MOUNTAIN CONDITIONS 29/08/2019
The update for the end of August.
The conditions have not changed much recently.
The Aiguille du Tour is still being done but the conditions are very dry and not suitable for beginners. The Col Supérieur du Tour is not recommended, the Col du Tour being the preferred option. The normal routes on the Tête Blanche and the Petite Fourche remain feasible.
The Argentière hut and the Plan Joran lift close on the 31st August. This means a long approach to the beautiful granite climbs in this sector.
The hut here also closes on the 31st August, (the warden has left some gas.) The glacier (for the Drus traverse, Contamine route) is becoming more and more complicated. In descent, the parties do not pass back behind the Gros Rognon to join the ascent track.
All the bergschrunds here are starting to open up and are becoming more awkward. Some ingenuity is needed, especially for the Contamine route on the Moine.
For the Moine Ridge on the Verte, the bergschrund goes on the true left.
Latest information here: ici !
Envers des Aiguilles Sector
No major problems for the approaches to the Tour Rouge, Tour Verte, Nantillons and Aiguille de Roc.
For the normal route on the République, please see the previous updates.
Subtilités Dulfériennes has become more awkward, one needs to descend into the bergschrund to reach the ramp.
Aiguille du Midi Sector
The Three Monts route remains possible for experienced alpinists.
Pointes Lachenal traverse: the snow last week has stuck to the ice, making conditions temporarily better.
The traverse of the Valléé Blanche is still being done but route finding through the crevasses is difficult.
It is still possible to cross the bergschrunds below the climbs in this sector: (Aiguille du Midi - Pointe Lachenal - Satellites).
Mont Blanc by the Gouter
The conditions are normal and OK. The Grand Couloir and the way up to the hut are dry but the stonefall is no worse than usual. There is no ice on the ridge.
Miage - Bionnassay Sector
The conditions remain technically difficult, (ice, crevasses,) for the Domes de Miage, there and back, from the Col des Dômes.
The Aiguille de la Bérangère, there and back from the hut, is completely dry.
The traverse across to the Durier hut is very dry, with holds coming away in your hand. It is best to reach the hut via the Plan Glacier. The glacier is still OK in the upper part, (pass below the red marker,) providing that it is early in the day.
The traverse of the Bionnassay remains feasible. The passage before the buttress is awkward, (very dry). There is some ice just below the summit, (which is bypassed on the left,) and at the start of the NE ridge, (good crampon technique needed).
The main activity here is the traverse of the Aiguilles d'Entrèves.
The approach to the Salle Manger, (Dent du Geant) remains very dry. Take care to stick to the route and be aware of other parties.
Traverse and normal route on the Grandes Jorasses
It is end of season conditions for the Rochefort Arete (ice, gravel). The traverse of the Grandes Jorasses is feasible, (given that the Pointe Young is done in the afternoon.)
It is over for the normal route this summer. The conditions have got a lot worse.