Conditions at altitude are becoming even drier, meaning even fewer snow and mixed routes are now feasible. Likewise, the approaches to, especially the bergschrunds, some rock routes are becoming more complicated.
The weather is due to improve over the next few days and with the rise in temperatures, one needs to be particularly vigilant!
- Albert 1er : There has been no activity on the Chardonnet for 10 days. The normal routes on the Aiguille du Tour, Tête Blanche and Petite Fourche are still OK, though the snow bridges on the glacier are becoming more fragile. The Table ridge is feasible if started directly by the ridge, (initially bad rock.) Good conditions also for classic rock routes (Purtscheller S Ridge, Dorées Traverse).
- Argentière : No recent news, though the rock routes above the hut are in condition. (some stonefall danger). The return path from Rognan to Lognan has been re-equipped and now feels less exposed.
- Charpoua : The Dru traverse is in good condition, no problems for the glacier, up and down, (done on 13/07). Rock routes are also OK (Contamine, Sale Athé…)
A lot of parties on the Dru N Face, even though this area is subject to stonefall and summer is not the ideal time.
- Couvercle : Only the rock routes are to be recommended and the approach/return for some of these are becoming more awkward. Most of the snow and mixed routes are not currently feasible, though conditions change rapidly and it is best to consult the hut warden.
- Leschaux : The routes near the hut are dry and the approach to the Petites Jorasses remains OK. The approach to the Périades is also OK, if there is a good night time freeze. The upper part of the Walker Spur still has plenty of snow but with the rise in temperatures one would expect it to be climbed by the start of next week. Feel free to ask the warden for more information.
- Envers des Aiguilles : In general, the bergschrunds are technically difficult in this area. The Mer de Glace face of the Grepon is not being done because of difficulties in descent, (bad state of the Nantillons glacier and abseilling down “Le soleil à rdv avec la lune” is long and complicated.) No problems for the routes without glacier approach (Tour Verte, Pointes des Nantillons, Pilier des Contes, Dalles de l’Envers).
- Le Requin : The approaches to the hut and routes are still in good condition and the rock is free of snow. The way up the Valley Blanche remains OK, (with care.)
- Torino : The Rochefort Arete is being done, the bit of snow that fell in a recent storm has improved conditions. Good conditions for the traverse of the Grand Jorasses and the normal route, (2 short sections of ice). The Kuffner and Aiguilles du Diable traverse were done yesterday, some verglas but basically OK.
- Les Cosmiques : Mont Blanc by the Trois Monts was done on 13/07 and is popular : the Tacul is OK, (care needed at the 2nd bergschrund), the lefthand track on the Maudit avoids exposure to the seracs , (especially on ascent) but has 2 sections of ice, (use of ice screws possible.) Ice just below the surface on the traverse to the Brenva Col and the Mur de la Côte, but should not slow one down.
Conditions difficult for the Pointes Lachenal, bare ice on the 1st and 3rd summits both on ascent and descent. The abseil area has loose blocks, expect to make a 30m abseil.
Triangle du Tacul very (too) dry.
- Plan de l’Aiguille : The latest information is that conditions on the Frendo have got a lot worse. Crampons are still needed for the approach to the Peigne N Face.
- Les Grands Mulets : The warden is going back up to the hut on the 14th July, so we expect an update of conditions for this route up Mont Blanc on the 16th.
- Tête Rousse/ Goûter : For the moment the condition of the approach to the Gouter is “normal” but the stonefall frequency could increase with a rise in temperatures. It is important to reduce the risk by crossing the Grand couloir as early as possible, (before the afternoon). The recent storms have cleared the soft snow off the Tete Rousse glacier and crampons are needed to cross it.
- Plan Glacier : There has been some storm damage to the footpaths, but no major problems for the approach. Some awkward sections on the approach to the Durier, though nothing too « dramatic ».
- Les Conscrits : The Mont Tondu is very dry and not to be recommended at moment. The Dômes de Miage are feasible, preferably there and back to the central summit. Concerning the traverse, the descent to Bérangère is bare ice and requires excellent cramponning technique. Nobody has been on the Aiguilles de Tré-la-Tête and the Lex Blanche for some time now.
- Robert Blanc : The Lanchettes Ridge and the Col des Glaciers on the Dôme des Glaciers are in condition. There have been parties on the Petite Aiguille des Glaciers and Mont Tondu. The Glaciers des Glaciers is OK for the moment.
- Monzino : Some parties on the Innominata, feasible but more technical than usual. The rock routes in this area are very popular.
- Gonella : The normal Italian route up Mont Blanc is well frequented and with no particular problems, (the route goes over a snow bridge which is solid for the moment).
- Hiking : Good conditions for the Buet, (good boots and poles suffice). The paths below Flégère are open again, except for the 4x4 track under the cable car which will open on 28th July.