This report starts with the conditions for hikers.
No longer any problems on the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB), the work on the Arpette path down to Trient is finished.
For the Tour des Aiguilles Rouuges, there are still some hard snow patches near the Col de Salenton and the Buet summit.
The Col de la Glière also still has snow, good boots and hiking poles needed.
It is very hot, sun protection and taking lots of fluid are essential, especially for children.
High Mountain :
The long spell of hot weather is affecting the conditions, particularly for the mixed routes. The snow is giving way to ice on certain routes and the danger of stonefall is increasing.
- Albert 1er : The Migot Spur is no longer feasible and the Forbes Ridge is not to be recommended. The other “classics” in the area are OK, though care is needed at the bergschrunds.
The Col du Midi des Grands was done there and back, the traverse was not in condition.
- Argentière : the recent rain has affected the Glacier du Milieu, which is now hard snow/ice, particularly under the Vierge. The bergschrund is difficult to cross as the bridge has collapsed, two axes and cramponning skills needed.
Good conditions for the rock routes near the hut.
There is a stonefall risk on the Petite Verte.
- Couvercle : the Courtes traverse is being done. The ridge and descent are fairly dry, so the route is for fast parties only. The Pointe Isabella remains popular, the snow bridge is still intact. The “true” normal route on the Droites is OK, (the diagonal couloir variantion is no longer feasible). The Moine ridge on the Verte and the rock routes on the Moine are in condition. On Sunday, some parties went for the Grand Montets ridge, awaiting further info. The Jardin ridge is no longer feasible.
- Leschaux : The Walker has been popular recently. Big boots and crampons for 2 pitches at triangular snow and at the red chimneys, otherwise OK in rock shoes. No problems for the descent (normal route). The approaches to the Anouk and Contamine on the Petites Jorasses are OK. The Périades remains feasible, the glacier is OK, (with just a little ice at the start). The approach to the Aiguille de Leschaux is OK.
-Charpoua : The traverse of the Drus and the Contamine on the Grand Dru are popular. The glacier goes both above and below the serac, (melted snow). Below the serac there is short, steep section. The glacier descent goes on either side of the rognon.
The Contamine on the Evêque is popualar. Getting on to the rock from the snow is awkward due to a plug of snow. A fixed rope was replaced at the end of summer 2017, though there is still some old rope around.
There has been recent work on the summer approach path to the hut, a ladder was added at the start and several chains repaired.
- Envers des Aiguilles : It is finished for the Ryan; The République bergschrund is awkward but still goes. No problems reported for the other routes in the area. The descent of the Nantillons, is awkward since the snow bridge collapsed.
- Requin : The route up the Valley Blanche and the approaches to the routes behind the hut are in condition.
- Torino : Good conditions for the Rochefort Arete and the Jorasses traverse. The way up to the Salle à Manger is dry, stonefall risk. Parties are doing the Aiguilles du Diable and the Kuffner, (direct start.) The Grand Capucin bergschrund is awkward but the other approaches appear still to be OK.
- Cosmiques :
Triangle du Tacul : The Chéré is still being done (early morning). The Negri is no longer feasible. The snow slope on the Grissolle before the narrows appears to be black ice, the rest looks OK. Cosmiques ridge is very dry. Midi Plan: there is ice on the north side.
Mont Blanc by the 3 Monts : 2 axes needed for the Maudit, (ice).
- Grands Mulets : It is still possible to get to the hut from the Gite à Balmat. The way through the Jonction is difficult to follow. The N ridge of the Dôme is hard snow, (with a bit of ice), 2 axes needed. The Plateaux is tracked.
- Les Conscrits : the Tondu is no longer recommended. Dômes traverse: some ice between the col and the 1st Dôme and towards the Bérangère. Tré la Tête traverse : no info.
- Monzino : stonefall reported on the Eccles bivouac approach, (under the fore summit of the Pointe Inominata.) Inominata Ridge is still being done. Doubts about the Freney Pillar approach. The Col Emile Rey is no longer feasible. Go via the Pointe Innominata to reach the Schneider ledges, Ratti/Vitali and the Noire de Peuterey.