La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 11 August 2023
Summer is back!
The wind was out in force again this week at altitude and it has dried out the mountains, especially the rock routes!
Not much change, still plenty of people on the classics (Aiguille du Tour, Tête Blanche, Petite Fourche).
There is still no telephone signal at the refuge due to a lightning strike on a relay station at the top of the Grands Montets: book by sending a text message (or come straight up) and bring some cash to pay!
To get to the refuge, follow the red route (image below) at the foot of the ladders.
Climbing is back on the agenda! The Arête du Jardin is an option for good climbers, who can abseil down the "La part des anges" route. The col du Tour Noir still a possibility.
Charpoua / Talèfre / Leschaux
A number of climbers on the Drus traverse, even though there's still a bit of snow on the Grand Dru. The glacier is still going well.
All the rock routes are possible from the Couvercle hut, with quite a bit of activity on the Aiguille du Moine (S ridge, normal route: still a bit of snow at the top, Contamine and MissTique routes on the E face: the rimaye still needs a bit of gymastics to cross). No one on the Moine Arête on the Aiguille Verte. A few teams, however, on the Pointe Isabelle.
Leschaux: the hairdryer worked well: "Hello, following numerous requests and against all expectations the north face of the Jorasses dried very quickly and the Cassin on the Walker spur seems feasible! Otherwise around the Leschaux not only the Grandes Jorasses, Petites Jorasses, Aiguille de Leschaux super conditions glacier still very good! Excellent climbing routes from the Pierre à Joseph and the balcony path! See you soon".
Envers des Aiguilles / Requin
The sector was well plastered with snow at the start of the week but has gradually dried out.
The République normal route is once again possible. A few teams climbed Grépon Mer de Glace and the Bec d'Oiseau S spur (complicated rimaye). The Nantillons glacier is becoming very problematic (you have to abseil - Abalakov - into the crevasse below the serac, which is getting bigger all the time, and the bottom of the glacier is also in poor condition, with tottering boulders). Teams on 'République Bananière' and 'Le soleil a rdv avec la lune', amongst others.
Access to the Salle à Manger is dry again: you need to be sure-footed and follow the right route (roughly on the spur) or you risk causing rockfalls on other teams.
Arêtes de Rochefort still in good condition (read the outing). Dent du Géant well travelled. A number of teams on the Jorasses traverse (OK visually) now that the wind has died down. Lots of people on the Marbrées and Aiguilles d'Entrèves traverses. The snowfall did not get the Kuffner and the Aiguilles du Diable traverse from getting back into good condition. There’s climbing on the Tacul satellites. Be careful on the crossing of the Vallée Blanche: best to take the lower track between Pointe Adolphe Rey and Helbronner.
Aiguille du Midi
This is the end for the Lachenals (it’s totally ice, it may be possible to do the last point just there and back). Due to unstable boulders and rock falls in the abseiling area, the Compagnie des Guides is no longer selling the Cosmiques Arête.
Midi-Plan, Triangle du Tacul still out of the question, especially with the hot weather forecast. There's still some activity on the normal route on the Tacul (the route has been changed due to the collapse of a snow bridge) and on the Trois Monts for good climbers (most teams descend via the Goûter). There’s climbing on the S face of the aiguille.
Plan de l'Aiguille
The rock has dried out and it's still a good sector for cool climbing!
There is no more snow to reach the red pillar of the Blaitière.
The Nantillons glacier is no longer in good condition (see above).
Mont Blanc via the Aiguille du Goûter
Perfect conditions for August! Provided you cross the couloir early. To be continued with the hot weather forecast.
Still good conditions on the traverse of the Dômes de Miage and the Aiguille de Bionnassay.
Still climbing: (Aiguille Noire, Aiguille Croux, Punta Innominata, etc.)
Given the weather, there has been no recent activity from the Eccles hut. The ascent to the bivouacs via the glacier goes well. Access to and especially the return from the red pillar of the Brouillard can be a problem (large crevasse, passable by abseiling). No news on access to the Freney pillar.
Some teams are heading for the Intégrale du Brouillard. With a good freeze, the Innominata is certainly a possibility!
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.