A bit of info before a long weekend (for the lucky ones amongst you).
The recent bad weather has deposited a little snow in the high mountains: there is a total of 15 cm at the Cosmiques refuge (probably more above 4,000m). The base below the fresh snow did not refreeze and at the moment you are sometimes sinking up to mid-thigh: skis or snowshoes can be very useful depending on where you go! The rock is already dry!
No big changes since our last update. The snow and mixed routes were being done when the refreezing conditions were not too bad.
Skiing activity is now concentrated on Mont Blanc. Going to the Grands Mulets, it’s skis off and on a lot from Plan de l’Aiguille but that is quite normal. Beware of the snow bridges on the Bossons glacier. The Jonction is still OK (wands in place). No changes after that (one ice axe is enough for the N ridge of the Dôme). You can also ski from the Cosmiques hut via the Trois Monts route.
Some odds and ends:
- Some wood and crockery but no gas in the Albert 1er winter refuge.
- No blankets or crockery in the Argentière hut's winter room.
- Forecast opening of the Couvercle hut: mid-June but to be announced.
- A team climbed the Brouillard intégrale in 3 days last weekend: Val Veny road open. Lots of snow from the col du Brouillard: they kept their crampons on. Delicate passages in the couloir above the col Emile Rey.
- The team that did the Aiguilles du Diable traverse blew the schedule: big effort (no track, bad refreeze) + quite a lot of snow on the rock in the sections on the N side.
- A few teams on the voie normale on the Moine (crampons and ice axes were useful). Note that the Contamine should also be possible.
- A serac fall from the left side of the Triangle du Tacul that reached the descent track of the Pointe Lachenal traverse.
- As a reminder, following a big avalanche this winter, the path between the lac d'Armancette and the Tré la Tête refuge is blocked (trees in the way etc). So you have to go back down to La Frasse from the chalets du Truc then back up to Tré la Tête.
- The Filia path is closed due to wood cutting.
- Climb up to the Plan de l'Aiguille by the Pré du Rocher: there is still a snow slope below the refuge, ok for good hikers who are properly equipped.
- Still some névé (so some exposure) on the Grand Balcon du Nord: only for experienced and well-equipped hikers (poles and good shoes).
Translated with 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.