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: 2 June 2023

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 2 June 2023

At last, the seasons seem to be getting their act together! At the start of June, conditions look like...well, the beginning of June. The winter snow is slowly but surely melting in the mid-mountains, while it is settling and transforming in the high mountains.


Although the high altitude classics are still inaccessible (Grand Balcon nord, lacs Blanc/du Brévent/Cornu/Noirs/Bleu/Pormenaz, Buet, Albert 1er, Jonction, Brévent, etc.), more and more routes are becoming accessible. 

You can find more information in our updated hiking article here

On the Tour du Mont Blanc, conditions are still tricky, with heavy snow covering all the cols: Col du Bonhomme - Col de la Seigne - Grand Col Ferret - Col de Balme - Col du Brévent.

Tré la Tête / Miage

No major changes around here. The Conscrits hut is still reached via the glacier, and there's snow once you're past the Mauvais Pas. It's fine on foot all the way to the hut, but it's better to have snowshoes on, especially for the descent. 

The N face of Tré-la-Tête has been done, with 40m of ice below the summit ridge. The traverse of the Aiguilles de Tré-la-Tête was done in good conditions all the way to the Dôme des Glaciers, which is rare enough to be worth mentioning!

On the Miage, the conditions on the Dômes traverse were “formidables". The ridge between the col and the Aiguille de la Bérangère is narrow and snowy, which might be imposing for some people.

The Mettrier arete is also in superb condition (see our “cahier de courses"). The Plan Glacier hut open this week end.

On the Armancette descent, its skis off at 2,100m, or 2,000m for the more adventurous!

The North Face of Mont Maudit, Taken on 28 May 2023

Mont Blanc

Things are off to a flying start on the normal route! The Tête Rousse and Goûter refuges are now open and conditions are generally good. As for uplift in the area, the Bellevue cable car opens this weekend (Saturday 3) but you'll have to wait until the 10 June for the TMB. A special feature this year is that the terminus will be at Bellevue or the Col du Mont Lachat. Only three trains/day will continue to the Nid d'Aigle (departure from Le Fayet 7am, 11am, 3pm; descent from NA 8.10am, 12.10pm, 4.10pm) and these will be reserved for mountaineers with a valid refuge reservation. Departure only from Le Fayet or St Gervais for the moment. As for access to the Goûter refuge, the couloir is filled with snow. It's fine for the ascent, but be careful on the descent: more than ever, you need good crampon technique to avoid slipping/falling. There is a good track from the hut to the summit. The NW face of the Aiguille de Bionnassay has been skied regularly over the last few days, in varying degrees of difficulty (beware, the conditions are changing quite a bit at this time of year).

A start has also been made for the Trois Monts, which can be skied and hiked in excellent conditions (little or no ice, and only one axe needed).

The Mont Blanc ski season via the Grands Mulets is continuing nicely! Little has changed since the last update, we're still favouring the Jonction low down on the way up, and the Dôme's N ridge is still covered in snow (with underlying ice in places) but it's slowly easing off. Bosses arête in motorway mode with the opening of the normal route refuges. Cold snow on the N face as far as the Grand Plateau, the two rimayes at the bottom of the face still going well (the one at the top is crossed on the right). You can ski as far as the Plan de l'Aiguille.

Aiguille du Midi

All the classic alpine routes are being done: Vallée Blanche, Pointes Lachenal, normal route on the Tacul, arête “Lolo” (Laurence) and the Cosmiques Arête. Conditions have deteriorated a little on the Triangle du Tacul, with ice showing a little on the Contamine Grisolle and Mazeaud. Still good in the Négri and the Chéré. A few teams on the Mallory (ascent), but no further information. The Vent du Dragon and Jottnar gullies have been climbed, dry and in decent conditions respectively. There are still a few tracks descending the VB, but the passage through the Salle à Manger is becoming really tricky.

On the other hand, the rock season is gradually kicking off: the Rébuffat on the S face and the Eperon des Cosmiques have been climbed (snow at the end of the 5th pitch on the former, an exit in inconsistent snow to reach the ridge on the latter). The Contamine on the S face of the Aiguille du Midi looks dry (from a distance), and the Contamine on the Pointe Lachenal has also been climbed and is also dry.  


As elsewhere, all the classics are well-travelled, and approaches are being done on foot: the Dent du Géant, traverses of the Marbrées and the Aiguilles d'Entrèves, the Tour Ronde via the Gervasutti couloir, the N face, the "winter normal route" (make sure you descend before 10am as it gets very hot) or via the Col Freshfield or the full SE ridge. Some teams turned back on the Rochefort ridge traverse last weekend: too much snow but no news since. The Kuffner ridge had also been done, looks in good condition (approach on foot, very easy descent from the shoulder to pick up the Trois Monts path).

Envers des Aiguilles

It's slowly drying out up here. Due to glacial retreat, access to the foot of the ladders is not easy. There is snow 150m above the top of the ladders, so take care on some exposed spots to reach the refuge. Average freeze in the area over the last few days. The Tour Rouge and Tour Verte are dry and teams have started to climb.

Talèfre Basin

Access to the Couvercle is still tricky. For the Egralets ladders, you have to go well beyond the ladders to climb up to a big rock on the Leschaux glacier. Be careful about the timing of the climb: snow residue can release rocks balanced on the slabs above! Also be careful on the snow slope below the refuge. Higher is better. Here too, snowshoes are still good to have for the approaches and returns (skis are beginning to be less useful). The Whymper is still in good condition, as is the Pointe Isabelle (all snow). The normal route on the Droites has been done, with a step to get past the rimaye. The traverse of the Courtes is good. Arête du Jardin will soon be OK, but still too early for the Moine.

Argentière Glacier

This area is waking up! There may be a few people using the winter room. The approach is on foot (snowshoes are still far from a luxury!) and on skis. Skis on just above Lognan.

Some people in the Couturier, but no further information. The Y to the Aiguille d'Argentière was climbed in good conditions, the lower step is all snow (2m, steep). Glacier du Milieu can be climbed on foot (down climbing the narrows) and on skis (abseil).

Watch out for construction machinery on the Pierre à Ric during the week! 

Le Tour

Great conditions up here too. The ascent to the Albert Ier refuge is still via the moraine, with snow at around 2,300m. On the Chardonnet, the Migot spur and the descent have been done on foot in superb conditions: a little ice on the spur for ice screws, the rest snow. Average freeze over the last few days, with a few exceptions. The Forbes Arête and the other gullies are untracked. The ridge from the Fenêtre supérieure du Tour to the Grande Fourche has been done out and back in good conditions. Normal route on the Aiguille du Tour, Tête blanche and Petite Fourche on foot, also very good conditions. North face of Tête blanche climbed yesterday, rimaye visible in places. Couloir de la Table and Arête de la Table very good and tracked despite the large amounts of snow. 


You should be able to ski up here for another couple of weeks. The track along the lake after the dam has been cleared of snow, which adds a little portage before heading towards the Veudale gorge. The Perrons traverse could be considered for mountaineering (ice axes and crampons required).

Aiguilles Rouges

The climbing season has started at Les Chéserys! Otherwise, there's still plenty of snow higher up.



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: 24 May 2023

La Chamoniarde
 mountain conditions report for 24 May 2023

It's time for a change! Winter is gradually giving way to spring and big boots are bit by bit replacing ski boots. The poor weather of the past few weeks is gradually giving way to better weather for mountain activities.

Despite everything, there is still a lot of snow above 1,900m on north facing slopes and above 2,100m on southerly slopes. For the moment - and this is likely to change relatively quickly - skis or snowshoes still seem to be pretty necessary for most outings in the high mountains, while crampons are often good to have at the bottom of the bag for hikes in the “moyenne montagne" (see the dedicated Spring Hikes article).

Tré la Tête / Miage:

Skis on after the Mauvais Pas to go up to the Conscrits refuge. A poor refreeze and lots of purging around the refuge. A bit of activity on the Dômes de Miage, which are being done there and back. On the Armancette you can ski down to about 2,100m. The N face of the Dômes de Miage is quite white, probably quite loaded as well. The guardian of the Plan Glacier is going up this weekend.

Mont Blanc: 

The normal route is about to get going. The Tête Rousse and Goûter open this weekend (respectively the 26th and 27th). There is a track in on foot and on skis to reach the two huts. As everywhere in the massif, there is still a lot of snow up there! Beware of purges on the slopes of the Goûter, plan to climb early. The Grand Couloir was skied in good conditions a couple of days ago, but it's been hot since. 

Still good conditions for the ski ascent by the Grands Mulets! The low track on the Jonction is good. The Plateaux has been tracked in ascent and descent (beware of seracs...). More people have been up the N ridge of the Dôme (recommended!). There is some ice under the snow for 10 meters on the arête, otherwise it's good. More comfortable with 2 ice axes though. There is no track on the right side of the arête as there is ice in places. A nice ski track higher up, which goes around the ice under the Vallot (bring couteaux, hard snow). Bosses arête OK. Good skiing on the N face of Mont Blanc this morning. 

The Trois Monts are still waiting but it shouldn't be long now. The Maudit north face in particular looks good compared to previous years. Be careful with the large amounts of snow on this route.

Aiguille du Midi:

The snow is starting to settle with a reasonable refreeze at the Col du Midi. For the moment, the sector is about the only one where approaches can be considered on foot. Teams in the Pélissier gully turned back at the penultimate pitch (inconsistent snow difficult to protect and a threatening cornice at the summit), but conditions were OK until then. The Lachenal traverse, the Arête Laurence and the Cosmiques Arête are being done regularly in good conditions. Top conditions also in the Triangle du Tacul, where all the classics such as the Contamines and the Chéré are being climbed at the moment (a bit of black ice in places at the start of the Mazeaud). The north face of Mont Blanc du Tacul has been tracked up and down, on skis and on foot.

A team did the Midi-Plan and came to a stop at the Rognon: lots of snow. Some people on skis on the N face of the Aiguille du Midi: Eugster, Mallory, Col du Plan ... not in super conditions. 

It's almost the end for the Vallée Blanche, now reserved for experienced skier-mountaineers: the Salle à Manger is still passable but it's opening up a lot, lots of purging on the southerly slopes below the Requin hut with brown snow below. Skis off at the bend in the glacier then once at the grotto you have to walk back to Montenvers (grotto and gondola closed).

The N faces of the Aiguilles du Plan and du Midi, and in the foreground the Grand Balcon Nord still entirely under snow
(and therefore not accessible for hiking, as you can see!)


Talèfre Basin:

The "least bad" access to the Couvercle at the moment seems to be the Egralets ladders, the others presenting either risks of purging and falling, or risks of rockfalls. The moraine under the ladders is still unstable and you must be careful. The Whymper was climbed this morning in good conditions (alpine, not for skiing). The S faces of the basin (Droites, Courtes col des Cristaux...) as well as the Pointe Isabelle are quite white and the rimayes are well covered. What about the quality of the snow over there though? And as some people have asked: it's too early for the Moine or other rocky routes in the area, as elsewhere in the massif.

Argentière Basin 

Not much activity and therefore not much information on the area. Skis on just below Lognan. For the rest, the webcams of the Argentière refuge are your friend.

Le Tour

The ascent to the Albert I hut is by the moraine, which is dry until above the water intake. The refuge is reopening this Saturday! Above, tracks on foot (keen people!) and on skis towards the Aiguille du Tour. 


A lot of people in the area since the opening of the road! Towards the gorges de la Veudale / Pointe de la Terrasse : skis on just after the dam and the conditions are pretty good beyond, with the precious spring snow which has been so absent this season.

Aiguilles Rouges / Buet

It's still too early to consider rock climbing in the area. A bit of activity on le Buet, where there is snow just above the Pierre à Bérard refuge.



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: 17 May 2023

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 17 May 2023

What can we say...

Certainly beautiful weather for the mountains and the rivers, but difficult for actually getting out in the mountains! “Capricieuse” and unpredictable weather in this month of May. We could say go south and climb, in Finale, in Sardinia or to go to Lourdes but it's not much better there! Weather windows have been rare.

On the positive side, it's snowing high up. Faces, couloirs and glaciers continue to get healthier before the summer. Skis and snowshoes are essential to get around in the mountains.

There has been very little activity in the mountains in recent weeks. So here are a few brief news items:

  • The road to the Emosson dam will be open from this Wednesday evening.
  • A few people have been up to the Albert 1er refuge. Up the moraine path, snow at the water intake at about 2,000m. Then a good trail on foot to the refuge. There are no tracks beyond that point, so you'll need skis or snowshoes to get around.
  • As the work has progressed faster than expected, the decree which regulated access to the Argentière basin has been repealed.
  • The Mer de Glace gondola and grotto are closed until 2 June.
  • The Couvercle refuge is open, but access is rather complicated. Contact the guardian who should have a bit more information today!
  • The Aiguille du Midi cable car is open, as is the Cosmiques refuge. The Skyway will reopen on 26 May. The arête is now completely unequipped. Climbing teams have been to the Pointes Lachenal, Contamine-Negri, Chéré, Voie Nomale on the Tacul (beware of avalanche risk), Cosmiques Arête. The approaches have been tracked. For the Trois Monts, waiting for a suitable weather window. The traverse between the Col du Mont Maudit and the Col de la Brenva will be on ice (to be confirmed).
  • The Grands Mulets refuge is also still open (25 cm of snow between yesterday and tonight). Access is fine (skirt the Pélerins glacier and the Jonction low down). An attempt via the Goûter N ridge led to the summit last Saturday, a great way to optimise the time slot!
  • The huts on the normal route of Mont Blanc via the Aiguille du Goûter have again postponed their opening dates (Tête Rousse on Friday 26 May; Goûter on Saturday 27 May) due to the weather conditions and the heavy snow cover.
  • The Plan Glacier hut opens tomorrow until Sunday 21 May, then from 26 to 29 May and finally 7 days a week from 3 June. Trainers up to the second moraine.
  • The Conscrits hut (30cm of fresh snow over the last 24 hours) is also open. The snow starts just after the Mauvais Pas. Mont Tondu and the N faces of Tré la Tête look good. On the descent by the Armancette glacier, skis off at around 2,000m.

As far as hiking goes, the snow is slowly but surely receding! No big change then. Many of the high altitude hikes, as well as treks lasting several days, are not yet possible. We regularly update the practicable hikes in our dedicated news.



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: 3 May 2023

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 3 May 2023

We are finally seeing the sun again for more than a few hours...!

High mountain activity is starting up again, we will have more information in the next days.

It snowed a lot at altitude this weekend (about 1 m above 3,500m). The snowpack is settling, the couloirs and faces are purging. There are still large amounts of snow depending on the aspect and altitude. You will have to choose your route carefully and get home early, the sun is heating up strongly and the isotherm will rise again over the next few days. Beware of the quality of the refreeze which could be altered by overcast skies or a SW wind at night. You are likely to find all sorts of snow and conditions are not always easy for skiing!

It is the off-season and most of the lifts and refuges are closed.

The Montenvers train and the Aiguille du Midi cable car remain open.

As for the refuges, the Couvercle, the Cosmiques, the Grands Mulets and the Conscrits are still staffed. 


Some bits of random information:

  • The Emosson road will not open before May 15.

  • Access to the Argentière basin may be complicated at times due to a local decree.

  • Access to the Couvercle refuge via the central couloir (also possible via the Pierre à Béranger but be careful as soon as it gets hot = rock falls).  Some teams are planning the Whymper, normal route on the Droites and to Pointe Isabelle tomorrow.

  • The Vallée Blanche is still possible. The Z has been unequipped but the rope on the ridge will remain in place for another ten days. Be careful with the crevasses of the Salle à Manger, as it will start to change. 15-20 minutes walk to reach the grotto, but that’s fine. Average skiability in the Vallée Blanche (undergoing transformation), Vallée Noire well ravaged by avalanches. Ascent to the Brèche Puiseux tracked without more info. One team turned back this morning heading to Pointe Yeld (loaded N face).

  • Some alpine activity around the Aiguille du Midi. The Cosmiques ridge was done yesterday, it is very snowy. Some teams today in the Chéré couloir without more information (except that it is still quite dry) and the Pellissier. The traverse of the Pointes Lachenal can be considered but the ice was not far away on the ascent to the first Point last week. Contamine-Negri tracked by skiers, Tacul being tracked and skied down.

  • Activity has resumed at the Grand Mulets. For the most courageous, skis on above the old La Para lift station (around 1,800m). From the Plan de l'Aiguille, descend below the station to follow the new summer path to bypass the moraines of the Pèlerins glacier from below. The lower track of the Jonction seems the safest. The N ridge of the Dôme was retracked this morning. There is an ice pitch, so bring steel crampons. It's a long way down and it might be a good idea to spend a second night at the refuge on the way down.

  • We are waiting for your feedback to feed the information chain!


Hiking conditions haven’t changed much. The website has the possible hikes at the moment. As every year, it is too early in May to have a go at the competition routes such as the 90 km...etc!



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.






After the miracle of last weekend, two people were less lucky and sadly lost their lives very early this morning (19 April) following a serac fall on the Petit Plateau. The toll could easily have been much worse as there were forty people on the route at the time.

Mont Blanc by Andrea Caramello
As indicated in the previous La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report, we remind all those who wish to climb this route that:
  • The plateau route is highly exposed to serac falls. The only way to protect yourself is not to expose yourself to it.

  • There is an alternative route to the ascent, admittedly longer and more technical but safer: the north arete of the Dôme du Goûter (unfortunately used by less than 20% of teams, often due to a lack of technical skill). The N ridge is currently tracked with 5-6m of ice on the exit (possibly blue ice) and can be done by all those who have the necessary skill and kit.

  • Mont Blanc on skis is a serious ski mountaineering route that is done in winter, in the high mountains. It is long and high, it is cold and often windy, the objective risks (crevasses, seracs, avalanches) are present all along the route, the ski descent is done in all types of snow. It is only for experienced ski-mountaineers who are physically and mentally prepared and adequately equipped (notably to protect themselves from the cold and wind and to do the ice pitches: proper steel crampons are necessary for the N ridge of the Dome and the Bosses ridge).


Translated with permission from an original report by La Chamoniarde.




Report: 15 April 2023

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 15 April 2023

A beautiful finish to the season (we are talking about mountain conditions!)

The episodes of good weather and poor weather continue to come and go. The snow cover keeps improving above 2,000m, and this is certainly a help to the glaciers and the faces at high altitude!

Generally speaking, we have had some good skiing lately. All the classic routes are possible. However, beware of the risk of avalanche which is, and will remain, present.

On the other hand, the good weather slots have been a bit short to engage in technical mountaineering (too much snow). Good conditions also in the Aiguilles Rouges massif.

The Flégère and Brévent lifts (except for the Planpraz TC, the Parsa chairlift and the Altitude 2000 TK which are extended until 23 April) are closing this Sunday. You can ski down to just above the Bérard buvette. More portage to get to Loriaz (refuge closed). A bit of portage from the Col de la Forclaz for the Pointe Ronde but good conditions too.

The Balme/Vallorcine ski area is also closing this Sunday.


On the Grands Montets (lifts open until 1 May), a "road" is being tracked by a piste machine (it will allow a digger to go up to the top of the pistes in order to start work as soon as the ski area is closed) at the level of the old Point de Vue piste (on the Argentière glacier side of the Col des Rachasses). So be careful in case of bad visibility!  

Still good conditions on the Vallée Blanche. Beware of falling seracs in the combe below the Requin hut, don't hang around. You can ski down not far from the grotto.  

No or little activity for the moment on the Trois Monts route. It's loaded with snow and we'll have to wait for a longer window for it to stabilise. The normal route on the Tacul was, however, tracked last weekend (not an easy route, especially to get out at the top, quite exposed to seracs from bottom to top). One team even went as far as the col du Mont Maudit without any further information. 

The ascent of Mont Blanc from the Grands Mulets hut started with a bang. As announced in our last update, the Jonction can be crossed quite well, the route by the Plateaux is in good condition (glaciers filled in) but the seracs remain. This was well shown by the huge serac fall that swept across the whole of the Petit Plateau and the track on Monday morning, with miraculously no one there at the time. The N ridge of the Dôme was tracked by the left side of the ridge to avoid the ice (5m of ice on the exit). It is certainly longer and more technical but "safety has a price". The summit has beeen reached by the Corridor route (again, a serac fall was reported) and via the Bosses ridge (no precise information but it did not pose any problems for the climbers). The N face has been skied (hard snow at the top). A reminder to all aspiring skiers: Mont Blanc is a serious route and you need to be "strong": it is long and high, the objective risks are important (crevasses, seracs...), it is cold: you need to be physically and psychologically prepared!

Snowshoeing is over! For hiking, there haven’t been any developments given the snowfall (see dedicated news).

When the weather is good, we can climb on the lower valley crags!

Because of nesting in progress, it is requested not to climb in the sector "Dièdre Frendo" and "la raflée” on Gaillands until the end of May (exact end date to be specified).


The Curalla via ferrata (Passy) is open!



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.