La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 28 June 2024.

An update for the end of June! There hasn’t been much change since last week. Conditions up high for snow routes remain tricky (freeze, wind) and weather windows have been few and far between. Today it looks like the mountains are warming up a bit and things may start to change quickly.

Albert 1er 
The classics are being done regularly. Several teams have turned back when the freeze has been poor. On the Chardonnet, the Forbes Arête is very snowy which makes it difficult to protect. The Migot Spur is in excellent condition when there’s a freeze. The Escarra has been done (well filled). It’s best to take a 60 meter rope if you are descending the new abseil line as some belays are more than 25m apart. You could think about doing the normal route as the rimaye is well filled. The hut is mostly packed out. 


The hut opened last weekend. The Plan Joran lift is open (only for alpinists and rock climbers) 7h40 to 8h20 ; 13h40 to 14h20 and 17h10 to 17h50. Closed on Sunday.
When you get to the glacier, traverse diagonally to the right bank heading for the Chardonnet. You need to be roped up as you’re wandering around amongst crevasses. It’s too early for the ladders as these are still under snow. Snow routes including: Col du Tour Noir, Glacier du Milieu, Aiguille du Tour Noir, Pointe Supérieure des Améthystes and Arête du Jardin are in good condition if there’s a good freeze. The Flèche Rousse has been tracked (2 axes best). If there has been a day of good weather to dry the rock, you can certainly climb on the lovely red granite up here.

The Refuge is still shut following last week's rock fall. It may be possible to open next week. The winter room remains open. The path to the hut is snowy but there’s a good track. Well equipped and experienced walkers could consider it. The last few periods of warm and good weather (there weren’t many!) brought an end to the mixed season on the Grandes Jorasses. We’re heading into the rock climbing season but we may need to wait for a few days of good weather to climb on the Petites Jorasses. The routes around the huts are doable. The Mont Mallet glacier is tracked. No track on the Aiguille de l’Eboulement but it looks OK.
The snow is melting on the access paths to the Charpoua and the Couvercle but you need to stay alert. There are still some snow patches and some slabs are wet. There are also snow patches on the path from the Couvercle to the Leschaux  The path onto the glacier is delicate.
Conditions on the Whymper are also very dependent on the freeze. Feedback from recent teams was that the rimaye can be crossed on the left-hand side, the secondary couloir has hard snow with a more technical icy bit at the top, then unconsolidated snow for the traverse into the main colour. The rest is okay as well as the summit ridge.
The Col Armand Charlet has lots of snow making it more technical. Nobody on the Arête/Aiguille du Jardin or the Androsace as there is still too much snow.
The normal route on the Droite has been tracked as well as the Courtes there and back. The Pointe Isabelle and the Col des Cristaux are fine.
No rock climbing activity as there is too much snow. There is still a lot of snow on the normal route on the Moine but the South ridge and the Contamine have dried out. 
Poor freeze has also been an issue up here. On the night of 26/27 June teams heading for the Whymper were sinking in up to their knees.
One team on the Contamine on the Drus without any further information, particularly about the glacier route. There was also an attempt at the Directe Américaine but it stalled because there was too much snow above the “bloc coincé”.  The window for Sale Athée seems to be approaching.
Envers des Aiguilles

There's climbing practically everywhere. There's still a bit of snow on some of the routes on Aiguille de Roc and Très-la-Porte.
A party has climbed the Grépon-Mer de Glace but it's too early. The rimaye passes tiptop but after that theres a lot of snow and water, snow mushrooms on the top: they did it all in big boots.
Descent via the Nantillons glacier in soft snow, lots of purges. Abseil belays were visible , but a bit of a “canyoning" atmosphere.
Teams on the Aiguille du Fou (Voie Américaine and Ailes du Désir).
Requin Sector
Access to the refuge from Montenvers is on the left bank of the glacier.
The ascent/descent of the Vallée Blanche is tracked and goes well even if it is often soft...
Glacier de l'Envers du Plan (Midi-Plan descent) tracked.
Teams on  Congo Star (snowy access).
Still lots of people (perhaps too many people) on the classics. Nobody on the Jorasses traverse Travis as there is too much snow and lots of cornices. The Rochefort is ok when there’s a freeze. Access to the salle a manger is still on snow. On the Tour Ronde the north face and the Gervusatti are still ok. You need to descend (and if necessary climb) by the Freshfield Arête. The Kuffner Arête is being done and it’s good when there’s a freeze. Watch out for overcrowding.
One team left this morning for the Diable traverse but there's surely still a lot of snow. You can climb on the Tacul satellites: Grand Capucin (voie des Suisses/O Sole Mio OK by the direct start or the couloir); Pointe Adolphe Rey; Pyramide du Tacul.
Aiguille du Midi
There's still quite a bit of snow at the top of the S face of the Aiguille du Midi, but it's climbable! It's dry on the S face of the Pointes Lachenal.
The Trois Monts route is still in very good condition (the rimayes on the Maudit are fine, the Col du Mont Maudit is in snow: be careful on the descent as there is no protection).
Arête Midi-Plan, goulotte du Triangle du Tacul OK if refreezing. One party attempted the Bodin-Afanasieff but turned back due to lack of refreeze.
Plan de l'Aiguille
The rock is drying out nicely.
There's still snow on the Peigne normal route, which makes it a bit more complicated. The window of opportunity is there for the Frendo Spur. On the other hand, the Mallory-Porter is nearing the end.
It's still too early for Charmoz-Grepon, the NW ridge of Blaitière and the Aiguilles de Chamonix traverse, but today it's drying out visibly.
Mont Blanc via the Grands Mulets
You need to carry skis as far as the glacier. The Jonction can be crossed low down (one bridge to watch out for). It’s tracked on foot and skis, as is the north ridge of the Dôme du Goûter.
The north face and plateaux are still in good condition for skiing, provided you aim for the right time (a serac fall on the north face at the classic spot probably messed up the exit from the face)...
Mont Blanc via the Aiguille du Goûter
Now mountaineers (only) can take advantage of the trains to the Nid d'Aigle (trains at 7am, 12pm and 4pm, booking and presentation of a reservation in one of the refuges required).
Good conditions for the moment. On the Bosses ridge, most teams take the path (steep but easy) on the north face to get around the “mauvaise arete".
Plan Glacier / Durier
Access from the Miage refuge is possible with dry feet up to the junction of the two paths. There is still snow on the path from the Col du Tricot.
Things are calming down in the area. Bad refreeze, hot weather: the snow is melting and the crevasses are opening up. 
However, in the words of the guardian, “The Mettrier remains beautiful". The route is still passable. It may be preferable to take the Lenoir option. 
The access to the Durier hut from Plan Glacier is in snow, better with a good refreeze. 
Good conditions overall on the busy Aiguille de Bionnassay route.
Access via the glacier is no longer possible. The snow is melting fast on the path, but beware of snow bridges over the torrents, which are high and hollowed out by the high flows (due to the recent heavy rainfall + melting).
With a good freeze, all the routes in the area are in good condition - we can't say better than that.
Mont Blanc via the Aiguilles Grises
The general conditions are still good, regardless of the quality of the freeze. However, we need to be cautious about the crevasses on the Dôme glacier.
A team climbed the Tournette Spur: access OK to Quintino Sella if refreezing, but plan to be early. Rimaye OK but the upper part not so easy due to the quality of the snow.
Aiguille Croux: plan to use crampons and ice axe for access: Cheney route (on descent, we put crampons back on for the median névé of the normal route but the abseil belays are clear); routes on the SE face (Ottoz, Euroteam, Jean- Marie etc) with descent via the Euroteam abseil belays.
A team is due to head for the Eccles tomorrow, to be continued (but from the looks of things all the routes are well loaded with snow and cornices above).
Tour du Mont Blanc
Few changes. No problem for well-equipped hikers (good shoes, poles, small crampons in the bag). Beware of a torrent crossing at the Col de la Seigne. The Tricot option is feasible, but not the others (Col des Fours, Pas d'entre deux Sauts, Val d'Arpette closed by the municipality of Orsières).
Tour des Aiguilles Rouges
This activity is reserved for experienced hikers with good crampons! The Cols du Brévent and de Salenton require caution and a mountain footing.
Hiking in the Chamonix Valley
Lots of snow on the grand balcon paths.
Lac Blanc (still snow-covered!): a 20-minute walk in the snow from La Flégère (OK with poles and good shoes). Crampons are useful from the Col des Montets/Trè-le-Champs and the Lacs des Chéserys. Still not recommended from the Index; nor is the Planpraz-col Cornu - col de la Glière - Index section.
It's also too snowy for hikers on the Col de la Terrasse, Albert 1er and Jonction sections.
Chamonix-Zermatt by footpath
Because of the snow, it's still too early to consider this trek (more alpine than the TMB, with several passes approaching 3000m). Most hikers are cancelling for the time being.

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.