La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 08 August 2022
The dry spell continues in the mountains.
Glacier and snow conditions continue to deteriorate.
Plan B is more than ever rock climbing (without complex glacier approaches). There are no longer any snow routes in good condition, although some are still possible (although technically more difficult).
There are regular rock falls and landslides in some places in the high mountains. Don't hesitate to share your observations. The drought is such that it can also lead to rock falls in the “moyenne montagne” (lower hills) especially after storms. Beware also of overcrowding on some routes.
Tour / Trient / Orny
The Trient hut closed for the 2022 summer season on 1 August 2022. It will reopen for the ski touring season in mid-March 2023. During the construction period, the hut is closed to the public. There are no winter or emergency rooms. The Orny hut will remain open.
Crossing the Dorées ridge via the Col des Plines is still possible. The rock is very good both on the Orny side and on the other side (Envers des Dorées).
The Tour glacier is increasingly chaotic (ice, fragile snow bridges, crevasses). The rimaye of the aiguille du Tour is wide open (3m). You can still get across on large jammed blocks but it feels like the end (see photos below, thanks to the Orny hut guardian). The col du Tour is passable but there is a lot of ice.
Tête Blanche and Petite Fourche are still possible but the final part is icy (not very steep).
Plenty of climbing here. Access to the hut is clear, but you have to look above you at the ladders (we are in the mountains!)
Large rock fall on 03/08 under the Pointe Farrar (Grands Montets ridge).
Charpoua / Couvercle / Leschaux
The Charpoua hut will close on 25/08. Renovation work will then begin. From this date until May 2023, the hut will be closed and there will be no winter accommodation. In the meantime, the gardienne has "closed" the Drus.
A fixed rope is in place to access the Contamine on the Evêque.
There are few changes in the Talèfre basin. The rimayes are opening but no particular worries for the Moine and the Nonne-Eveque. More activity on the Moine ridge on the Verte (the summit ridge is quite unstable).
As a reminder, the Mer de Glace balcony path is an alpine hike with parts on glaciers and ladders: you need to have a good mountaineering spirit and not underestimate it.
The routes above the Leschaux hut are perfect. The glacier access to the Aiguille de Leschaux seems problematic. As a reminder, access to the Petites Jorasses is no longer possible.
Following the storms, there is rockfall and debris on the N face of the Grand Jorasses, all the parties who left for the Walker in the last week have turned back.
Sector Envers des Aiguilles / Requin
The rimaye of the VN de la République is still passable thanks to blocks of snow stuck in the rimaye (it's a bit of a “building site" after all). For how long (once they melt, it won't be possible to go through anymore)?
Pedro Polar's rimaye doesn't go anymore: start on the first pitches of the "soleil a rdv avec la lune" (also a tricky rimaye here). Elsewhere, all is well.
Access to the Requin is still OK on the left bank. Access and rock routes all good (Dent Requin, Pierre Alain). Climbing up the Vallée Blanche is a thing of the past (waterfalls, chaotic glacier).
Less activity here. The glacier approaches are complex. Still a few parties on the Marbrées, Aiguilles d'Entrêves, Grand Capucin.
Aiguille du Midi
Here too the engine is idling.
The Aiguille du Midi Arête is very technical (ice, steep), you need to be comfortable with cramponing.
The normal route on Mont Blanc du Tacul is still possible from the hut (be careful with the rimayes + keep to a good timetable).
It feels like the end for the Trois Monts which is more and more technical (Maudit middle rimaye very difficult, 2 ice axes + good technique needed). It is not at all an alternative to the normal route.
You can still climb on the S face of the Aiguille du Midi.
Plan de L'Aiguille
Frendo and Mallory : All good (we're kidding but amazingly some people have tried!!!).
You can climb on the Peigne, the red pillar of the Blaitière and the Aiguille de l'M.
Access to and Cordier Pillar itself is very exposed (rock falls).
Mont Blanc by the Goûter
We aren't telling you anything new, the route is in bad condition and the Tête Rousse and Goûter huts are closed (including the winter rooms). Walkers can go up to the Rognes or the Tête Rousse (the glacier is icy and you will need crampons).
Dômes de Miage / Bionnassay
The ascent to the Durier hut from Plan Glacier can be considered very early in the morning after cool nights without storms. Access from the Conscrits is possible via the Col des Dômes. Aiguille de Bionnassay there and back is still not too bad.
Avoid the Dômes de Miage traverse (ice, rock falls, crevasses above the col de la Bérangère).
The Dômes can be considered as a return trip for experienced rope parties (good reading of the glacial terrain necessary, ice etc).
The Aiguille de la Bérangère can be done as an out-and-back from the Conscrits hut.
One of the sectors where it's good to live at the moment to do rock climbing (Aiguille Croux, Punta Innominata...).
The best idea of Summer 2022. You can climb everywhere. Beware of overcrowding, for example on the Brévent (rock falls).
No more (running) water at the Bellachat refuge, which remains open.
Also beware of overcrowding in the bivouac spots and especially around the lakes. Please respect the rules of bivouac (from sunset to sunrise, take down your tent in the morning, one night in each place) or risk seeing this tolerance disappear. Similarly, you should avoid swimming in the lakes.
Following a landslide on 06/08, the following long routes in Barberine should be avoided until further notice: Sylvie, Barbourine, Mirrors, Vipère and Méduse (see photos below).
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.