The Club produces a regular English translation of the Chamonix conditions report from La Chamoniarde to help climbers without an understanding of French to access up-to-date information on conditions in the valley. An archive of these reports can be seen below: 


Report: 27 September 2023

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 27 September 2023

We are having a beautiful Indian summer. Winter came back for a bit (details in last week's bulletin) but now the sun and mild temperatures are back at all altitudes. 

Most high mountain huts are now without guardians, including the Cosmiques, those on the normal route on Mont Blanc and the Conscrits, which are all in winter mode. Only the Couvercle (until the end of this week), and the Torino are going onto the bitter end. 

This fine spell will please granite climbers who still haven’t had quite enough. South facing rock exposed to the sun has dried pretty well and there are lots of places like this at altitude including: the Charpoua basin, Aiguille du Moine (with the exception of the East face where the rimaye is very tricky), Aiguille de Pierre-Joseph, Envers des Aiguilles, Aiguille du Peigne, S face of the Aiguille du Midi, Tacul satellites etc. 

For those with an appetite for snow or mixed routes there are still a few to be done including: the classics of the Le Tour basin (Aiguille du Tour, Tête Blanche, Petite Fourche), around the Aiguille du Midi (Cosmiques Arête, Pointe Lachenal traverse), around the Helbronner (Entrèves, Marbrées, Dent du Géant).

In spite of the fact that the huts on the normal route on Mont Blanc are closed, conditions have significantly improved thanks to last week's snow fall. Watch out for overcrowded winter rooms. Snow stability also needs to be a serious consideration. There was a partial burial under the shoulder of Mont Blanc du Tacul on Sunday and some glacier snow bridges are fragile. The Tacul has not been re-tracked, nor has the Trois Monts route. 

Lower down the off-season is great for walking sport climbing, cycling etc. 



Translated with kind 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: 22 Septmeber 2023

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 22 September 2023
Autumn is coming! It’s snowing high up, variable amounts but lots of wind: watch out for avalanches and sluffs. Be careful on glaciers with tricky crevasses and potentially fragile snow bridges.

Here are the few snow reports we were able to gather today (it was white down to 2400m yesterday morning):

- At the Goûter, there was a lot of SW wind and we recorded 10/15cm with large areas of accumulation. It's all plastered down to the Nid d'Aigle.

- Torino: 20/30 cm fell. The Dent du Géant, Entrèves and the Marbrées are plastered.

- At the Couvercle it’s all white, but the Moine is still doable.

- Cosmiques: 20cm of wind blown snow fell (foehn gusts, but no thunderstorms). The Tacul is loaded! Everything is covered and the old tracks are no longer visible.

- At the Conscrits, not much has fallen; it rained last night and this morning there was 5cm of snow on the terrace.
- The Bérangère is plastered but the rocks are poking out. Mont Tondu has been done, good underfoot on grey ice. The Miages traverse has been done out and back from the Bérangère (too many crevasses on the glacier). The ice at the Col de la Bérangère is all covered up. The hut switches to winter mode on Monday: there's gas, washing-up facilities and a chemical toilet, but no water (stream 50m away). Access will be complicated after the mid-October footpath work as the footbridge will be removed. The mauvais pas will not be crossable.
The Cosmiques and Conscrits huts will be closing this weekend.

In the high mountains, only the refuges on the Mont Blanc normal route, the Couvercle and the Torino remain open.

There are no worries about hiking in the “moyenne montagne". It is now important to be equipped with good shoes and poles: even if the snow has not yet affected these altitudes, some paths can be greasy and wet.

The refuges at Plan de l'Aiguille, Lac Blanc, Loriaz, Des Prés and Moede-Anterne are still open.

As far as lifts are concerned, the Aiguille du Midi cable car, the Montenvers train (as well as the glacier lift for mountaineers) and the Tramway du Mont-Blanc are still operating.

Translated with kind 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: 14 September 2023

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 14 September 2023
Although the temperatures have dropped a notch, the snowfall forecast for this week was actually quite light and didn't really change the conditions in the high mountains. Two to three centimetres of wet snow fell at the Cosmiques, and around ten centimetres above 4000m.

A few more details to add to last week's update

Le Tour: All the “tat” that has built up over the years on the descent from the summit of the Aiguille du Chardonnet has been removed and replaced with bolt/chain belays. The right-hand line (on the descent) allows you to avoid the rimaye of the col Adams Reilly if this is impassable. Not surpisingly there's no information on the state of the ascent routes! The Albert I refuge closes on September 18. 

Mer de Glace / Leschaux: The lower route across the Charpoua glacier is still passable (see photo below), although the glacier is particularly jumbled and regularly hit by rockfalls. Lots of people on the Drus traverse and on the Contamine-Bastien route, which was climbed in good conditions (see the cahier de course).

The rimaye on the Moine normal route is open across the entire width of the face and is starting to be tricky to climb, but it can be done! The same goes for access to the routes on the E face.
Weather permitting, we'll be here until 30 September at the Couvercle refuge! At the Leschaux, on the other hand, it's the last weekend to take advantage of the guarded refuge. 

On the left bank, the end-of-season clean-up has already begun and the Envers des Aiguilles hut will close on 15 September! The Requin hut has been in winter mode since the beginning of the month.

Aiguille du Midi / Glacier du Géant / Helbronner: As we said at the start of this update, there hasn't been that much snow at altitude. So not much has changed in this sector. The Plan de l'Aiguille, Cosmiques and Torino huts remain open! The Grandes Jorasses traverse has been well-travelled, with decent but often “mixed" conditions. The Tronchey arête was also climbed in good conditions. On the other hand, every one is agreed: the descent via the normal route is no longer the stuff of dreams, with almost constant rock falls during the day both in the Whymper couloir and the Planpincieux glacier, which is wide open. 

Mont Blanc via the Goûter: After a short break, the guides from the Chamonix and St Gervais - Les Contamines companies are back on the Mont Blanc normal route. As always, be careful about the timing of the traverse of the Goûter couloir. 

Bassin de Tré-la-Tête: The Conscrits hut is still open but has telephone problems: contact them for the moment by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Aiguilles Rouges: This is the last weekend to take advantage of the ski lifts at Planpraz/Brévent and La Flégère!

Translated with kind 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: 6 September 2023

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 6 September 2023

The weather seems to be on a yo-yo as summer draws to a close! After last week's cold snap and snow fall the beginning of September has been marked by unusually hot weather for the time of year. The 0°C isotherm is once again soaring above 5000m and rock fall has resumed in the high mountains, particularly on the west face of the Drus, which had been relatively spared since 2011! Although the snow fall has very temporarily improved conditions for the few snow routes that were still being done, things are changing fast and not in a good way. 

Le Tour 
Conditions are fine on the normal route on the Aiguille du Tour. The Col Supérieur du Tour is starting to go black again. Beware of the instability reported and observed near the the Aiguille Purtscheller: it is recommended to go around it low down before heading to the Aiguille du Tour rimaye, which is crossable in the middle on a snow bridge. The Petite Fourche and the Tête Blanche are also doable. 

Argentière & Charpoua

The refuges have not been staffed since September 1 and August 25 respectively. Consequently, there is little information on these sectors.

Talèfre Basin
The normal route on the Aiguille du Moine is still in good condition! It's a bit more complicated for the east face routes, where the rimayes on the Contamine-Labrunie and Aureille-Feutren are opening up more and more. The Nonne-Evêque traverse was busy, as was the Moine ridge on the Verte for the first time in a while! On the latter, the rimaye is fine, but the ridge is quite dry with rock fall in places.


It's all over for the rock on the north face of the Grandes Jorasses. Despite the current heat, it's not dry enough at this time of year. But everything else is good! The west face of the Petites Jorasses and the Aiguille de Leschaux are dry and approaches are still possible for good climbers. All the routes around the refuge are dry too, and the non-glacial approaches are well-suited to this warm end of season weather! And now more than ever: call before going up to make sure the warden hasn't gone for a walk ;) 

Envers des Aiguilles / Requin

There’s plenty of climbing up here! The rimayes are crossable and on the whole everything's being done!


The Tacul satellites are all dry. The classics (Entrèves, Marbrées) are being climbed, with a nice rock fall reported this morning below the Aiguilles Marbrées (see photo below). On the Dent du Géant, we once again have to watch out for rock falls on the approach to the Salle à Manger - which is also very dry. Plenty of people on the normal route on the Dent du Géant, as well as on the traverse of the Rochefort arête, where the conditions were inevitably worthy of a September: fairly dry on the whole, but bullet hard snow/ice in the morning. No info on the Grandes Jorasses traverse, but we'd love to hear from you!

Aiguille du Midi
Even though the recent snow has been good for the arête, it's still quite technical with a good section of ice under the rocks and several crevasses to get round. And it's not going to get any easier. The same goes for the Cosmiques arête: it's dry again and there's a real risk of it collapsing. Although very crevassed at this time of year, the Vallée Blanche traverse is still possible in the early morning for good climbers. The Mont Blanc du Tacul normal route is being climbed in decent conditions, although a few serac falls have crossed the route in recent days. On the Trois Monts route, we're having trouble getting precise feedback on the Maudit. The ramp used to cross the large rimaye on the face collapsed a few weeks ago and a new route has been opened on the far right, under the rocks. However, the passage is very technical, steep and exposed to both seracs and falling rocks.
Plan de l'Aiguille

Another great place to climb in these hot weather conditions! 

Mont Blanc via the Goûter

Conditions had improved very temporarily with the snowfall, but it didn't last! The rock falls were back with a vengeance in the Goûter couloir. There is snow on 2/3 of the spur below the refuge. Above, the conditions are fine, although you still need to be careful when crossing crevasses and snow bridges, which are weakened by the positive temperatures all the way to the summit during the day! 

Bionnassay / Tré-la-Tête

The Durier refuge has been unguarded since yesterday. The approach to the hut has been made tricky by rock falls on the spur: plan to climb early! On the traverse of the Aiguille de Bionnassay, conditions are good with good steps and no ice. Around the Conscrits/Miage, the traverse of the Dômes is in good condition (no ice) with an out-and-back via the Bérangère. Mont Tondu also looks possible!

Translated with kind 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: 28 August 2023

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 28 August 2023

After the heatwave, the snow and the cold! It’s all very confusing.

A little "inter-season" update after the storm!

There is:
  • 80cm of fresh, windblown snow at the Aiguille du Midi / Refuge des Cosmiques. 
  • 40cm at Conscrits - 60 cm at the Bérangère 
  • Around 60cm at the Refuge du Goûter.
  • 30cm at the Couvercle hut.
  • Around 10cm at 2500m.

The snowfall was accompanied by strong winds favouring the formation of accumulation zones and wind slab in the high mountains. The risk of avalanches should therefore not be underestimated, particularly over the next 48 hours with the forecast return of clear skies.

The glaciers, which have suffered from the recent hot weather, are going to be treacherous. This layer of snow has potentially formed weak snow bridges hiding the crevasses.

Before this episode, the mountains were very dry and most of the snow/mixed routes were impassable or in poor condition. Whilst the snow will improve certain routes, it won't bring others routes back into condition.

Classic routes such as the Aiguille du Tour or Mont Blanc via the Aiguille du Goûter will soon be retracked.

The Charpoua and Requin refuges now operate in winter mode. The Argentière hut closes on 1 September and the Durier hut on 5 September. 

The snow line has temporarily dropped to around 2200m. The hiking trails are already drying out and can be done with good boots.

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: 22 August 2023

22 August 2023: Urgent Update on Mountain Conditions in Chamonix

The following is a translation of the La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for the Chamonix area, originally published on 22 August 2023:

In case you hadn't noticed, it's hot!

Very hot, particularly at altitude, with the zero isotherm hovering around 5000m for several days now. No refreezing below 4000m.

This is having a major impact on snow conditions, which are deteriorating rapidly (Aiguille du Tour, normal route on Mont Blanc, etc.) and becoming increasingly technical or even impracticable. The glaciers are also suffering and the snow bridges are weakened: there have been several crevasse falls recently (Dôme du Goûter, Col du Géant, Mont Maudit...).

There has also been an upsurge in rock falls over the last few days in certain areas ("All aspects are affected, although the W, NW and N sides are predominant, and between 3300 and 3800m. Even ’solid' areas have been affected"): Grands Mulets, Cosmiques arête (on both sides), W face of Blaitière, Goûter couloir (a rescue this morning following a major rock fall at 5:30AM), Courtes, Droites, Nant Blanc & Pic Sans Nom NW sides, access to the Durier hut from the Domes de Miage, Rochefort, Dent du Géant area, Aig. du Tacul, W face of the Drus, N face of the Grandes Jorasses (Croz spur).

Make enquiries, adapt your choice of activities and outings and don't hesitate to postpone certain climbs.



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.