La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 27 September 2023
We are having a beautiful Indian summer. Winter came back for a bit (details in last week's bulletin) but now the sun and mild temperatures are back at all altitudes.
Most high mountain huts are now without guardians, including the Cosmiques, those on the normal route on Mont Blanc and the Conscrits, which are all in winter mode. Only the Couvercle (until the end of this week), and the Torino are going onto the bitter end.
This fine spell will please granite climbers who still haven’t had quite enough. South facing rock exposed to the sun has dried pretty well and there are lots of places like this at altitude including: the Charpoua basin, Aiguille du Moine (with the exception of the East face where the rimaye is very tricky), Aiguille de Pierre-Joseph, Envers des Aiguilles, Aiguille du Peigne, S face of the Aiguille du Midi, Tacul satellites etc.
For those with an appetite for snow or mixed routes there are still a few to be done including: the classics of the Le Tour basin (Aiguille du Tour, Tête Blanche, Petite Fourche), around the Aiguille du Midi (Cosmiques Arête, Pointe Lachenal traverse), around the Helbronner (Entrèves, Marbrées, Dent du Géant).
In spite of the fact that the huts on the normal route on Mont Blanc are closed, conditions have significantly improved thanks to last week's snow fall. Watch out for overcrowded winter rooms. Snow stability also needs to be a serious consideration. There was a partial burial under the shoulder of Mont Blanc du Tacul on Sunday and some glacier snow bridges are fragile. The Tacul has not been re-tracked, nor has the Trois Monts route.
Lower down the off-season is great for walking sport climbing, cycling etc.
Translated with kind 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.