Conditions at altitude continue to deteriorate and the stone fall risk is increasing in numerous areas. Take care with your route choice and respect the time of day.
- Albert 1er : the conditions remain OK for the normal routes on the Aiguille du Tour, Tête Blanche and Petite Fourche. The Table ridge, Aiguille Purtscheller and Aiguilles Dorées traverse are still popular. Some of the snow bridges in the area are now suspect.
- Argentière : Rock climbing is the main activity in this sector. The Aiguille d’Argentière is no longer recommended, especially the Glacier du Milieu. The glacier walk up to the Col du Tour Noir and back is popular. The descent from the Grands Montets is still OK and the return from the Rognan to Lognan has recently been re-equipped. There is bare ice on the Petite Aiguille Verte. The Grands Montets Ridge is in condition, though a crevasse blocks the exit and requires some “initiative”. Descent via the Moine ridge with a 30m abseil at the bergschrund.
- La Charpoua : The Dru traverse is popular and the glacier remains OK. The rock routes near the hut are also in condition.
- Le Couvercle : The rock routes remain accessible, the bergschrunds generally not posing a problem, though the one for the Contamine on the Moine is awkward Parties have climbed the Moine Ridge on the Verte, there and back, the bergshrund going on the left.
- Leschaux : Good conditions for the rock routes near the hut. Some parties have done the Petites Jorasses W face and the Aiguille de Leschaux. Likewise, there have been parties on the Walker Spur; some ice at the level of the “cheminées rouges”, (red chimneys). There are new way markers on the glacier approach to the hut. Continue up the Mer de Glace, past the drum, to find the orange cairns.
- Envers des Aiguilles : for some of the routes with a glacier approach, the bergshrunds are awkward. It is is still possible to pass the bergschrund for the Republique by climbing a slab to the right then traversing back left to start the route.
- Le Requin : No problems reaching the foot of the routes and parties are still going up the Valley Blanche.
- Torino : No bad reports concerning the bergschrunds in this sector. On the other hand the glaciers are becoming problematical with numerous fragile snow bridges. Conditions for the Rochefort Arete have deteriorated, many parties having turned back. No major problems for the approach to the Dent du Géant, though take care of other parties in the approach gully. The traverse of the Jorasses is feasible but technically more demanding than usual. Parties still doing the Kuffner, (dry, approach directly,) and the Aiguilles du Diables (the approach gully is mixed with unstable rock.) It has been reported the Tour Ronde is very unstable, including the SSE Ridge, (2-3 pitches to reach the col then keeping to the Brenva side, rather than following the crest.) The approach to the Pilier d’Angle and Aiguille Blanche de Peuterey is no longer in condition, (chaotic glacier and stone fall/ land slips.)
- Cosmiques : When there has been a good freeze, some of the Triangle du Tacul routes have been done. Petit Frounet and Chéré, their first two pitches are dry but protectable. Contamine Negri and Grisolle have some sections of bare ice. It is very important to start these routes early!
The 3 Monts is still popular, though the route requires a good technical ability, (bare ice in several sections.) Parties on the Gervasutti Pillar have reported generally good conditions. The bergschrund at the foot of the Rébuffat-Baquet route, (Aig du Midi, S face) is opening up and requires “jump start”.
- Plan de l’Aiguille : The Frendo is no longer feasible, too dry and lots of stone fall! The Nantillons glacier is in very bad condition.
- Monzino : All the routes in the area are being done, though as the conditions are dry, they are technically harder than usual.
- Gonella : The normal Italian route up Mont Blancis still in condition.
- Boccalate : Parties are still doing the normal route on the Grand Jorasses, the route remaining OK.
- Robert Blanc : conditions still very good for the Dôme des Glaciers and the Lanchettes ridge, though some snow bridges are becoming fragile in the upper of the route.
- Conscrits : A lot of bare ice on the Dômes de Miage traverse and it is now rarely being done. There and back to the central Dôme Central via the Col des Dôme, as well as the East Dôme, remains feasible. Except for the Bérangère, the other routes are no longer in condition.
- Durier : The Bionnassay Ridge is still very narrow (knife edge), but feasible given a good technical level. The ice is just below the surface at thePiton des Italiens.
- Goûter/Tête Rousse : The Mont Blanc normal route remains very popular, despite frequent stone fall. Take care and respect the time of day.
- Grands Mulets : There is little snow left on the Bossons and Jonction glaciers,(dry), and the track follows more or less that shown on the IGN map. About 60 to 70m of bare ice on the Dôme N Ridge.