzino refuge closes on 18 September. From Monday 12, access may be disrupted due to work on the Freney bridge and it may be necessary to leave from the Peuterey campsite.
A major landslide/ice fall makes access to the Boccalate hut complicated. (See photo below).
Translated with permission from an original report by La Chamoniarde.
Readers are reminded that conditions in mountain environments are prone to (sometimes rapid) change and that they should use their own best judgement when visiting them.