Snow fell down to 1100m last weekend with larger quantities settling at higher altitudes.
In certain areas the snow has been seriously affected by the wind causing large deposits and a risk of wind slab.
The different huts have reported the following snow levels:
- Cosmiques: about 70cm, wind affected with some deep accumulations. Some parties had to retreat on 23 May from the Cosmiques ridge due to large cornices.
- Grands Mulets: 70cm at the level of the hut without too much wind. N ridge of the Dome tracked up until the Col du Dome. Stronger SW winds at altitude.
- Les Conscrits: 60 to 70cm of fresh snow combined with strong winds during the night of 23-24th May. Dômes de Miage and Aiguille de la Bérangère done at the weekend.
- Le Couvercle: about 45cm, affected by the wind, (accumulations). This snow is going rapidly.
- Plan de l’Aiguille: about 50cm of fresh snow at the weekend which is going quickly. Hard snow early morning which rapidly softens so you sink in up to your knees. The footpaths in this area remain impractical.
- A lot of snow also at the level of the Tré la Tête hut and on the Tour du Mont Blanc route. It would appear that crossing the cols (including already La Balme) would require good mountain boots and crampons. One should wait several weeks before attempting the TMB with “lightweight” equipment.
In the Chamonix valley the snow levels remain significant above 1900m. It is necessary to equip yourself accordingly or make other plans. Either way, check the conditions before setting out!