Some summary information during this (long) high pressure system!
The good weather means that all winter mountain activitiesare feasible. All the ski touring routes are being done. You will find all sorts of snow. The classic routes on glaciers are also beginning to be done, with decent conditions (the glaciers are on the whole relatively well filled in).
There is also some activity in the gullies (it's generally quite dry) and on icefalls.
Sector Contamines/ Notre Dame de la Gorge : always a lot of people in this sector. The bottom of the Roman road is deteriorating (stones/ice) but nothing dramatic.
Some portage to the chalets of Chailloux, as well as on the Bel Oiseau side.
All the itineraries of the Aiguilles Rouges are tracked, the snow quality is changing!
Access to the Loriaz refuge by ski touring is via the forest road (no portage at the moment).
Less snow in the Trient sector than in the Chamonix valley.
The Aiguille du Midi arete is equipped (on the crest of the arete, Z to come). This should not make you forget that the Vallée Blanche is a high mountain itinerary which requires the appropriate knowledge and skills (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=Qkpf_TRj1es&feature=emb_title). Do not hesitate to call on a professional!
The exit couloir of the Grand Envers is ice, so avoid it.
The Vallée Noire has deteriorated, only for good skiers. The classic valley or the slopes of the Rognon seem to be the most suitable variants at the moment.
The Requin refuge will reopen tomorrow, Friday 22nd January. The Mer de Glace is still not very snowy but you can slide reasonably to Montenvers. It is possible to go down to Chamonix via the Mottets buvette for good skiers (some stones on the James Bond track and in the turns before the Planards farm).
Brèche Puiseux : good route up, good boot track in the couloir, a few dry meters (rock) to reach the col. 2 abseils of 30 m to get onto the glacier of Mont Mallet which is relatively well filled in.
One team on the Pointe Isabelle side.
Bassin d'Argentière/ Glacier du Tour: Col du Passon tracked, descent towards Le Tour still not exceptional but good snow conditions. Col du Chardonnet (30m abseiling towards Saleinaz, at the moment!) and Trois Cols frequented, good general conditions. You can ski on the Améthystes glacier, the Tour Noir and the Rouges du Dolent.
Y couloir skied about ten days ago without more information (it must have changed since).
On the N side, it's dry. Some skiers on the Col des Cristaux(hard snow but grippy), dry at the top. One team has baled at the rimaye on the NE face of Les Courtes.
Some activity on the Trient side (glacier des Grands, couloir du Pissoir; in spite of a thin snow cover on the lower part you can descend the cross-country ski trails) or on the Italian side (col d'Entrèves, glacier de Toula, Marbrées without more information; glacier de la Brenva on the other hand not in conditions).
It's quite dry in the high mountains. Activity mainly in the Vallée Blanche sector.
No news from the N face of the Aiguille du Midi. GoulotteChéré ok, some people daily in the Gabarrou-Albinoni (beware of rock falls when it's hot) or in the Modica-Noury. Quite dry conditions in the Pellissier gully. Some ropes on the Super Couloir without more information, as well as on the Valéria and the Lafaille. A bit of activity on the Combe Maudite (Filo D'Arianna...), it goes but it's not very busy. Good conditions on the N face of the Tour Ronde, the Rebuffat goulotte is dry.
Experienced climbers took advantage of the anticyclone to do an expedition on the N face of the Jorasses (No Siesta, Gousseau-Desmaison, Rolling Stones).
In the Argentière basin (there is still wood in the refuge), it's dry. One team in the Lagarde couloir (the mixed section at the top is even drier!). Petit Viking: the lower slope is completely dry. By eye, the Charlet-Couturier (Dolent) is "thin but doable".
It's also dry on the Chardonnet side.
There is a little bit of ice in the valley (be careful with the overcrowding). You can climb on the Bérard (please respect the instructions at the bottom), climbing is starting at the Crémerie but it's not very thick or wide.
The waterfalls on the left bank of the Argentière glacier are rather thin and not very attractive (Mur des Dents de la Mer sector). It's better on the right bank.
You can climb around the Armancette, Le Reposoir or Cogne.
The routes are now well marked and groomed. Good shoes, poles and small crampons are generally enough to complete the marked routes. Snowshoes are not necessary to go up to Loriaz, it is better to use small crampons.
Report translated from La Chamoniarde.