MOUNTAIN CONDITIONS 06/01/2021
The team at Chamoniarde wishes everyone a happy and successful year in the mountains.
The lifts remain closed, so the main activities are ski touring, snow shoeing and ice climbing.
There is enough snow cover to start skiing up from the valley floor, though be aware of stones on the descent, and also higher up in areas affected by the wind.
In the Chamonix valley the downhill ski areas, (Les Houches, Grands Montets, Balme) are popular with ski tourers. Less popular are the Nants (Brévent) and Lanchers (Flégère) pistes.
Ski touring is also happening at Pormenaz from Plaine Joux, the Aiguillette des Houches, in the Berard valley ("combat skiing" low down, average snow quality at Buet, better at the Col de Bérard) and in the Loriaz sector, (Tête de la Chevrette, Frête des Charmoz, Col de la Terrasse).
Glacier skiing has taken place to the Col du Tour Noir and over the Col du Passon (lack of snow low down on the Tour side, it is better to traverse to the Montagne de Péclerey path.)
Snow conditions are generally better at Val Montjoie, the Aravis and Chablais.
In Switzerland conditions are good at Bel Oiseau / Fenestral, Catogne and the Col de la Forclaz (Croix des Prelayes, Pointe Ronde, Mont Arpille).
It is slowly getting colder and the conditions are improving for ice climbing. It is just possible to get something done at the Cremerie. The artificial site at Berard, (paid for and maintained by the Compagnie des Guides) is closed for the moment, (under formation.) Conditions are good at the Argentière glacier, both at the rive droite (mur des Jumelles, count on 3/4 h for the approach with skis) and the rive gauche (mur des Dents de la Mer, EMHM : 1h30/2h ski approach). Likewise, for the Cascade Loriaz area (here also best approached on ski).
Lastly, there are plenty possibilities on the signposted tracks, either with good footwear and poles or with snowshoes. The more adventurous can go to the chalets de Chailloux or Loriaz or in the Bérard valley. As a reminder, the buvette du Chapeau sector is closed because of a large landslip (lire l'arrêté).