Deadline for 2022 UIAA Mountain Protection Award Approaches

Deadline for 2022 UIAA Mountain Protection Award Approaches

Submissions for this year's Mountain Protection Award will close on the 31st of May. 

A snow-capped mountain range with trees in the foreground.

Launched in 2013, the Mountain Protection Award provides funding to projects (new and existing) that undertake work relating to "adapting to climate change, protecting biodiversity, preserving local cultures of mountainous communities and promoting responsible practices". Past recipients include Community Action Nepal and Mountain Wilderness.

The initiative has been active since 2013 and, via its current partnership with Bally Peak Outdoor Foundation, €15,000 of funding is available to 2022 applicants. You can find out more about the MPA and submit your proposals here.




Report: 19 May 2022

Suddenly it’s summer. As you have probably noticed, it's getting hot. As is often the case at this time of year (well, normally in June), conditions are unpredictable in the high mountains for snow routes: a lot of snow has yet to settle, high temperatures during the day, and poor refreezing. The rock is already a sure bet at the end of May.

The 2022 spring ski season will not live long in the memory. You can still skin a bit around Emosson but you will have to hurry up ("y'a le feu au lac" as they say in French).

Aiguille du Tour on skis is still possible (skis on not far from the refuge but they save time on the descent) or an Aiguille d'Argentière (skis on below Lognan).

More activity on Mont Blanc by the Trois Monts (see report from Guitariste on the cahier de course).

A similar situation around the Grands Mulets. There is a long portage from the tunnel entrance (skis on 200m below the gare des Glaciers). A better way is the lower route from the Plan de l'Aiguille (skis on/off a few times). The same goes for the return trip to avoid crossing under the N face of the Aiguille du Midi, it's hot. The Jonction is best crossed low down. The N ridge of the Dôme is still in good condition (icy but 1 ice axe is enough if you feel comfortable). The crevasse on the Bosses arete can be avoided either by crossing the entire N face of Mont Blanc to reach the Rochers Rouge or turn it on the left and get back to the ridge. Otherwise there is the option of going via the “plateaus” and the Corridor route. On the descent, the N face has become technical (sastrugi at the top, bumps and then an icy section following a serac fall). Descending by the Corridor route is better (a few meters of hard snow at the level of the Mur de la Côte). Then a long boardercross between the crevasses to the Jonction!


The mountaineering and rock climbing season is upon us. Generally speaking, the mountains are quite dry and the refreeze often mediocre. This has a big effect on snow & mixed routes with several rescues last weekend for teams stuck on slopes/couloirs with soft snow on top of ice or because of rock falls/collapses. Trail breaking may also be hard on approaches and on ridges. Trails are gradually being made. At the moment, the feasibility of snow & mixed routes depends almost exclusively on the quality of the refreeze (and of course on your technical and physical level).

Le Tour area: It’s almost snow free up the crest of the moraine to the refuge (snow 100m below the refuge).

Aiguille du Tour (VN, Table ridge), Tête Blanche, Petite Fourche, Purtscheller S ridge OK.

The Forbes arete was climbed last weekend (difficult as there is still a lot of snow). Teams also on the Migot spur (for info one team baled this morning because of a bad freeze, watch this space for the teams planned for tomorrow!): the glacier is well filled in to access the foot of the face without going up high but beware of snow bridges with a poor freeze. Rimaye OK. First ramp all snow. Mixed section in good condition. Black ice on the summit slope. Like last year, a wrong track leads too much to the right on the descent and leads to poor abseils and a dead end. The route is not easy to follow between the (big) crevasses below the col Adam Reilly.


Argentière basin: No recent information. Skis are certainly still very useful for the approaches. Some teams have climbed the Couturier. Be careful with time keeping and descend the Whymper as early as possible. No information about the Flèche Rousse. Many rock routes are waiting for you.


Charpoua/Couvercle: No need for skis here.

One team baled on La Naïa last weekend. At the same time, a few teams on the ‘couloir en Y’ but it already feels like the end. The Whymper is being done when Miss Meteo allows (and she's a bit moody at the moment). No info on the Arête du Jardin, the VN des Droites or the Courtes traverse.


Envers des Aiguilles/Requin: No info but climbing on the lower sectors should be possible soon. Don't forget crampons and ice axe for the approaches.


Helbronner sector: The Skyway and the hut are closed until May 28th. No information yet about the Rochefort arete. The Dent du Géant, the Marbrées and the Aiguilles d'Entrêves traverse should be possible.

On the Tour Ronde, the N face, Gervasutti couloir are still possible. Descent is now by the Freshfield couloir (2 abseils possible). Rebuffat couloir done but no more information.


The Kuffner has been tracked. The section between the La Fourche bivi and the Gendarme is "scrappy" and doesn't go. It is therefore necessary to do the direct start using the couloir.

The ridge is quite dry (very mixed up to the demi-lune) but mostly on rotten snow/sugar which doesn't make progress easy. Variable snow on black ice on the descent from the shoulder. It is better to go around by the summit and the col du Mont Maudit or by a traverse (exposed) that joins the track via the N face of the Maudit.

No information about the arête du Diable (a team is planned tomorrow). You can climb on the side of the satellites: Grand Capucin, Roi de Siam, Pointe Adolphe Rey, E ridge of the Pyramide du Tacul (rimaye ok but exposed approach).


Aiguille du Midi Sector: Lift and Cosmiques refuge open. As a reminder, the abri Simond is closed. Bivouacs are tolerated for one night from sunset to sunrise.

You can climb on the S faces: Aiguille du Midi, éperon Cosmiques, Lachenal.

It’s curtains for the gullies except on the Triangle: Contamine-Negri OK, Contamine-Grisolle (see cahier de course), Chéré OK, goulotte des Allemands fine, rock protection. One team on the Bodin-Afannassieff (quite dry at the bottom but good ice conditions afterwards).

Midi-Plan good after a good freeze (one team left for the Chamonix aiguilles traverse but no further info). The Cosmiques arete is dry as far as the abseils, then go around the N side. Pointes Lachenal OK.

Mont Blanc du Tacul is being done by skiers and walkers. The Trois Monts route can be considered on foot there and back (plan an abseil on an Abalakov to cross the second Mont Maudit rimaye), two axes needed depending on your ability.


Plan de l'Aiguille Sector:

The Mallory has been done but no refreeze and the exit is ice. It's still a bit early for the Frendo spur (snow in the rocky sections), the exit is also not great by eye (very black ice) from the end of the snow arete.

Papillons arete is dry, bring ice axe and crampons for the descent. It seems a bit early for the summit of the Peigne, the routes on the slabs and the gendarme 3009.

The Red Pillar of Blaitière is dry by eye (crampons and ice axe needed for the approach) as well as the Frêtes des Charmoz and the NE ridge of the M.


Mont Blanc by the Aiguille du Goûter: No activity yet but it wont be long. The refuges are about to open. The conditions are similar to those of the end of June. There is snow above the alpage de l’Are.


Sector Bionnassay/Dômes de Miage

Skiing is pretty much all over in this sector (2h30 of portage on the Armancette glacier descent). Mettrier arete in good condition. The SE ridge of Bionnassay is also in good condition (nice track).

The bridge on the Conscrits path won't be in place before mid-June (until then it won't be passable). It will be necessary to go via the Mauvais Pas. The Dômes should be possible on foot.

Do the Gonella refuge and the Pape route still exist?  We haven't heard anything about them all spring!



The snow is receding more and more, but not everything is practicable.

Here is a short but not exhaustive list of accessible hikes (including those that were not accessible at the time of our last updates):

Prarion, Aiguillette des Houches, Refuge de Bellachat, Planpraz, Charlanon, Flégère, Grand Balcon Sud (attention Planpraz and Flégère lifts closed until June 11th), Lacs des Chéserys, Refuge de la Pierre à Bérard, Refuge de Loriaz, Aiguillette des Posettes, Peclerey, Tête de Prapator, Montenvers via Caillet (buvette open every day for drinks and then for lunch and dinner from June 1st) or Les Mottets (reminder: the moraine path is closed, you have to go by the “viaduct” path), Blaitière Alpage and then Signal Forbes (access from Montenvers closed until June 11th, access possible from the the start of the Grand Balcon Nord), Plan de l'aiguille by Grand Bois, Chalet des Pyramides. ..


You will still have to wait for :

Lac de Pormenaz, Lac du Brévent, Lacs Cornus, Lacs Noirs, Lac Blanc, Buet, Col de la Terrasse, Refuge Albert 1er, Argentière Glacier point de vue, Grand Balcon Nord, well as treks of several days (Tour des Fiz, Tour des aiguilles Rouges, Tour du Mont Blanc).


For our snowshoeing friends, go and watch the tennis on TV (Rolland Garros has started)!


Translated with permission from an original report by La Chamoniarde.

Readers are reminded that conditions in mountain environments are prone to (sometimes rapid) change and that they should use their own best judgement when visiting them.




Report: 13 May 2022

Summer has arrived quicker than we expected!

It is now the turn of the high mountains to be between two seasons, the skiing season and the summer mountaineering season. In general, skis (or snowshoes) are still essential for getting around in the high mountains, even if you have to carry them for a fair bit lower down. The possibilities for skiing are diminishing but it is a bit early to think about the big ridge routes (large amounts of snow not yet completely transformed and/or not freezing well).


There has been little change around Le Tour. You can ski from around 2,100 m. You can easily get up on foot if you stay on the crest of the moraine (snowshoes seem to be very useful to go beyond the refuge). The Aiguille du Tour, Tête Blanche, Petite & Grande Fourche are all fine. Teams on the Migot spur but no more information. Teams are also expected on the Forbes arete, to be continued...


Around the Argentière glacier, you will need to carry skis for 400m vertical on the way up. Skis seem to be more suitable than snowshoes in this area. The good news is, the Argentière refuge winter room is open, while waiting (we hope) for the refuge itself to open soon.

Not much news in the area except that the Couturier couloir is being done (no more info). The conditions for skiing must have deteriorated on the N faces. The Y couloir should still be possible to climb. Col du Tour Noir, d'Argentière, Aiguille d'Argentière should be OK on skis. The time will come for the Flèche Rousse soon. The rock should also be dry!


Montenvers info: as a reminder, there is work going on all summer for the construction of the new lift. Some of the paths and ladders are closed (all the info here). Below is a press release from the Compagnie du Mont Blanc for the attention of mountaineers only:

"We would like to inform you that from 16 May to 3 June, except for occasional modifications, which may be linked to technical and safety issues, and in particular on days still to be defined for the annual technical visits, we will operate the gondola exclusively for mountaineers under the following conditions:
- 30 minutes of operation of the TC MDG in the morning from 9am to 9.30am
- 30 minutes of operation at the end of the day from 16:00 to 16:30
This will allow us to respond to the need expressed by climbers to descend to the glacier in good conditions and to climb back up. However, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that the gondola will only operate in these time slots."


Access to the Talèfre basin is still possible on skis from the Aiguille du Midi (central couloir still possible even if the lower part is quite dry and the moraine is still a moraine...). The option on foot from the Montenvers seems more and more logical (it’s dry as far as the Couvercle via the Egralets ladders, which will soon be dismantled) taking the snowshoes for the approaches after the refuge. Access by the new Charpoua route is not feasible (snow).

If there is a good freeze, conditions should be good for the Whymper (beware of overcrowding). Teams are planned for Naya (a gully on the Verte) and the Y couloir; to be continued but the window of opportunity may be short.

Still a few skiers around the Brèche Puiseux (night in a hut the day before) but it feels like the end.

There is not much interest in the Vallée Blanche (which still goes but you should allow an hour's walk to reach the grotto) except for accessing or returning from the routes. There has already been rock climbing around the Dent du Requin! It seems a bit early for the Envers (snow).


As a reminder, the Skyway is closed until May 26th incl. Activity around the Tour Ronde (with ski access from the Aiguille du Midi): Gervasutti couloir in good conditions on the way up (rimaye passable in the middle, snow couloir, a bit of mixed at the top); N face possible by sleeping at the hut (rimaye crossable straight up but it might not last long). The "normal winter route" was still doable at the beginning of the week but given the warmth, it will quickly change (you'll have to go via the Freshfield couloir, which is filled in).

No information yet about the Rochefort arete or the Kuffner (snow is still settling and can probably be done when it refreezes). The Midi-Plan was done at the beginning of the week with a lot of snow. Conditions should improve as the days go by.


The warmth rang the death knell for the goulottes in the Combe Maudite and Tacul E face. We can retreat to the Triangle du Tacul (Chéré, Contamine-Grisolle, Contamine-Negri), the exit to the summit of the Tacul is tracked.

The Cosmiques arete and the traverse of the Pointe Lachenal are fine.

You can rock climb on the S faces: Aiguille du Midi, Pointes Lachenal. You can certainly consider climbing the steep faces of the satellites (Grand Capucin, Pointe Adolphe Rey).
Lots of activity on skis (but also on foot) on the normal route of the Mont Blanc du Tacul.

The Trois Monts has a green light! Mont Maudit took a long time to be tracked because it was loaded. Needless to say, the seracs are still there (as they are on the Tacul!). There are three rimayes to cross: skis off at the first one and then a bit of ice (25-30 m at 40°, the 2nd one is easy to ski, the 3rd one is a bit tricky but the last slope under the col du Mont Maudit is on snow! Be careful on the traverse to the col de la Brenva (icy, crevasses). Then all good up to the summit.

Around the Plan de l'Aiguille, the Mallory was tracked in ascent last Sunday. It is still possible to sleep in the refuge (winter room)! One team in the Carli-Chassagne, Thursday 12 May, without more information. It's still too early for the Frendo as well as for the rock in the area.


Still a lot of activity on Mont Blanc on skis via the Grands Mulets (beer bottling at the refuge in progress). The snow is receding above the Para (skis on at about 2,000m). No change from the Plan de l'Aiguille with the recommended approach being the lower one. On the way back, you can cross "high" under the N face of the Aiguille du Midi.
The Jonction needs to be crossed low down. Then, two options:
- N ridge of the Dôme (in good conditions, no ice) then the Bosses ridge (technical because you have to go around the crevasse) or
- via the Plateaus then the Corridor route.
A serac fall at the bottom of the N face complicates the passage a bit (ice blocks). With the warmth, the quality of the snow is changing but the conditions remain good overall!

From the Trè la Tête, skis need to be carried as far as the Mauvais Pas (bad step). Crossing of the Dômes : nothing to report. On the way down, skis off at 1,800 m above the lac d’Armancette.
Good conditions on the Mettrier arete (skis on a little above 2000m) with a track that’s improving with use (no ice).
The NW face of the Lex Blanche was skied (mostly on the right bank, ice on the left bank of the serac).

No information yet from the back of Mont be continued!


Some ski touring is possible from the Emosson dam (Pointe de la Terrasse, Cheval Blanc) but it won't last very long this year!


Concerning the hiking, please refer to our last update. Not much change, don't go too high!


Translated with permission from an original report by La Chamoniarde.

Readers are reminded that conditions in mountain environments are prone to (sometimes rapid) change and that they should use their own best judgement when visiting them.




Ramsden and Miller Make First Ascent of Unnamed 6,563m Peak

Ramsden and Miller Make First Ascent of Unnamed 6,563m Peak

Paul Ramsden descending from the newly climbed 'Jugal Spire'

AC member Tim Miller has recently returned from Nepal where, alongside fellow AC member Paul Ramsden, he made the first ascent of a previously unclimbed and unnamed peak via a 1,200m route the pair have dubbed 'The Phantom Line'.

In a post on his professional Facebook page, Tim explained that the route follows a single diagonal line of ice across an otherwise featureless face at what he describes as "an amenable grade".

The expedition was supported by both the Alpine Club and the Mount Everest Foundation. Members are reminded that they are entitled to apply for funding from the AC Climbing Fund for their expeditions.

The ascent took the pair five days and they have kindly shared a topo of the route with us which you can see below:

A topo showing Ramsden and Miller's line following a clear line of ice from bottom right to top left across the face




Boardman and Tasker's 1976 West Wall Route Receives First Repeat

Boardman and Tasker's 1976 West Wall Route Receives First Repeat

The New Zealand Alpine Team have announced that after 46 years, a team of climbers has successfully repeated Pete Boardman and Joe Tasker's 1976 route on the West Wall of Changabang (6,880m). 

Further details have not been released at time of publication, but the summit party has been confirmed as Matthew Scholes, Kim Ladiges & Daniel Joll.





Report: 06 May 2022

A quick update on the eve of the weekend. 


Yesterday (05/05) at the end of the day, there was about 25cm of snow at the Grands Mulets refuge and 35-40 cm at the Cosmiques refuge. 

It’ s certainly "inter-season” now in the valley. Most of the lifts are closed (including the Skyway on the Italian side, closed until 27/05). 

The Midi and the Montenvers train are still running. 

As far as huts go: the Grands Mulets and the Cosmiques are open. The others are in winter mode except for the Argentière refuge which is completely closed including the winter room. 

With the lifts closed, ski touring from the valley is a challeng. You can skin from 100 m below the Bérard refuge for those who want to go up Mont Buet. 

The opening date of the road up to the Emosson dam hasnt been announced yet (perhaps Friday 13/05, to be confirmed). 

In the high mountains, skis are essential to get around except just near the Aiguille du Midi. 


In the Le Tour basin, the walk up to the refuge is by the moraine path. You can put skis on at the water intake at around 1,900m. The classic Aiguille du Tour routes (VN, couloir de la Table or even the arête de la Table once it has transformed), the Tête Blanche and Petite Fourche are possible. No information yet about the Chardonnet and in particular the Migot spur, so that may have to wait for a while. 


In the Argentière basin there is about 30 minutes of ski carrying on the Pierre à Ric piste. Sacs will be heavy because the winter room of the Argentière hut is closed, so bivouac kit is needed (except by the speed merchants who do everything in a day!). All the classics are doable: Col du Chardonnet, Aiguille d'Argentière (glacier du Milieu, couloir en Y, couloir Barbey), Col du Tour Noir and Argentière. There has been recent activity on the Col des Cristaux and on the NE face of the Courtes on skis. The Couturier has also been done on the ascent at the end of last week without more information. 


In the Talèfre basin, we are uncertain about the access to the refuge, which is probably still done by the central couloir (if you have information let us know!). You may need to bring a sleeping bag or even a tent for the weekend (the refuge is expected to be very busy). Once the snow has stabilised and transformed, the Whymper couloir should be in good condition, as should other southerly slopes. 


From the Leschaux refuge, the SW couloir of the Eboulement could be in good nick. 


Around the Aiguille du Midi, the traverse of the Pointes Lachenal and the Cosmiques arête remain good bets. The same goes for the Chéré couloir on the Triangle du Tacul. Once the snow has settled, perhaps the Contamine Grisolle could be considered (to be continued!). 

We'll have to wait (until mid-week?) for the ridge routes like Midi-Plan, Rochefort, and even more for the Kuffner. 

Concerning the E-face goulottes (Modica-Noury, Gabarrou-Albinoni...), they can be considered but strictly according to a schedule (and not using a morning lift). The same goes for the combe Maudite where the Baxter-Jones is still the most popular. 

Once the snow has stabilised, the N face of the Tour Ronde should be in good condition, as should the Gervasutti couloir. According to the latest information, the "normal winter route" has finally filled in and is doable. 

You can still do a few turns down the Italian side and ski the Vallée Noire (allow 30-40 min walk to reach the grotto). The Brèche Puiseux can be thought about but it seems wiser to sleep in a hut beforehand. 

Regarding the normal route of the Tacul, it has, as expected, improved with the recent snow falls. The face is still quite steep and technical but it was done last Sunday and again on Wednesday. The exit around the shoulder remains the most tricky bit and no "obvious" passage has yet appeared. 

Concerning the Trois Monts, we quote from the Facebook post of our friends at the Cosmiques hut who always give good advice: "the Maudit remains unexplored. There will probably be attempts this weekend. Be careful, it's only the "beginning of the season" for the Trois Monts, and it's quite wild! Two ice axes, at least for the leader, plenty of experience, and something to retreat on (dead man, snow stake...)". The last news (and by eye), was that the traverse between the col du Mont Maudit and the col de la Brenva was on pure ice. The Mur de la Côte is hard snow with about 40m of ice. Then it's skis on your feet or on your back up to the summit. 


Mont Blanc by the Grands Mulets: you can put skis on a little above the old lift station. From the Plan de l'Aiguille, it is better to follow the beginning of the new summer path (and therefore to go down a little from the Plan) and to go around the moraines by the bottom and then to go up to the right of the moraine on the left bank of the Pélerins glacier rather than to go up to pass under the N face of the Aiguille du Midi (exposure to slides and serac fall, unstable moraine).

At the Jonction, always follow the lower route. 

There have been some changes on the route across the “plateaus", you go via the Pic Wilson (or Pitschner) on the way up. Then there's a few minutes under seracs and lots of crevasses (but hey nothing new, it's the high mountains!). 

The Bosses ridge is still technical (yes, Mont Blanc is still mountaineering!!!) and it’s skis off and on the sack before the slope under the Vallot (alternating snow and ice) then you have to go around the now famous crevasses of the Bosses ridge by a detour on the N face (steep, 2 axes for comfort). 

The Corridor route seems to be preferable. You can join the Trois Monts route at the Col de la Brenva (see above). 

The N face can be skied by first aiming for the Rochers Rouges and then diving left into the ramp. 

A phone call to the guardian will give you a more precise explanation! 


Around the Conscrits, lots of ski carrying is to be expected but above that generally good conditions await you !!!! 




We are slowly moving towards summer but the snow cover is only slowly disappearing. We are repeating ourselves but most of the classic hikes (high altitude lakes, the grands balcons, multi-day treks, the 90 km route between Bellachat and the Col des Montets) are still not practicable. 

You can still enjoy the view from the chalets de Chailloux (still some snow to get to the top of the Aiguillette des Houches?), from Plan Lachat, from the lower Blaitière alpage, from La Flégère, from the Aiguillette d'Argentière, from Loriaz... 

There is still some snow (proper equipment and mountaineers feet required) to reach the Bérard refuge, the Aiguillette des Posettes or Montenvers (access only via Les Mottets then the viaduct path). 

The “buvettes" are all accessible except for the chalet des Pyramides. 


Translated with permission from an original report by La Chamoniarde.

Readers are reminded that conditions in mountain environments are prone to (sometimes rapid) change and that they should use their own best judgement when visiting them.




Free Sustainable Climbing Guide to Tyrol Set for Release

Free Sustainable Climbing Guide to Tyrol Set for Release

Lena Müller and Deniz Scheerer have announced that their new guidebook 'Klimafreundlich Klettern' will be released in mid-May 2022. The guidebook is pitched as a sustainable climbing guide to the Tyrol, offering advice on accessing climbing areas by bus, train, bike and foot. 

As well as physical copies available for sale, the guide will also be accessible for free online at this link. Müller is a PhD student specialising in climate change and has made accessibility to the guide a key priority of the project.

The 21 crags covered by the guide are: 

Nassereith, Götterwandl, Karres, Haiminger Klettergarten, Simmering, Klettergarten Mötz, Locherboden, Rammelstein, Oetz, Armelen, Engelswand, Mauerbogen, Chinesische Mauer, Flämendwandl, Sonnenplatte, Ehnbachklamm, Martinswand, Höttinger Steinbruch, Grauwand, Morsbach, Geisterschmiedwand




Richardson and Robson make First Ascent of Ulvetanna North Ridge on Senja

Richardson and Robson make First Ascent of Ulvetanna North Ridge on Senja

Alpine Club member Simon Richardson and Mark Robson have made the first ascent of the north ridge of Ulvetanna on the Norwegian island of Senja. In a Facebook post, Simon reports that this may only be the second ascent of the mountain, a satellite peak of Stormoa, to date. 

You can read a more detailed report of Mark and Simon's trip on Planet Mountain.





Report: 26 April 2022

Here is a small update just to give the snow information:
In the Albert 1er area, 30 cm of snow has fallen with wind. It is not cold and it was still snowing a bit this morning.
The Passon was well tracked yesterday. 50 to 60 cm fell on the col supérieur du Tour.  Some people have come through from the Trient.
The moraine just below the refuge is starting to dry out. The refuge closes on Sunday evening, prematurely because of bad weather.
At the Cosmiques, a total of 90 cm fell, with a fohn wind, and then a N wind which made for some decent accumulations! The S faces are well plastered. The triangle is not filled in, it's all black. The conditions are more wintry than in February! At the Torino, 60 cm fell.
At the Grands Mulets, it's beautiful :) 80cm of powder snow and no wind. On the other hand it's blowing higher up, especially on Mont Blanc! With the sun starting to come out, it will soon settle down.
At the Conscrits, there were no big accumulations, 50cm at the refuge (2 falls of 25cm). The sun had already come out  yesterday and the snow pack had transformed. The refuge is closing on Sunday evening because of the bad weather.
Report translated from La Chamoniarde.

Yamada & Tani Summit Kangchung Nup from North Side

Yamada & Tani Summit Kangchung Nup from North Side

On 24 April Japanese climbers Toshiyuki Yamada and Takeshi Tani successfully summitted Kangchung Nup (6,089m) via a new route on the mountain's North-West face. This marks not only the first ascent of the face, but also the first time that the mountain has been climbed from its northern side.

The new line follows a similar route to that of a 2014 Czech expedition that was forced to retreat from ~5,900m due to dangerous conditions. The direct line on the north face was also attempted unsuccessfully in 2019 by Paul Ramsden and Jim Hall.





Report: 14 April 2022

Well, the end of the winter is coming.

The last snowfall has temporarily improved the snow cover especially on the glaciers. Unfortunately, the recent hot spell associated with poor refreezing has caused conditions to deteriorate.  

Let's see what this weekend brings! Strict time keeping will be essential. 

The gullies are gradually drying out. Here too it is necessary to start early to benefit from a good refreeze (crossing rimayes, rock falls...) and manage the timing. 

The classic ski touring routes are still in play. 


The various parts of the Aiguilles Rouges are still practicable (glacier de la Floria, Pointe Alphonse Favre, Cols Crochues - Bérard, Buet, etc...). The descent of the Bérard valley has become quite "spicy" due to avalanche debris. It is better to take the left bank. Skis off at the buvette. The Loriaz refuge is closed for the season. 


The conditions in the Albert 1er sector are those of the beginning of summer. There is not much snow on the cols, but the col supérieur du Tour and the col du midi des Grands remain ok. Aiguille du Tour, Tête Blanche and Petite Fourche are being done. The Aiguille du Chardonnet is much too dry to be considered (ice on the way up and down, huge rimayes, very open glacier). 


In the Argentière basin, the "classic" cols are still practicable. Col du Passon: the ascent of the couloir and the descent go reasonably well, in spite of the numerous avalanches. It is increasingly dry at the col du Chardonnet and the cols of the Tour Noir/D'Argentière are still in good condition. The Aiguille d'Argentière has been done by the milieu glacier, icy below the summit. 

The Couvercle is still accessed via the central couloir even though it's becoming dry. The Whymper was done at the beginning of the week when there was a good freeze (lots of snow in the couloir, ridge ok, they left the skis at the rimaye). Be careful with time keeping and the crowds expected this weekend! 


In the Aiguille du Midi sector, the Cosmiques arête and the arête Laurence (approach on foot) are being done, but it’s hard work. The classic traverse of the Pointes Lachenal could be considered if you have good crampon technique (initial slope is shiny ice). 

The Chéré couloir is being done regularly, you should avoid putting your stuff down at the base of the route because a small serac has collapsed above, and some blocks still need to purge. Prefer an abseil descent but beware of the crowds. 

A team were seen in going in the direction of the Directissime but without more information. 

Vent du dragon, Burnier-Vogler, Pellissier, Gabarrou and Modica gullies are very dry but can be climbed with care and can be protected; beware of rock falls on hot days. 

The south face of the Aiguille du Midi seems dry, the ledges are still well covered with snow but the cracks do not seem to be plastered. 

For the Trois Monts, you will still have to be a little patient. The faces are loaded and there is a risk of avalanche especially above the initial rimaye (which is crossable). This route is technical (those who have tried it have gone halfway). 

The Vallée blanche is in spring condition, you will need a good knowledge of the route, and to time it right: not too early for good skiing and not too late for the salle à manger and its dicy snow bridges. 


In the Torino sector, the north face of the tour Ronde is in good condition but it's a bit of a slog. The Gervasutti is being done, be careful with the rimaye. Still a bit of activity in the gullies of the Combe Maudite (beware of refreezing/timing). The Aiguilles Marbrées and Entrèves are in good condition (approaches on foot). The Aiguille de Rochefort and the Dent du Géant can be considered but it is probably still a bit early to find really good conditions. 


At the Grands Mulets, you must take the lower track to cross the Jonction. Above, the track via the dôme Pitschner is best. The Grandes Montées are a mess and best climbed on the left as you go up. There is ice beneath the Vallot then very airy on the Bosses ridge. The north ridge of the Dôme is icy and not appealing (by eye). In short, it's all very technical (photos). 


At the Conscrits, the Dômes de Miage are still in good condition: cross the "mauvais pas” as early as possible, but otherwise the ascent is fine, cold snow on the Armancette until 3,000m then crust until the traverse. Note: it is tricky to get to the Cugnon car park, because the path has been damaged by avalanches. It is easier to park at the Frasse car park. 

The north faces of Tête Blanche, Lée Blanche are not good by eye, lots of ice. 


On the Mont Tondu glacier, a huge slab went down to the sand layer, with a 1m50 crown wall, reserved for good skiers. 


The Haute-Route is still being done without any more info than in the last report.


The ski areas of La Balme, Brévent, Flégère close on Monday evening. 


As far as hiking is concerned, nothing new since our last update. You should stay close to the valley floor and be patient for the high altitude routes such as the lakes and the high balcon paths. 


For information, you should avoid 4 routes on the "falaise de Bionnassay"(Antibiotic, Homme aux gènes, Newton pousse Archimède, Etat de siège), because of the presence of a peregrine falcon nest in the area. 


Report translated from La Chamoniarde.




AC Everest Film to Receive European Premiere

AC Everest Film to Receive European Premiere

The Alpine Club film 'Everest: by Those Who Were There', based around our 2021 exhibition of the same name, has been selected for inclusion in the 2022 Trento Film Festival. This will be the film's European premiere and attendees can catch it on two occasions; at 16:45 on the 1 May and at 16:30 on the 6 May. The film will also be available to rent via the festival website from the 23 April. Full details here.

100 years on from the first expeditions to the world's highest mountain, 'Everest: by Those Who Were There' uses a variety of archival material, original footage and the expertise of numerous Everest luminaries to examine how our relationship with Everest has changed over the last century and to profile the characters like George Mallory who made up those early forays towards 'the roof of the world'. 

A selection of six note card boxes with labels indicating that they refer to the Everest expeditions of 1921, 1922 and 1924




Video: Tom Livingstone and Matt Glenn on The North-East Pillar of Tengkangpoche

Video: Tom Livingstone and Matt Glenn on The North-East Pillar of Tengkangpoche

In October 2021, AC members Matt Glenn and Tom Livingstone made the first ascent of the North-East pillar of Tengkangpoche (6,487m) in the Solukhumbu region of Nepal. Mountain Equipment have now released a video of the ascent complete with an interview in which Tom explains the details of the line.





Stewart Hawkins

We have recently learned of the death on 20 March of Stewart Hawkins, an Associate member since 2007.



John Brailsford

The Club is saddened to learn of the death on 1 April of John Brailsford, a member for sixty years. He joined as a member of the ACG in 1962 and became ACG secretary in 1967.



Report: 01 April 2022

At last it's all gone white!
A temporary return of winter with snowfalls in the mountains. On this Friday afternoon, the ground is white down to the valley floor. This morning, there was between 20 and 30 cm between 2,000 and 2,500m depending on the sector (40 cm at the Requin and Cosmiques refuges, 30 cm at the Conscrits) to which we must add between 15 and 20 additional cm that fell today (on the other hand, the wind will have a hand in things).
It's difficult to say what it will be like in the mountains. This should be good news for the quality of the skiing. On the other hand, we'll have to be wary of the risk of avalanches in the next few days as we are all a bit out of practice.
Above all, you need to be extremely careful on glaciers. They are generally quite open for the season and this new snow will undoubtedly form very tricky snow bridges. There have been an unusually large number of crevasse accidents in the last few weeks in the northern Alps, enough for several rescue organisations to warn about. Excellent experience in glacial terrain and roping up are more necessary than ever if you are planning trips in the high mountains.
Some brief summary information (roughly speaking, not much has changed since our last updates):
  • Albert 1er refuge open, nothing particular to note in the area.
  • Still no information about a possible reopening of the Argentière refuge.
  • Before the bad weather: quite a few teams on the N face of the Drus; a few teams on the Whymper couloir which was fairly dry; N face of the Tour Ronde + Gervasutti couloir (quite complicated rimaye which is crossable and then a bit of an exposed traverse; dry at the top). Descent by the Freshfield couloir is dry (beware of rock fall); teams on the Roger Baxter-Jones (Maudit), Lafaille, Pellissier, Chéré, Vent du Dragon etc.
  • Rock fall (including large boulders) from the mixed section (at the top of ‘Pinocchio') have recently affected the bottom of the Gabarrou-Albinoni + Modica Noury routes.
  • Refuge des Cosmiques + Requin open, beware of crevasses in the Vallée Blanche. We'll have to wait for more snow to see what happens on the Trois Monts route. Cosmiques arête in good condition.
  • Mont Blanc on skis by the Grands Mulets: very complicated at the Jonction (see info on the website). We are waiting for information on the opening of the refuge which should take place during the next good weather window. It is absolutely compulsory to avoid the high track and to use the lower one even if you have to put skins back on. This itinerary is only for very experienced ski-mountaineers for the moment.
  • The Conscrits hut is open, no major changes in the sector.
  • Chamonix-Zermatt in quite dry condition: the Swiss rescue services would have carried out more crevasse rescues last week than in 20 years on certain sectors!
As far as hiking is concerned, this storm is a timely reminder that even though it is spring down here (green grass, primroses, pétanque games, barbecues and all that), there is still snow in the mountains. It's the time of year for walks in the valley (below 1,700 m). Most of the classic hikes in the valley are not practicable at all. Several rescues have already taken place for hikers taken unawares by the snow.
Report translated from La Chamoniarde.

What does the Future hold for the Glaciated and High Mountain World?

What does the Future hold for the Glaciated and High Mountain World?

As a mountaineer, you will surely care about the natural environment and appreciate the pristine, relatively unspoilt beauty of many mountain wildernesses. It is also likely that you want future generations to be able to appreciate the beauty and majesty of those environments. But what is the likelihood of that happening and what does the future hold for the glaciated and high mountain world?


In 2015, 196 parties signed up to a historic accord, the Paris Climate Agreement, with the aim of limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees above pre-industrial and preferably below 1.5 degrees. These numbers are not arbitrary. In the case of the frozen world (the cryosphere), overshooting 1.5⁰ C will result in passing irreversible and dangerous thresholds ( and we are already at 1.1⁰ C of warming. That might not sound like much but global ecosystems, the cryosphere and humans are in a delicate balance with the rest of the climate system with reinforcing feedbacks that amplify these seemingly small changes to atmospheric temperatures. It is, however, not just the magnitude but also the rate at which humans are modifying the climate system that is a problem.

The graph above shows CO2 concentrations (blue) in the atmosphere alongside atmospheric temperature (red) for the last 800,000 years. CO2 levels have not been as high as they are now for at least 3 million years and are increasing at a rate that is unprecedented in the ice core records such as the one above. The present-day temperature increase lags behind CO2 as the climate responds to the unprecedented rise in greenhouse gases. Hence, even if we stopped burning fossil fuels tomorrow, the red line would carry on upwards. We are entering new and uncharted territory for the climate system. National commitments to meet the Paris Agreement (called NDCs) currently commit us to warming of about 3⁰ C so are well below the threshold to limit catastrophic climate breakdown.

Mountain glaciers around the world are currently receding at an unprecedented rate since the start of the Industrial Revolution and the latest research identifies human-induced climate warming as almost entirely responsible (Roe et al., 2021). A paper published in April 2021 provides the most detailed and complete picture of glacier wastage over the last two decades from over 1 million satellite images and shows how mass loss has been accelerating during this time for most of the 200,000 plus glaciers around the world (Hugonnet et al., 2021). If we continue on our current trajectory, the latest projections indicate that over half of mountain glacier ice will have melted and for low latitude and lower altitude regions they will be almost completed gone by the end of the century (Shannon et al., 2019). By 2050, Western Canada and the USA (excluding Alaska), central Europe and parts of Asia could be completely void of glaciers alongside many other damaging impacts.

The fate of one small glacier in the Pyrenees that survived since before Roman times but has now almost completely disappeared (Moreno et al., 2021).
On the left is the pre-industrial reconstruction of extent and the right the present-day remnant parts.

That is why, for example, the UK government aims to put into law a reduction of 78% in CO2 emissions by 2035, which, for the first time includes our share of international aviation and shipping. That is the kind of commitment required to stand a fighting chance of not overshooting 1.5⁰ C (again see To achieve that reduction is a huge challenge but, just like anything in life, if you don’t know where you’re going you’re unlikely to ever get there. It will require legislation and profound changes to the way we operate but it will also require change at the individual level and each of us can help protect what we cherish for future generations. We need to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030 (relative to 2010) to avoid a dangerous overshoot. That means about a 6-7% reduction per year which is roughly what happened in 2020 during a global pandemic (it’s more than 5% because it’s relative to 2010 values). If each of us reduced our flights, car-miles, consumption and waste by that amount a year we can make a difference. Just like one nurse or doctor cannot change the course of the current pandemic, collectively they can save millions of lives. Collectively, we can do the same for the planet we live on and the mountain environments we care so much about, value and cherish.


This article was written by Alpine Club Green Group member Jonathan Bamber, Professor of Glaciology & Earth Observation at the University of Bristol and former President of the European Geosciences Union.

It first appeared in the Alpine Club Newsletter of March 2022.




Laura Tiefenthaler Makes Solo Ascent of The Heckmair Route

Laura Tiefenthaler Makes Solo Ascent of The Heckmair Route

On the 8 March 2022, Austrian climber Laura Tiefenthaler made an ascent of The Heckmair Route on the north face of the Eiger with Jana Möhrer. On the 25 March, she returned to the route on her own to make a solo ascent. 

Stable conditions across the Swiss Alps have lead to a lot of activity on the face and, having already climbed the Heckmair earlier this month, Laura was encouraged to attempt a solo ascent by Rolo Garibotti. She made her first attempt on the 24 March, but a routefinding error meant that she lost two hours and elected to retreat. She returned the next day, beginning at 1AM and topping out safely 15 hours later.

Writing on Instagram, Laura described her ascent: "With curiosity as my main motivation, and knowing that up to a point, I could get down, it felt safe to go explore. As I progressed, confidence grew. I rope-soloed all the hard pitches and some short sections. Reaching the Traverse of the Gods at 10am, I knew that time was on my side. I slowed down, prioritizing safety over speed, and topped out at 4pm, exceeding my expectations."

This is likely the second solo ascent of the line by a woman after Catherine Destivelle in 1992. 




Report: 24 March 2022

Some information from the heights in this long period of good weather.
No big changes except that the mountains are drying out (again). In the high mountains, it's hard to believe that it's March. In the valley too, spring is well advanced!
As far as ski touring is concerned, there are few changes in the “moyenne montagne”. You will have to time it right for perfect spring snow (“moquette/carpet”). Not always easy with the wind and the temperatures which vary a great deal from one day to the next. You have to be a good skier with the current conditions. Couteaux (ski crampons) are your best friends!
In summary:
  • Vallon de Bérard: you will need to walk as far as the buvette or even a bit further because in the morning it's bullet hard (crampons useful). Ice on the footbridge along the torrent, fixed rope normally in place.
  • Loriaz / Terrasse: portage until the end of the forest, count on a good hour of portage. Col de la Terrasse in good condition.
  • Crochue-Bérard traverse: couteaux or crampons are useful to climb to the col. Crossing under the Alphonse Favre: hard snow but acceptable.
  • Glacier du Mort: good steps on the way up, short mixed passage (5). Descent "no worse".
  • Col des Dards / Col du Belvédère (there and back): good spring conditions!
  • Beugeant: don't go too early!
In the high mountains, as we said, it's dry.
Little change around the Conscrits hut (hut open, about 1h portage on the way up). Access ok by the Mauvais pas. Still some activity on the Dômes de Miage, the descent by the Armancette glacier is on hard snow on the upper part (easily avoidable sastrugi then hard snow with good grip; but be careful not to slip), it's better from the Pointe de Covagnet. It’s a 10 minute walk above the lac d’Armancette then about 45 minutes to get back to the parking. Some people on Mont Tondu in fairly good conditions. Dry north faces as elsewhere.
Very technical skiing reported in the Vallée Blanche (hard snow, bumps, crevasses that are opening up). You can still ski to Montenvers. There are still a few skiers around the Brèche Puiseux, but the Vallée Blanche is in "reinforced concrete" mode in the morning to get there, which could discourage you.
Some teams on the Whymper couloir on the Aiguille Verte which is quite dry. Access to the Talèfre basin is already complicated, judge for yourself from the photo on the website.
It's a bit better for the classics of the Argentière basin (refuge closed, no opening date planned at this stage) and Le Tour (refuge open).
Cols d'Argentière and Tour Noir OK. Couloir en Y OK, glacier du Milieu technical (see cahier de course on the Chamoniarde website). The left bank of the Argentière glacier is complicated (several bits narrow with hard snow).
Col du Chardonnet: access to the col on the S side very dry (see photo, beware of rock fall). Fixed rope in place on the N side with several knots (you will have to undo your abseil device and redo it the other side). It is not long enough to pass the rimaye which is wide open. Plan to do a second abseil: minimum 40m rope, no belay in place, possibility of doing a snow belay or using the end of the fixed rope (krab in place) if it's quiet.
Fenêtre du Tour and Saleina, col du Tour and col sup du Tour OK. Aiguille du Tour: nothing to report
Passon: still enough snow to reach the Vormaine piste.
In the gullies, things are drying out but they are still there. Latest news, teams on Mini Blast, Vent du Dragon (the belays to descend from the Aiguille du Midi walkway don't seem to have been destroyed by the rock fall), goulotte Chéré, Pellissier, Modica-Noury (last pitch dry and more difficult than usual), Gabarrou-Albinoni, Lafaille (last pitch dry), N face of Tour Ronde (quite short ice section: 15-20m, ice in the upper section).

An old track in the Mallory which seems possible although quite dry (several mixed passages, ice exit).

Report translated from La Chamoniarde.