22 August 2023: Urgent Update on Mountain Conditions in Chamonix
The following is a translation of the La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for the Chamonix area, originally published on 22 August 2023:
In case you hadn't noticed, it's hot!
Very hot, particularly at altitude, with the zero isotherm hovering around 5000m for several days now. No refreezing below 4000m.
This is having a major impact on snow conditions, which are deteriorating rapidly (Aiguille du Tour, normal route on Mont Blanc, etc.) and becoming increasingly technical or even impracticable. The glaciers are also suffering and the snow bridges are weakened: there have been several crevasse falls recently (Dôme du Goûter, Col du Géant, Mont Maudit...).
There has also been an upsurge in rock falls over the last few days in certain areas ("All aspects are affected, although the W, NW and N sides are predominant, and between 3300 and 3800m. Even ’solid' areas have been affected"): Grands Mulets, Cosmiques arête (on both sides), W face of Blaitière, Goûter couloir (a rescue this morning following a major rock fall at 5:30AM), Courtes, Droites, Nant Blanc & Pic Sans Nom NW sides, access to the Durier hut from the Domes de Miage, Rochefort, Dent du Géant area, Aig. du Tacul, W face of the Drus, N face of the Grandes Jorasses (Croz spur).
Make enquiries, adapt your choice of activities and outings and don't hesitate to postpone certain climbs.
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.