The return (or arrival!) of summer.
After the snowfalls of the last few weeks (or months), the mountains need to dry up, settle down, and stabilise. The wind does not help the process, nor the sometimes random refreezing (and the risk of thunderstorms).
With a good freeze, conditions on the classic snow / mixed routes are generally good for mid-August. With the return of temperatures worthy of an August in the 21st century, we must now accept a night in a hut (few routes are accessible off the first lift).
The rock remains a safe bet!
To sum up, if there is a good freeze, good weather, and it’s the right grade for you, all should go well!
The classics (arête de la table, aiguille du Tour, Tête Blanche, Petite Fourche) of the sector are still OK.
There were teams today on the Forbes arete which should be in good condition with a good freeze (there was too much snow at the start of the week, one party was "scared off"). No news from the Migot spur (a team scheduled this morning branched off on the Forbes arete without further information).
The rock is dry (except the passage on the N side to bypass the Aiguilles Penchées) on the Aiguilles Dorées traverse.
A small ice pitch on the upper slope of the Milieu Glacier: this route is now reserved for seasoned climbers.
Arête du Jardin, arête de Flèche Rousse, arête Charlet Straton, col du Tour Noir OK.
The rock routes are dry (Versant Satanique re-equipped by M. Piola).
Some ropes have done the Drus traverse and the Contamine on the south face.
The American direct has been done but it’s starting to be late in the season.
Rock: all dry.
No recent information but conditions probably similar to other sectors: classic snow routes possible with a good freeze, rock routes OK.
Walking is possible (balcons of the Mer de Glace) and rock climbing (west face of the Petites Jorasses, Eperon des Cristalliers; maybe still a little too much snow for the Aiguille de Leschaux). A party retreated at the end of the third pitch of "Boule à facette" (Aiguille de Leschaux) following a rockfall.
No one on the Periades side which remains possible (visually) with a good freeze.
Envers des Aiguilles
We have climbing! The rimaye of the République/Grepon Mer de Glace is still passable (on the right; step over the gap to gain a foothold on the slab).
A lot of people on the classics (Rochefort arete, Dent du Géant, Marbrées, Entrêves, SE ridge Tour Ronde).
Kuffner arete (lots of trail breaking yesterday) and the traverse of the Aiguilles du Diable (snow, more technical than usual) also tracked.
A few parties on the traverse of the Jorasses which is however very snowy and therefore technically much harder.
There is climbing on the Tacul satellites.
Aiguille du Midi sector
Here too, the classics of the sector are popular (Pointes Lachenal, Cosmiques arete).
The Midi-Plan is in excellent condition for the season (if there is a freeze). One (or more) parties are engaged on the crossing of the Chamonix Aiguilles without further information for the moment (ok visually).
Triangle du Tacul: good general conditions. Teams on the Chéré couloir and the Contamine-Mazeaud.
The Trois Monts route was retracked yesterday.
Nothing to report as far as rock climbing goes.
Plan de l'Aiguille
Frendo not tracked. Should be OK with a good freeze (but difficult to know in advance about the freeze!!!).
Parties on the Peigne-Pélerins- Deux Aigles traverse, that should be OK.
Charmoz-Grepon: nicely dry except for the Z-crack which is still a bit wet. A bit of snow in the Charmoz_Grepon couloir.
The Nantillons glacier is in good condition.
Mont Blanc via the Aiguille du Goûter
The snow is gradually melting in the section between Tête Rousse and the Goûter. Good conditions above.
It is our turn to insist on the fact that this is a mountaineering route, to be considered only with the appropriate skills, good weather, and not alone.
Conscrits Dômes de Miage / Bionnassay
Access to the Conscrits refuge via the glacier is now not recommended.
Excellent conditions on the crossing of the Dômes de Miage (the glacier is beginning to open up a bit, the slope above the Col de la Bérangère is still snow, there is snow down to within 100 m of the refuge on the descent of the Bérangère).
Good conditions also for the traverse of the aiguilles de Tré-la-Tête apart from the descent from the Col des Glaciers (you would need to continue on the Lanchettes arete).
Mont Tondu is still ok (the ledges on the lower part are not very pleasant: gravel).
Access to the Durier refuge still ok via Plan Glacier or from the Dômes de Miage.
Several parties today on the Bionnassay traverse.
Lots of wind and snow!
Those who tried the Peuterey integral turned around at the Noire. The Aiguille Blanche via the Schneider ledges will be possible once the mountain has finished "settling".
Complicated conditions on the pilier Rouge du Brouillard (snow on the ledges, ice in the cracks). Ditto on the Freney pillar which is in "winter" conditions. To be continued.
One party on the Innominata. One party on the Brouillard arete but rescued at the col Emile Rey on Tuesday 10th (wind, too much snow?).