La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 21 June 2024.
We've had a brief taste of summer over the last few days, but high pressure is struggling to get going. As for the wind, it seems to want to settle in for good...
Classic conditions for June! In the high mountains, there's a lot of snow and random refreezes (short nights, but the good news is that the days are starting to shorten today... frequent SW winds, cloudy skies), which certainly affects conditions on snow routes. The rock is gradually drying out and is an alternative in the event of poor refreezing. Refreezing has been particularly bad over the last two days, greatly limiting activity. The rain, warm wind and sand have melted the snow visibly, but the snow cover remains promising!
In the "moyenne montagne", there's still plenty of snow, which means you need to adapt your choice of hikes and equipment.
Albert 1er - Trient
No snow patches now on the path up to Albert 1er from Charamillon/Tête de Balme. Snow can be found on the slope just before the moraine. Last Saturday's heavy rains caused a landslide above the couloir on the "moraine path", but this had no impact on practicability.
All the classic routes in the area have been climbed: Aiguille du Tour (couloir & Arête de la Table, normal route), Tête Blanche (normal route, N face), Petite Fourche. Good refreezing conditions are needed for the Aiguille du Chardonnet routes (Forbes arete and Migot spur).
There's still too much snow on the Dorées traverse, especially on the N side. It can be partially traversed E-W as far as the Col Copt.
There's plenty of climbing around the Orny hut including the Clocher du Portalet and on the S face of Les Dorées!
The refuge opens this Saturday, 22 June! As a reminder, there is uplift for mountaineers (only) on the Plan Joran gondola every day except Sunday): 7:30 - 8:30 am / 1:30 - 2:30 pm (ascent and descent) and 5:00 - 6:00 pm (descent only). Tickets can be purchased at the Plan Joran ticket machine (bank card only).
The route to the refuge is via the right bank of the glacier (a few crevasses to jump over, but it's fine). Too much snow for the moment on the ladder side.
The rock is drying out nicely, so you'll find plenty to do! Too much snow for the Jardin ridge.
If there is a decent refreeze snow routes should be fantastic. The Aiguille d'Argentière via the glacier du Milieu was done in good conditions last week. Looking at it, the Couturier couloir could still be climbed.
As a reminder, there are major works underway at Lognan-Les Grands Montets. The whole sector is off-limits (see map), but access to the Petite Verte and the Grands Montets ridge is still possible via the Col des Grands Montets (just don't head for the construction site).
The Charpoua refuge is reached via the balcony path (still too early for the "Charpoua Express" variant), on which there is still some snow. No activity apart from climbers on the Flammes de Pierre (the ropes on the Passages des Guides are in good condition, photo above).
Still steep névé in a couloir to cross to reach the Couvercle hut.
Still too much snow on the south face of the Moine (so too early for the S ridge and E face). Nobody on the other "ecclésiastiques" routes (Nonne, Evêque).
Good conditions for the Whymper on the Verte when there's a refreeze. The rimaye goes well, some belays may still be under the snow (plan two 60m ropes) much of the descent is down-climbing not abseiling.
Normal route on the Droites possible (lots of snow but no cornices), teams on the Courtes and back. Pointe Isabelle tracked, but needs to refreeze a bit for it to go well.
Several large boulders have fallen onto the terrace of the Leschaux refuge, which is unfortunately no longer guardianed until further notice. The winter room remains open (don't hang around too much on the terrace!)
Some opportunists seized the chance to climb the Linceul or Rêve Ephémère, but the foehn has put an end to that. The rock behind the refuge is dry. A period of fine weather should make the Petites Jorasses climbable.
The Mont Mallet glacier is going very well at the moment.
There are several gullies and névés to cross on the balcony path, so good crampons and ice axe are a must! Not suitable for hikers at the moment.
Envers des Aiguilles / Requin
Bottom of the ladders: there's a knotted rope attached to the rope ladder. It's "sporty" and people abseil down it. The footpath department should intervene soon. 
You will find the snow halfway between the ladders and the refuge de l'Envers. It's on the slabs, so you have to be careful, especially when it's getting hot... Getting around the refuge isn't easy either. Hikers, this is not the time for you!
The SW wind has dried out the lower sectors (Tour Rouge, Tour Verte, Pointe des Nantillons, Aiguille de Roc: Pedro Polar) where you can climb without a care in the world. For the République normal route and the Grépon-Mer de Glace, a window of good weather should make them possible to climb.
The Requin refuge opens this Saturday, June 22. "Still a lot of névé in the couloir, between the ladders (photo below) as well as on the path but on the whole, it's fine".
Aiguille du Midi
Not much change up here, as conditions on the classics (Midi Plan ok up to Rognon, Triangle du Tacul etc.) vary with the wind and the refreeze!
The season switch (crampons gradually replacing skis) is underway on the Trois Monts route, which remains in good conditions (wind permitting).
Few changes here either (Rochefort, Dent du Géant, Marbrées, Entrèves, Tour Ronde: descent or access via the Freshfield arete). Bad refreeze in recent days and almost no activity. The Kuffner is possible when the freeze is good. We'll have to wait a little for the Jorasses and Aiguilles du Diable traverse.
Plan de l'Aiguille
The refuge is open.
You can climb the NE ridge of the Aiguille de l'M, the Pillar Rouge de Blaitière, the SW face of the Gendarme 3078m of the Peigne. Axe and crampons for access, obviously.
The Mallory has also been climbed recently, so keep an eye on it as conditions evolve. It's a bit early for the Frendo Spur, but the right window is coming up!
Mont Blanc via the Grands Mulets
Mont Blanc can still be skied, but the sections on foot are getting longer. The Jonction higher path has deteriorated and you now have to take the lower path. Little has changed above: the Dôme's N ridge, plateaus, Corridors and N face are all good.
Mont Blanc via the Goûter
Nothing to add to the precise and recent information and photos published on the refuges social media:
Ascent to Tête Rousse:
- Option from Bellevue, traverse to the Plan de l'Are towards the Nid d'Aigle ladders, some névés at the top but generally dry.
- The Nid d'Aigle refuge has been open since June 8, so drop in and say hello 
- From Nid d'Aigle to Tête Rousse, most of the guides are still on the glacier, with very few people on the Rognes (presence of ice).
Ascent to Goûter:
- From Tête Rousse to Goûter, great condition, snow everywhere, the cables have been dug out.
- Dôme du Goûter: very good condition
And for the final sprint  : 
- Option 1: Arête des bosses, "mauvaise arete" icy, 2 threads on the Italian side, 1 thread on the Chamonix side 1m below the ridge. 
- Option 2: North face track in great condition both up and down.
Dômes de Miage - Bionnassay
The footbridge on the summer path leading to the Conscrits refuge has been reopened, and the guides have been busy making the path safer. The path can now be used, but beware: there are still many snow-covered sections on which slipping is not an option: crampons and ice-axe are essential, and the route is probably not suitable for hikers for another week or two...
For the ascent via the glacier, you now have to cross the torrent on a snow bridge. It is advisable to rope up for this passage, as the bridge will soon be very fragile.
Most of the routes in the area were climbed when the weather and refreezing allowed: traverse of the Miage, traverse as far as Durier, Aiguille de la Bérangère, Mont Tondu, traverse of the aiguilles de Tré-la-Tête, good conditions everywhere.
There's snow at 2600m when climbing up to the Plan Glacier. The Mettrier arete is still passable. The classic ascent to the Durier should only be considered when there's a good freeze and early in the morning!
Aiguille de Bionnassay: Be careful on the ridge before the rocky section (cornices, poor refreezing). Beyond that, it's OK (a few cornices in places on the NE ridge).
Mont Blanc via Gonella
Good general conditions: good track, crevasses on the Dôme glacier but goes well, no ice below the Col des Aiguilles Grises or on the way to the Piton des Italiens.
Monzino sector
The refuge opens today!
Lots of snow here too. (Photos above).
The ascent to the Eccles is untracked (the Pillars are still too snowy).
Aiguilles Rouges
As a reminder, the routes to the left of the Frison Roche are closed until 15 July by a municipal by-law (work on the summit of the Brévent).
Crampons and ice axes are required to access the routes. There are a few névés in some of the less steep routes or in the transitions (Hotel California, Cocher-Cochon...).
A steep cornice on the Col des Crochues (you can belay the second on a spike on the N side).
Voie des Français (Aiguille du Pouce): snow-covered approach, cornice at the Aiguille de la Glière which is easy to avoid. The start is virtually at the second belay (10m below belay no 2, yellow rope). The return via the ridge is complicated (snow, ledges): it's better to wait a little longer!
The Perrons traverse is fine (crampons + ice axe).
We're starting with some good news: the Bellachat refuge will be open from Saturday 29 June! Bookings only by telephone on 07 75 83 02 70!
Most of the hikes are now accessible, but there is still snow on some of them: contact us to check the conditions. You'll need crampons and mountain boots for the Grand Balcon Nord, Lac Blanc from the Col des Montets and the Lacs des Chéserys, Brévent - Refuge de Bellachat section.
On the other hand, it's still too snowy for: Jonction, Gare des Glaciers, Mer de Glace balconies, refuge Albert 1er, col de la Terrasse, col de Salenton/Buet, lac Blanc from the Index, col de la Glière - lacs Noirs - lac Cornu - col Cornu, col du Brévent (you can get round this by going up to Brévent on the piste via the Brèche du Brévent).
Tour du Mont Blanc: fine for hikers with some experience (still quite a lot of snow but good tracks on the main passes: Bonhomme, Seigne, Grand col Ferret, Balme, Brévent: go around the latter via the piste and the breche du Brévent)... Good boots, poles and micro crampons in the rucksack are still essential. The Tricot variant is fine, but it's still too dangerous for the Fours and Arpette variants (see photo below for the latter). Watch out for slips/falls and river crossings! 
Tour des Aiguilles Rouges: it's very snowy at the moment. The first (very experienced) hikers have crossed the cols in the last few days. The trail is not very well marked, so it's quite physical. You need to know your way around on a map, as the paths are not visible for long stretches. Proper crampons are recommended. So this is for the most experienced hikers only! For the others, it's best to postpone!
Tour des Fiz: Here too, there is still a lot of snow on the route (above 2100m), particularly at the col d'Anterne, col de la Portette (photo above) and Dérochoir. The markings are still not very visible, so a navigation tool and appropriate equipment (poles and crampons) are strongly recommended. Flaine and the Varan from the Platé hut is for experienced hikers only.

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.