La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 5 July 2024.

Here's some news in a nutshell. There have been no major changes since our last update on 28 June. A bit of fresh snow at altitude and a very variable night-time refreeze, which directly affects alpine activities. As far as rock climbing is concerned, the rock is drying quickly, then gets wet again. If in doubt, contact us! A weekend of disturbed weather is forecast, so it remains to be seen what the conditions will be like at the start of the week, with fresh snow, refreezing and wind at altitude. 
There is still some snow (and snow just below the refuge) on the way to Albert 1er, which is OK for good hikers. Otherwise, no major changes, but conditions in the high mountains will depend on the refreezing. 
Argentière Basin
Conditions are good if there is a freeze for the following routes: Couloir en Y, Flèche Rousse, Col du Tour Noir, Col d'Argentière, Charlet Straton. There are also good conditions on the Glacier du Milieu, but this is only for experienced climbers. If we get some sunshine, rock climbing conditions will be great. To access the hut, get on the glacier from the Point de Vue. You need to be roped up on the glacier.
You'll have to wait for the snow to melt before you can climb the Drus, although it's possible for good climbers who know the route. Teams planned for l'Evêque, Sale Athée and l'Aiguille du Moine. Waiting for them to return. On 04/07 a party climbed Pointe Wenger, dry rock and a good approach.
Couvercle Hut
The snow has gone on the hut path. A lot of activity on the Aiguille du Moine: the névés on the normal route can be avoided but it's better to bring crampons. The S ridge and E face are dry. The Nonne-Evêque traverse is also ok (no snow on the “rasoir”). The Whymper couloir on the Aiguille Verte can be done if there is a freeze (big runnels to cross, accessible belays). Teams have bailed on the Droites and on the traverse of the Courtes (poor freeze). Lots of cornices on the Jardin ridge.
Glacier du Géant

Leschaux Refuge
Open and guarded again. Conditions as of Thursday 4th on the refuge's Facebook page: 
"This morning's freezing conditions were great, so all the snow routes were excellent.
- aiguille de l'Eboulement via the SW couloir ✅️
- Les Périades via the Mallet glacier ✅️
- circuit from the refuge under the Jorasses ✅️
- Petites Jorasses and aiguille de Leschaux: wait 1 or 2 days for the rocks to dry. 
- climbing routes above the refuge ✅️
- Mer de Glace balcon path ✅ but beware, there's still a lot of snow = crampons compulsory!"
The ladders are being refurbished today (05/07) for access to the Refuge du Requin and the Envers des Aiguilles. Access will therefore be 5-star. 
Requin Refuge
The climbing is dry and sunny! The ascent of the Vallée Blanche is trouble-free. Access via the Midi Plan was also tracked on 04/07. 
There's still snow at the start of the Pierre Alain and the Dent du Requin, but it's not too bad. Rimaye de l'Aiguille du Plan OK.
The Ryan was done on 04/07: "good rimaye, still quite a bit of snow in the north facing gullies and accumulations on some terraces. Longer route than usual", said the guardian. 
Grand Capucin
Kuffner in good condition on 04 and 05/07. Good refreezing thanks to the clear nights. A team on the Arêtes du Diable did everything with crampons. Might be worth waiting a bit. Rochefort tiptop but no one has continued on to the Grandes Jorasses traverse. Two teams to the summit of the Noire de Peuterey, probably via the S ridge. One team to the red pillar of Brouillard. No one on the Innominata ridge. 
Info From the Grands Mulets Guardian 
"Cross the glacier from the old "gare des glaciers" and approach the Jonction with crampons on. The Jonction at the bottom is fine, with markers on the glacier to guide you to the best route. 
Very good snow cover from the Jonction onwards, wuth the possibility of being on skis from 2800m. The North ridge of the Gouter has been tracked (snow). Track on the plateaux. North face skied yesterday (04/07) and should be skied this morning (05/07). Refuge open and manned until the end of the month”.
Gouter Refuge
The couloir is still well filled in with snow. Be careful, however, with the latest "warm spells" and the time of day when you use the couloir. The couloir (including the “bédière”- the runnel dug by flowing water) can be crossed without any particular difficulty. The crevasses of the Dôme are generally well filled in. Overall, the route to Mont Blanc is in good condition. 
Lots of people on the “Royal traverse" from the Durier hut. 
Great conditions. Access to the hut is now via the summer path, with a few snow patches, but at this altitude, the snow is melting quickly. If you access via the glacier, you'll have to take off your boots and cross the river, which isn't great! The traverse to the Durier is fine. 
Col du Bonhomme
As for hiking, the snow persists above 2300/2400m. So you need to be careful about the routes you take. 
For Lac Blanc, the access path from the Index chairlift is not recommended. There is a lot of snow on steep terrain. It is therefore preferable to access the refuge and lake from the Flégère gondola, as you won't be walking in the snow on this route. It's all about walking! The snow is just above the refuge.
- Tour du Mont Blanc: The snow is melting all along the route, but the 3 main cols and the Col du Brévent are still covered in snow. Crampons and walking poles are still recommended. As far as alternatives are concerned, only the Col du Tricot is recommended. It is still too early to consider the Col des Fours, Pas d'entre deux Sauts and Arpette. 
- Tour des Aiguilles Rouges & Tour des Fiz: Crampons are still highly recommended, particularly for the northern slopes.
- The Jonction (Gite à Balmat) looks doable, but there are still some névés at the summit. Beware of steep and potentially exposed terrain. 
- In the Val Montjoie, there is no more snow at the Col de la Fenêtre, on the way to the Jovet lakes (remember, no bivouacking or swimming in the area in July and August) and on the ridge between the Aiguille Croche and Mont Joly. Crampons and ice axes are still required for getting to the Robert Blanc via l'Enclave and the Grande Ecaille.
We'd like to thank all the refuges and all the people who contribute in any way to providing us with information. Your feedback is extremely useful to us!

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.