La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 23rd June 2022
What’s it like up high after the heatwave? Conditions are more like the end of July or the beginning of August. Rather sad to see the mountains like this and it’s only the beginning of summer. Let’s not mention global warming.
What about the details? In general snow routes have taken a big hit although some are OK. Colder but less stable weather on the way so route choice will be critical.
Mid-August conditions around here.
Good conditions on the Aiguilles Dorées traverse (best done East-West).
The Albert 1er hut has a temporary telephone problem. To contact them, please use the contact form on the website: https://refugealbert1er.ffcam.fr/bottom_contact.html
There are few changes around the Aiguille du Tour. The normal route is being done by the Col Supérieur du Tour (dry at the top but ok). It's also possible to climb the arête de la Table: dry couloir and some rockfalls, possibility to go via the intégral ridge to avoid exposure.
Purtscheller, Tête Blanche (VN) and Petite Fourche OK.
On the other hand, things are getting worse on the Chardonnet with more and more ice on the Forbes arête (see cahier de course) which is still in acceptable conditions for those who have a good technical level. It feels like it's over for the Migot (the bottom traverse is dry, the top slope is ice). The descent is also more complicated.
The end is approaching for Flèche Rousse (very dry ridge) which is becoming tricky.
The crux of the upper part of the Glacier du Milieu is now dry (you have to rappel on the way down).
Rock, rock, rock!!!
The hut is open. Almost nobody around! Access by the marked "Charpoua express" variant (more snow).
A few teams on the Drus traverse. The glacier is already becoming complicated. Some teams went up high, some via abseiling. The Contamine looks dry.
The rock routes on the Evèque/Moine are also dry.
Some teams on the Directe Américaine without more information.
Teams are on the Moine every day (VN, S ridge: crampons useful for the nevé then all dry; Contamine: rimaye ok) and on the Nonne-Evèque traverse ("conditions crèmes").
The Whymper rimaye is still ok but it is now very dry. It feels like the end.
No one for the moment on the Moine ridge: the rimaye looks fine, ridge ok.
The end is also approaching for the Jardin Arête.
One team off to the Droites bypassing the oblique couloir. It's completely dry right to the top!
No one on the Courtes but voie normale looks OK. Descent via the Col des Cristaux: upper slope is snow but the bottom is drying out, no big rock falls seen.
Pointe Isabelle still possible, two decent crevasses to cross, 2 ice axes recommended.
End of the day for the Aiguille de l'Eboulement (dry couloir, complicated descent).
Les Périades via the Mont Mallet glacier is still on.
The Walker spur will be possible subject to future precipitation and a weather window.
Good conditions on the Petites Jorasses.
Climbing routes around the hut tip-top, blue sky.
No snow on the balcony path from Talèfre.
Regular and important rock falls from the N side of the aiguille du Tacul: avoid the left bank of the Leschaux glacier.
Envers des Aiguilles
The hut opens tomorrow! Access to the hut is ok: no snow, a ladder has been added at the bottom and a passage secured by the footpath team.
The rock here is dry!
Some important rock falls have been reported on the access to the Pointe des Nantillons, more info to come.
The rimayes for the République/Grépon Mer de Glace are crossable on the right. The glacier des Nantillons descent is still possible but for how long?
Access to the refuge ok, no snow.
Ascent from the Vallée Blache to the Cosmiques or Torino tracked and fine.
A track is also in on the glacier de l'Envers du Plan to come down from the Aiguille du Plan.
Access to the Salle à Manger is dry (take the right side of the couloir and follow the cairns). Arêtes de Rochefort in good condition (snow a bit soft on the way back depending on the timing).
Some teams have done the Jorasses traverse without more information. The descent by the normal route does not pose any particular problem at the moment. A team on the E face of the Jorasses via 'Mad Max' without more information.
Marbrées traverse (most teams do the full traverse to avoid abseiling) and the Aiguilles d'Entrêves OK.
The Tour Ronde is now done by the main ridge. Even abseiling from the Freshfield col is not very attractive. The N face and the Gervasutti couloir are in trouble.
A lot of activity on the Aiguilles du Diable: rimaye OK, dry traverse, snowy couloir (watch out for refreezing), dry rock (before the storms!)
The Küffner has dried out but remains in good condition (for the time being!!!) with a good refreeze.
Rimayes for the rock routes are still good overall. Approaching from the Helbronner is best. The start of the Grand Capucin is now from the "Francesco terrace" (the Aiguillettes couloir does not go anymore) where you can leave big boots and glacier kit (you can go back down by the rappels of the Echo des Alpages). The rimaye of the Pyramide du Tacul is still passable.
Aiguille du Midi
It rained at the hut for most of the night before turning to snow. About 5cm this morning, a little more at the Tacul.
Vallée Blanche: Beware of crevasses, especially between the Rognon and the pointes Lachenal (well, everywhere actually!).
Midi-Plan Arête: It's now very dry (ice/rock/sand) and where is snowy you will be wading. But why not if there is a good refreeze? Chamonix aiguilles traverse in good condition. The ledges on the Col du Fou are dry but there is enough snow to melt for water. Descent by the abseils of the Brégeault arête then the Nantillons glacier.
Lots of activity on the traverse of the pointes Lachenal (quite dry but you can avoid the ice) and on the Cosmiques Arête.
The Contamine-Grisolle has dried out and is now almost all (good) ice (it will warm up your calves - to be continued with the forecasted storms). The exit of the Triangle is icy with a lot of crevasses here and there. Chéré OK (first pitch a bit dry then good steps). Best to abseil before the mixed section.
The voie normale on the Tacul was retracked this morning by going right out on the shoulder. Latest info is that the previous path is still there but with one steep bit. A serac fall last weekend ravaged the bottom of the face (ice blocks etc).
On Mont Maudit, conditions are still good but the ice is not far away. Beware of the risk of avalanche if it starts to snow with the storms. It is worth mentioning that there was a major serac fall here last weekend.
The Contamine rimaye on the Pointe Lachenal is starting to open up but is still crossable.
Plan de l'Aiguille
The Mallory is finished.
The Frendo exit is all ice.
Teams on the Peigne-Pélerins-Deux Aigles-Plan traverse.
Crampons are no longer necessary to access the normal route of Peigne, the Pilier Rouge de Blaitière or the NE+VN of the aiguille de l'M.
Unstable rock on the N side of the Petits Charmoz just below the summit.
No news from the Cordier pillar or from the Charmoz-Grepon (looks dry). The descent by the Nantillons glacier is still ok, but for how long?
Mont Blanc by the Grands Mulets
Not many people around. The upper Jonction route won't survive for long (narrow passage). The hut guardian plans to re-mark the lower route but until then you will need to have a good sense of direction. The N ridge of the Dôme and the Plateaux can still be climbed on foot.
Mont Blanc by the Aiguille du Goûter
As a reminder, from 9 July to 28 August 2022, the first departure from Le Fayet via the Tramway du Mont-Blanc is at 7am instead of 8am. This earlier departure time will allow the Goûter couloir to be crossed at a time when the probability of rock fall is lowest.
In the meantime, the conditions have dried out with rockfalls already in the Grand Couloir. It is still advisable to cross in the morning, to avoid bad weather and to cross with caution. For the options of crossing the famous crevasse on the Bosses ridge, we will let you have a look here. With a decent level of mountaineering technique, good crampons and an ice axe, it shouldn't be a problem.
Access to the Conscrits refuge is recommended by the path.
Conditions are still acceptable on the Dômes. Beware of crevasses on the way up to the Col des Dômes. Crossing the Dômes in good condition (no ice). Quite a lot of snow on the descent by the Bérangère which makes it pleasant.
Mont Tondu continues to dry out but is still ok.
The end for the classic Mettrier ridge intégral.
Aiguille de Bionnassay traverse still in good condition: good refreeze this morning, dry rocky part, snowy ridge, stay on the crest from start to finish!
The hut might have to close in July because of the lack of water.
Good conditions to access the Aiguille de Bionnassay from here too.
The Pape route is in good condition at the moment. The glacier du Dôme is good (good track, some impressive snow bridges), the exit to the col is still mainly on snow. The ridge is in good condition (snow).
A few teams on the Tournette spur. The Quintino Sella is accessed from the Miage glacier (new green fixed rope in place at the beginning of the spur so you can't go wrong). From the hut, the Mont Blanc glacier is easy to cross. Continuation of the route in good condition (for the moment).
Dry rock (Aiguille Croux).
Still a lot of teams on the Punta Innominata (return by the glacier ok).
Access to Eccles is complicated (a lot of snow and soft, it's wading) and so no activity (arête du Brouillard, Pilier Rouge, Innominata). A team on the Freney pillar but still a lot of snow.
Ratti-Vitali (Aiguille Noire de Peuterey) still a bit wet, you have to work hard to cross the glacier but it's ok.
No one on the Blanche or the Grand Pilier d'Angle from Monzino.
Teams seen on the Peuterey Intégrale, good conditions.
A team on Divine Providence without more information.
Still some snow on the Col Cornu/Col de la Glière; Col de Salenton/Buet, Col Corbeau.
No need for crampons to access (and descend) the Pouce, the Chapelle de la Glière or the S ridge of Persévérance.
A boulder hanging 2m above the last belay on Voie Jaune at Chéserys.
Quite a few unstable boulders on the N side of the Pointe d'Orny (altitude 2,850/2,900 m) on the right bank of the Combe des Ecandies which can reach the path that climbs to the col.
We are told that there are 2 young falcons on pitch 2 of Tatie Crochue to the right of the Crochues tower. Please avoid the area until the end of July.
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.