Cooler mornings, shorter days, summer is coming to an end and autumn is coming!
At altitude, a predominantly north / northeast / northwest wind has persisted for several days which has made things feel very cold.
The mountains continue to steadily dry out but there are few noticeable changes from our previous update.
The classics (normal routes Aiguille du Tour - Tete Blanche - Petite Fourche - Arête de la Table) remain popular and doable. The Forbes arête on the Chardonnet: the descent is very technical and exposed (black ice).
The refuge closes on September 5th. The season finishes with rock routes and possibly the Col du Tour Noir.
The gardienne has finished her season and the refuge is now operating in winter mode.
The Charpoua glacier is still in OK condition for the end of August in both ascent and descent.
The Drus traverse (a route not to be underestimated) is still in good condition.
Moine ridge on the Verte: The rimaye is still OK. Be conscious of the time of day because there is still a lot of snow and a little ice (crampons essential).
The climbing routes above the refuge are snow free. You can still climb on the Petits Jorasses. The belays on the voie Anouk have been refurbished.
The balcony path is still being used.
Access to the Talèfre glacier from the Couvercle has been re-equipped (addition of a rope and steps)
The refuge closes on September 4th. Rock climbing is the focus at the moment. Access to the Dent du Requin is in good nick.
Little change. Conditions are still good on the Marbrées traverse and the Aiguille d'Entrèves.
The Petit Flambeau is snow free.
Generally good conditions on the Jorasses traverse (the ridge is OK- well marked descent) but few teams due to the wind.
Arêtes de Rochefort: Getting up to the salle a manger is snow free. Pretty good conditions on the traverse despite a bit of ice and some rather thin bits.
Kuffner arête: The direct start is gradually becoming snow free (ice and mixed sections). The rimaye is crossable on the right hand side. The Androsace snow arete is very lean.
Traverse of the Aiguilles du Diable: The access couloir is becoming snow free: be careful if there are several teams in the couloir.
Crossing the Vallée Blanche: The glacier is opening up: beware of dangerous snow bridges on the main track on the Helbronner side
Aiguille du Midi sector
Mont-Blanc traverse: This route is becoming very technical. The rimaye on the Tacul is becoming more complicated. The rimaye at the top is still crossable but on a bridge above a big hole: a snow anchor (“corps mort”/dead man) is in place above (do not hesitate to use it). 2 technical ice axes are recommended for the section over the Maudit (bullet hard snow).
Triangle du Tacul: You can still think about the Contamine Grisolle. The Chéré couloir looks a bit sad.
Traverse of the Lachenal: There are frequent serac falls - you must keep well to the right on the descent and not dawdle (or even don't go).
Inominata and Brouillard arêtes are being climbed.
Peuterey ridge: Busy.
Eccles couloir: Still snow.
Ratti Vitali, Red pillar, Freney pillar: Some snow on the ledges.