MOUNTAIN CONDITIONS 10/09/2020
The mountains are benefiting from an Indian summer, with cool nights and warm days.
Conditions are generally good, given that it is the end of the season
Activity continues in the Tour sector. (The lifts close on Sunday 13th, but the hut remains open until the 21st.) The normal routes on the Aig du Tour, (most parties choose to go up by the Col Supérieur du Tour, which remains fairly dry, and descend by Col du Tour,) the Tête Blanche and the Petite Fourche are been done regularly
The Table Ridge remains feasible, though the start is not obvious. On 08/09 the Migot Spur was climbed, (average conditions with ice and rocks showing through inconsistent snow,) with a descent by the Forbes Ridge, (good conditions: dry on the crest and snow on the N side passages). As stated in a previous report, the classic descent is not feasible due to a large bergschrund beneath the Adams Reilly Col.
The Argentière and Charpoua huts, together with the Argentière lifts are closed for the season. The traverse of the Drus is no longer feasible. The glacier is impassable and recently there has been a large rockfall.
There is still some activity from the Couvercle (winter room), notably on the S Ridge, S Ridge integral and the normal route on the Moine. The bergschrund for the Contamine is currently impassable. The start is now by a F6b/c crack on the right; foresee extra gear.
A party turned back at the large crevasse on the Courtes glacier while attempting the Pointe Isabelle. Crystal hunting seems to be the main activity in the rest of the sector. A lot of rockfalls have been noted, especially near the normal route on the Droites.
Rock climbing is still happening near the Leschaux, (the hut shuts on the 13th,) on the Aiguille de Pierre à Joseph routes, (it is over for the Aiguille de Leschaux, the Petites Jorasses remains possible but with a risk of being wet in places.) and in the Envers des Aiguilles sector (the hut closes on the 15th ) The Grépon-Republique bergschrund is reported to be "easy but scary”.
The Plan de l'Aiguille sector is also dry. For example, Aiguille de l'M (NE Ridge and normal route), Petits Charmoz traverse, Pilier Rouge de Blaitière, Lames Fontaine, Papillons Arete, normal route / SW ridge on the Peigne are being climbed.
The traverse of the Chamonix Aiguilles was done on 08/09, descent by paraglider. There has been o recent information concerning the Nantillons glacier, (should be feasible), the Cordier Pillar, the Charmoz-Grépon (looks to have snow)) or the Frendo, (the crest looks white but this maybe just hiding problems)
In the Aiguille du Midi sector (N.B. the Panoramique is open weekends in September) the S faces are being climbed, e.g. Aiguille du Midi and Pointes Lachenal). The Cosmiques Ridge and the Pointes Lachenal traverse are also being done.
The Midi-Plan, there and back, was done in OK conditions.
There have been some parties on the Triangle du Tacul. The Contamine-Grisolle was reported to be in good condition, the Chéré gully is still fairly dry.
The normal route on the Tacul remains technically difficult. Some parties have managed the Trois Monts route. The Maudit is overcome now by the serac, (very steep for 4-5m, 2 axes and ice screws needed.)
There are good conditions for the Gouter route, if the time of day is respected, Crampons are only needed from the Gouter hut onwards.
The huts in this area stay open as follows, (dependent on the state of the sanitation and the weather):
- Nid d'Aigle : closes to the public on 27th September,(when the TMB closes.)
- Tête Rousse : closes to the public on Monday 12th October at 8am. (Capacity reduced to 36 places from 1st October.)
- The “camp de base” (near Tete Rousse) closes on Sunday 26th September at 8am.
- Goûter : closes to the public on Tuesday 13th October at 8am. .
The Dômes de Miage traverse is still being done (the Conscrits hut closes on 19/09). However, the ice is never far away above the Col de la Bérangère and the snow bridges on the Trè la Tête glacier remain treacherous.
The traverse of the Aiguille de Bionnassay is in good condition and is being done regularly, (Durier hut closed.)
The Monzino hut remains open for another week. There are quite a few hikers traversing to the Col Chasseur and climbers on the Aiguille Croux. Two parties did the Innominata Ridge on 09/09, (no further information, especially about the access to the Eccles.)
The classics in the Helbronner sector are still being climbed with the traverses of the Aiguilles d'Entrêves and the Marbrées being very popular.
The Dent du Géant and the Rochefort Ridge (some sections of ice) are being done daily in good conditions. The access to the Salle à Manger can be problematical if one leaves the main track.
Some parties on the SE ridge integral of the Tour Ronde and on the Aiguilles du Diable traverse, (the snow at the end of August improved conditions in the access gully and the rock is dry on the ridge.)
The Tacul satellites are being climbed. The bergschrund for the Pyramide du Tacul is a bit awkward, (black ice and many crevasses.)
The Tronchey Ridge (Grandes Jorasses) was done on 09/09. No further information neither for this nor for the descent by the normal route, which must have been awkward.
The Boccalatte hut is shut. The winter room is open for emergencies only and is not suitable for overnighting, (bad sanitation).