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                                    MOUNTAIN CONDITIONS 25/06/2020


The good weather this week has allowed for a lot of activity.

For the hikers in mid mountain, the conditions have slowly improved but there is still some snow, notably in Aiguilles Rouges.
The Chéserys lakes and Lac Blanc do not present a problem but the cols du Brévent, Cornu and Glière still have snow and the correct equipment is needed.

Likewise, for the Tour des Aiguilles Rouges, crampons could prove useful.

The Grand Balcon Nord traverse should be without problems despite two short snow patches where care is needed, especially with children..

On the Tour du Mont Blanc, there is still snow on the cols but a good track is being created.  Good boots and poles are highly recommended. The footbridge crossing the Bionnassay torrent on the way up to the Col de Tricot is in place.  

There is quite a lot of activity in the high mountain but the lack of night-time freezing is causing some problems for the snow routes. Even with early starts there is a risk of soft snow. 

Albert 1er sector :  With the hot weather the snow on the glaciers is very soft  Be aware of the time of day! 
Generally good conditions for the Forbes Arete and the  Migot Spur.
The normal routes on the Aiguille du Tour, Tête Blanche and Petite Fourche are popular

Table Ridge was done a few days ago, the party keeping their crampons on throughout the route, the approach by the Table Gully is OK if frozen.  

The approach to the hut by the moraine remains preferable until the snow patches disappear on the path from Charamillon/Col de Balme.

Argentière sector:  No problems with the approach via the glacier.  Rock climbing behind the hut OK.  The Glacier du Milieu, Col du Tour Noir and Flèche Rousse Ridge have been done recently in good conditions. The Y Couloir and the Couturier OK if there is a good freeze. No new information for the N faces.  

Mer de Glace/Leschaux sector:  The Y couloir on the Verte was done 23/6; soft snow on the approach.  The bergscrunds go in the middle. The ice steps have unconsolidated snow on the crux  Exit by the left branch with ice in the middle.  A party had problems on the Cardinal. No news concerning the Drus for the moment.

Couvercle Sector:  The Whymper couloir is in condition if there is a good freeze. This morning, Thursday, several parties turned back due to stonefall though some continued.  The normal routes on the Droites and Courtes, including the traverse, are tracked.  The S ridge integral on the Moine was done, still snow on the W side and on the descent.  The Moine ridge on the Verte looks to have a lot of snow.   The traverse to the Leschaux hut is mainly dry but two snow patches make an ice axe and crampons advisable.

A party took advantage of a weather window to do the Linceul a few days ago.  They bivvied on the summit and descended via the Boccalatte. The upper part of the Petites Jorasses still has snow.  The Périades and Aiguille de l'Eboulement look feasible if the time of day is respected.

Torino sector: Quite a few parties have done the Kuffner ridge, the Brenva Spur and the Aiguilles du Diable recently. The Tour Ronde is OK (N Face and Gervasutti) except for the normal route. The Aiguilles d'Entrèves and Marbrées traverses are OK. The Dent du Géant and the Rochefort Ridge are also being done. The rock routes are rapidly coming into condition with the heat.  

Cosmiques sector: Conditions for the normal route on the Tacul are very good.  The Mont Maudit is technically more difficult, two axes needed.  For the moment, the way up is by a little gully below the exit of the Kufner then traverse the entire slope to the Col du Mont Maudit.
The traverses of the Pointes Lachenal, Lolo (Laurence) and Cosmiques Ridges are in good condition.  Likewise, for the gullies; Chéré, Contamines Negri, Grisolle, Mazeaud and the Allemands. Be aware of snow sluffs later in the day.  The Midi-Plan is tracked, there and back until the Rognon.  The S facing rocks are snow free.

Plan de l'Aiguille sector:  Good conditions for the Frendo Spur (exit to the right), the Mallory-Porter and the Eugster diagonal if the time of day is respected.
Crampons and ice axe could prove useful  for the approach to routes on the Chamonix Aiguilles. There have been parties on the Peigne but the Blaitière is not free of snow yet The Lames Fontaine, Petits Charmoz traverse and “M” look feasible. 

Grands Mulets sector:  The hut is closed but there seems to be plenty of activity towards the Mont Blanc, via the plateaux and the N ridge of the Dôme, no further information.  Numerous snow sluffs have been observed.  

Tête Rousse/Goûter sector:  Generally good conditions for the normal route up Mont Blanc, though the ridge just before the Tournette rocks is very narrow.  .
The N face of the Aiguille de Bionnassay was done a few days ago.  

The Rognes path is officially closed, (council order.)

Durier sector:  Still a lot of snow on the approach to the hut, take care if there is not a good freeze or later in the day.
Some parties have done the Aiguille de Tricot and the Bionnassay traverse.
The traverse from the Dômes de Miage is OK if there is a good freeze.

Conscrits sector:  Generally good conditions in this sector.  The footbridge on the summer path has been repaired and is in place.

Robert Blanc sector:  Conditions are also good in this area.  
The TMB variants from the Fours and Enclave cols still have a lot of snow Good equipment is necessary, including crampons if the temperatures drop.

Italian side:  The Mont Blanc by the Aiguilles Grises has been done recently though some parties have turned back due to lack of freezing.  Parties have also turned back from the Tournette Spur

From the Monzino, the Pointe Innominata and the Innominata Ridge were done on 24/06. The rock routes on the Aiguille Croux, (Ottoz, Bertone-Zapelli, Cheney,) are popular; crampons and ice axe being useful for the approach.  There was a party on the  Gabarrou-Long, (Brouillard Red Pillars). No news for the moment about the Peuterey Ridge integral.

You will have worked out that the conditions are generally good  but that the high temperatures have created complications for certain routes and approaches.  Choosing the right route and respecting the time of day are the key factors for the moment.  There is a risk of storms in the coming days.

The OHM is looking forward to receiving information about your outings,