Report: 23 February 2024

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 23 February 2024.

Some quick bits of information before the weekend!

We’ve had a decent drop of snow at altitude from Thursday’s storm.

There has been a lot of rain at valley level and the cross country pistes are closed for the time being. On the other hand the Mer de Glace grotto opened last Saturday 24 February.

The Cosmiques hut opened last weekend.

The rain snow limit has been fluctuating around 1800m to 2000m, dropping temporarily to 1500m (a few centimetres of snow).

Above that there’s been an average of 30 to 50 cm of fresh snow at 2000 to 2500m. Around a metre at 3800 m. Very strong winds at all altitudes have been moving the snow around resulting in some big wind slabs.

The snowfall is obviously welcome and we should be able to make some great tracks.

Today’s avalanche control (PIDA) resulted in some big releases and therefore great caution will be needed in your choice of routes this weekend. See photos on the website from the Envers du Plan and Vallée Noire. 

Gullies will be heavily loaded for the next few days.

Not much change concerning walking and snow shoeing routes since our last update on the 15th February.

Please do not hesitate to consult us about your plans, whatever the activity and give us feedback on what you get up to. 


Translated with kind 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.




Road Closure Affecting Access to George Starkey Hut

Road Closure Affecting Access to George Starkey Hut

The Kirkstone pass is due to be closed for four weeks from 4 March 2024. The road will be closed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to all traffic, including bikes and walkers. Walkers will still be able to use the old 'Roman' footpath.
During this closure, you are advised to approach the hut from the Penrith Junction of the M6 and the A592.

Mount Everest Foundation Launches New Film

Mount Everest Foundation Launches New Film

The Mount Everest Foundation (MEF), an organisation administered jointly by the Alpine Club and the Royal Geographical Society, has, for 70 years, provided funding for exploration in the world's mountain regions. This has often taken the form of grants for mountaineering expeditions, but has increasingly focussed on funding for scientific expeditions as well. Some of the most iconic ascents in mountaineering history were supported by the Mount Everest Foundation; from the first ascent of Kangchenjunga in 1955 to the first complete traverse of the Mazeno Ridge in 2012.

To celebrate its 70 year history, the MEF has commissioned a new film detailing their proud legacy of exploration and outlining their current priorities. You can watch it below.



You can learn more about the MEF, including how to apply for funding, via their website.




Report: 15 February 2024

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 15 February 2024.

A very mild start to the half-term holidays. There was a little snow last weekend (especially at higher altitudes) but some real snowfall would be welcome!

The snow cover remains good above 1800m, but below that it’s poor!

So there's plenty of snow in the ski areas (except on the way back to the resort). At this time of year, we would like to remind you more than ever to ski with caution, moderating your speed and controlling your skis and your direction! Just a reminder: it is strictly forbidden to skin up the slopes.

Ski Touring

All the classic ski touring routes are popular (always keep your ski crampons close by). The light snowfalls on Sunday and Monday have eased conditions a little. Departures and returns without lifts remain very dry: skis on at the bridge on the Roman road at Les Contamines, at 1650m below the Loriaz refuge; the bottom of the Buet valley is still very sporty (little snow, avalanche debris to cross).

Nothing special to report as far as glaciers go either. The boardercross at the bottom of the Col du Passon is no problem for good skiers (one stream to cross). The Col du Chardonnet is easy to cross (NE-facing couloir snowy, rimaye filled with snow). Vallée Blanche/Brèche Puiseux sector (good general conditions): you can ski to the new Mer de Glace cable car (last ascent to Montenvers at 4pm!)

All the variants of the vallée blanche have been done. The salle à manger is fine but there are a few visible holes at the entrance and exit. The Pierre à Béranger and the central couloir (access to the Talèfre basin) look OK.


The snowfall at altitude (30-40 cm at the Aiguille du Midi) put a slight halt to the gully activity (while it purged and cleaned up) but didn't change the conditions much either. On the whole, it's dry (often quite dry and more technical than the ratings given in the guidebooks), although there's still plenty to climb in some areas (we have had no feedback since the start of the week and the snow): Pointe du Domino (Petit Viking); Triangle de la Verte (Ravanel-Frendo + Claire Chazal fairly dry, La Pépite in quite good conditions); Mini Blast still a victim of its success, cornice at the top of Rebuffat-Terray purged; E face of Tacul (Gabarrou-Albinoni, Modica-Noury, Supercouloir, Lafaille.); Requin sector (Sorenson-Eastman: initial section difficult to protect, moraine tricky, Ice is Nice: lots of threatening snow).

The ice climbing season didn't really happen this year. No feedback, but still a bit of activity on the left bank of the Argentière glacier (Déferlante, Mini Couloir; it's over for EMHM) and at Cogne.


Given the low snowfall at low altitude, there is exceptional hiking just about everywhere below 1600m. Higher up, it's not possible to do anything other than follow the signposted snowshoe trails or the Chalets de Chailloux (from La Flatière) or the Chalets de Loriaz! You can't get to Montenvers on foot or via the Plan de l'Aiguille!



Translated with kind 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.




Bernard Newman

The Club was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Bernard Newman. Bernard had been an AC member since 2012 and was a former editor of the Alpine Journal.

There will be a get together in memory of Bernard at The Grouse Inn in Keighley from 12:30 - 17:00 on 18 March.

Report: 1 February 2024

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 1 February 2024.

As far as ski touring is concerned, not much has changed since last week's report (carrying skis, unpleasant Bérard valley, etc.).

It hasn't snowed again and the snow is generally hard, even bullet hard at certain altitudes, aspects and times of the day. Aim for slopes that will have softened a bit (this depends on the temperature, wind and cloud cover).

Generally speaking, it's 'best' at altitude on slopes that don't get too much sun (above 2500m) with cold snow and a good grip.

Once again, we urge you to be careful and not to forget your couteaux and boot crampons to avoid falls and sliding.


On the other hand, there has been some good gully activity despite rather dry conditions (or the new "normal"). Here's some feedback (many thanks to those who filled in our cahier de course), which is tricky because it always risks increasing the risk of overcrowding: if one or more roped parties are already involved in a gully, it's better to go for plan B, "choice involves giving something up!"

Beware also of the weather and the NW wind at altitude.


Argentière glacier :

The Passon, Chardonnet, Tour Noir and Argentière cols are getting regular traffic. The bottom of the Passon has not improved, nor has the gully above Les Pétoudes (the latter should be avoided).

The couloir en Y on the Aiguille d'Argentière is probably OK. The rimaye on the Glacier du Milieu is filled in, so it’s easy. The narrow section is very dry (descent in 3 abseils of 20m, belays on flakes/spikes which need to be checked, newish tat) then a little snow above until the col (ice but which can be avoided, therefore preferable to leave the skis at the bottom of the gully). Looks like ice between the col and the summit.

One team baled at the rimaye of Petit Viking, a "big glide crack with loose snow". The rest of the route is in good condition by eye.

Looking at it, the top of the NE face of Les Courtes is too dry to ski.

The Lagarde couloir was climbed last weekend in good conditions.

Some teams seen on the Ravanel-Frendo, but no further information.

Claire Chazal (Pointe Farrar): the rimaye can be crossed 100m to the right of the gullly. Fairly good conditions (just the right amount of ice, mixed sections are protectable) except for the dièdre which is dry and hard.

Still plenty of activity on the modern routes on the Aiguille de Bochard.


Plan de l'Aiguille

Still a lot of teams on Mini Blast, still a cornice at the top of Rébuffat-Terray.

Still a few teams on "Nouvelle Génération" but it's the end (mixed passage on pitch 1 and a 75 m pitch very difficult to protect + last two pitches after the dry traverse). The belays have been reinforced.

The belays on Cécile and la Mésange (Peigne) have been re-equipped so that you can abseil down them (60m). On the whole an easy gully on squeaky snow/ice that is quite difficult to protect (1 to 3 points per pitch) + a dry pitch in the middle with some very tricky moves that can be easily protected.

Fil à Plomb doesnt look doable: numerous dry passages (exposed slabs) above the key pitches.

On the face of it, the Mallory could be an option, but the quality of the snow is a big unknown (often loose sugar snow at these altitudes and orientations at the moment).


Glacier du Géant area

The Cosmiques arete and the Marbrées traverse are in good condition and accessible on foot.

One team turned back on the Cosmiques icefall (more water than ice).

Triangle du Tacul as dry as ever.

Goulotte Pellissier fairly dry.

Numerous teams on the Gabarrou-Albinoni: good conditions, fairly well filled (pitches 1 and 2 a bit thinner). There is a lack of bolted belays (summer rockfalls) and sometimes a bit of moving together is needed. Modica-Noury has plenty of ice.

Good conditions (direct start via mixed pitches, then a relatively well-filled gully) on the Supercouloir, but obviously a lot of people.

Goulotte Lafaille in good conditions.

Valeria gully: the approach under the serac (which looks threatening) is "scary" (recent ice fall). Goulotte "pretty dry but it's done".

One team turned back at the Ratoune rimaye ten days ago (no ice, sugar snow).

Requin sector: fairly good conditions in Ice is Nice (last pitch dry, abseils re-equipped at 60m) and in Eastman-Sorenson.

Few changes to the skiing in the sector (Vallée Blanche, Col d'Entrêves, Brèche Puiseux busy).

Couvercle sector: access and descent OK via the central couloir. The Whymper on the Verte can be considered (alpine conditions).



Translated with kind 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.




Mick Fowler Interviewed in New Video for Blacks Outdoors

Mick Fowler Interviewed in Video for Blacks Outdoors

Former AC president Mick Fowler is the subject of a new video profile from outdoor retailer Blacks. In a wide-ranging interview, Mick discusses his life in the mountains; from early experiences with his father to some of his most famous ascents. He also discusses the challenges of balancing a family life and day job alongside an active climbing career and details his reaction to a 2018 cancer diagnosis. Watch below.




Mike Mortimer

The club has received news that Mike Mortimer has died following an accident at Murla.

More details will follow.

Report: 27 January 2024

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 27 January 2024.

Here's some news as we approach a period of high pressure!
The snow cover is exceptional above 1800m, but below that it's terrible. There was a bit of snow in places last night at high altitude (Argentière glacier, Vallée Blanche).
The classic ski touring routes are popular. Don't forget your couteaux/harscheisen, as the snow is often hard on all aspects (you need to be a good skier). Also beware of the risk of falls/slides both off and on piste. You will be walking/ carrying skis until you leave the woods if you don't start from a ski lift (Roman road in les Contamines, Plaine Joux, la Flatière, le Buet/Couteray, Finhaut).
The Bérard valley has thin snow cover and has also been devastated by avalanches, so it's not very pleasant! The same goes for the Passon descent towards Le Tour. A large avalanche has gone down the Pétoudes gully (Trient), which should be avoided for the time being!
Bullet hard sections on the descent of the Brévent/Cornu towards the Pont d'Arlevé.
The three Cols is in good condition (apart from the bottom of the Passon, see above). The descent couloir on the N side of the Col du Chardonnet is well filled in.
The Vallée Blanche is being done every day. The Aiguille du Midi arête is equipped (Z not in place). Glaciers generally well filled. The bottom of the Vallée Noire is very icy. The Requin refuge opened its doors on Saturday 27 January. 
You can ski as far as the old staircase. The cable car is due to open soon, so keep your fingers crossed. In the meantime, head back up to Montenvers via the old stairs and the path. The descent to Chamonix is out of the question (the bottom of the glacier is chaotic). No news of the Brèche Puiseux but it should go: expect 2 abseils of 30m + exit to the right under the Grandes Jorasses at the bottom of the Mont Mallet glacier and not via the couloir).
Gully climbing is back on the agenda. No news from the Argentière basin. The Couturier looks very icy.
Some teams on Mini-Blast (good conditions) and Rebuffat-Terray: fairly dry conditions + beware there's a big cornice at the brèche overlooking the whole route... Some teams also on Beyond Good and Evil but it's very dry.
A few climbers on the Chéré but it’s pretty dry, especially the first slope below the start. You can climb the Modica-Noury and the Gabarrou-Albinoni but beware of (over)crowding. It might be worth looking a little further afield, even if it's generally dry and we have no information (Supercouloir, Lafaille, Valeria, Ice is Nice; Pellissier: dry).
It won't be a winter to remember for ice climbing. The hot weather finished off the few routes that existed, particularly around Cogne. A few ice climbs are still possible on the rive gauche of the Argentière glacier.

Translated with kind 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.




2024 AC London Dinner

2024 AC London Dinner

The Club will be hosting a London dinner and lecture event for members on 16 February 2024 at The Army and Navy Club, London ("The Rag").

Alongside a three-course meal, the event will feature a talk by Honorary AC member George Lowe titled 'Reflections on a Life in the Mountains'.

George was the reipient of the 2023 Piolets d'Or Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his incredibly long and successful climbing career. As well as monumental contributions to North American climbing, George is perhaps best-known for his 1978 attempt on the north ridge of Latok I with Jim Donini, Michael Kennedy and Jeff Lowe.

For a further taste of George's life and climbing career, you can watch his American Alpine Club Legacy Series interview below.

The event will start at 18:30 with George's talk, followed by drinks (cash bar) and dinner.


Ticket sales are now closed.




Report: 13 January 2024

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 13 January 2024.

Get ready to ski! Here's a brief report on the conditions.
If you want to get away from the grey plains, conditions here are great with cold temperatures, anticyclonic conditions and fresh snow above 1800m.
On the whole, the snow is still soft and pleasant to ski in (apart from the areas affected by the wind), but it is starting to get a little wetter on the southern slopes.

Ski Touring
All the Aiguilles Rouges classics have been tracked (Crochues-Bérard, Pointe Alphonse Favre, Buet, Col des Dards, Col du Belvédère, Col de Beugeant). The Berard valley exit is much improved (skis off once or twice).
Lots of activity around Bel Oiseau - Fenestral (short ski carry at the start).
In the Argentière basin, lots of activity on the Col du Passon (you can ski down to Le Tour) despite a few potholes. Col du Tour Noir, Col d'Argentière also possible. All the Grands Montets lifts are shut today (Saturday 13th) because of a technical problem.
Valley Ice Climbing
In the Chamonix valley, you can climb on the rive gauche of the Argentière glacier in the "Dents de la Mer" sector (Déferlante, Minicouloir, Home wet Home). On the rive droite, the Mur des Jumelles looks doable (not yet checked).
The Bérard icefall is not yet accessible.
Outside the Chamonix valley, the ice at Le Reposoir, Samoens/Giffre has not yet formed. Cogne is the spot of the moment with an interesting choice of lines.
Ice and Mixed
Teams on Mini Blast, Rebuffat Terray, Tout Schuss. No recent news from the East face of the Tacul. The Cosmiques arête has been tracked in winter conditions. The lines behind the Requin look like they are building up. We look forward to feedback if you go up there.
Gourmet Randonneurs: The Chalet du Chapeau is open every day except on category 3 and above days (check the avalanche forecast). Snowshoes are not necessary, but a pair of crampons will make progress more comfortable, especially on the descent.
Remember that the Loriaz refuge is also open (booking required).

Translated with kind 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.




AC Launches Continuing Mountaineering Development Sessions

AC Launches Continuing Mountaineering Development Sessions

The Club recognises the need for members to stay up to date with changing mountaineering techniques and updates to best practice. To make this information more accessible to our members, we are introducing Continuing Mountaineering Development workshops which will run on the first full day of the Summer Alpine Meet. For the 2024 meet, this will be 16 June.

These two-hour sessions, which will be delivered by guides, are free to attend and are open to both members and experienced guests who are joining for the meet.

Taking place at the campsite, the sessions, which will run from 10AM-12PM and 1PM-3PM, will cover specific information pertinent to the local area, a refresher on glacier travel/crevasse rescue, kit maintenance/replacement and will provide the opportunity for members to ask questions on topics of concern.

Registration will be sought in advance with the sign-up form to the Summer Alpine Meet in order to gauge interest and numbers.




Report: 5 January 2024

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 5 January 2024.

Happy New Year everyone!

We've had a bit of everything over the Christmas holidays: snow, rain, wind, sun, foehn… There was even more on the menu than at Grandma's at Christmas!
Snow cover remains fairly thin below 1800m, but substantial at higher altitudes. Watch out for the snow conditions, especially with the wind blowing in just about every direction. In 2024, more than ever, the BERA (avalanche forecast) is your friend!
Most of the classic ski touring areas are being visited. It's sketchy at the bottom of the Vallon de Bérard and the Col du Passon on the le Tour side (poor snow cover, likely to improve with the snow fall forecast for this weekend) and you need to be a good skier.
The “climbers" version of the Vallée Blanche is also in decent condition: the Aiguille du Midi arête is not yet equipped (therefore crampon skills are essential) and you have to make your own way back up to Montenvers until the new cable car is open.
The Brèche Puiseux was climbed last week: lots of snow, plan 2x30m for abseiling, head well to the right to exit the Mont Mallet glacier (the couloirs on the left are not in good condition!)
In the Argentière basin, there are lots of people on the cols (Passon, Chardonnet, Tour Noir), often there and back. The Aiguille d'Argentière was skied via the Glacier du Milieu (fairly well filled in glacier, a mixed pitch to get up the narrows and 15m of abseiling on the descent) and via the Y couloir (10m step to cross the rimaye, 40m abseil on descent, spring conditions in the couloir).
Conditions for these high-altitude routes are likely to change as temperatures drop and snow and wind arrive!  
For fans of snow, ice and mixed terrain, it looks like the season is about to get under way with the cold snap expected later this week. For the moment, only the Déferlante sector on the left bank of Argentière is offering decent conditions (watch out for overcrowding!)
Gullies: Chéré couloir on the Tacul was climbed in very dry conditions. Several teams on Petit Viking (complicated rimaye with 40m of M5 on the right, then OK conditions) and Charlet-Ghilini. Mini Blast, Rébuffat-Terray and M6 Solar were also climbed without further information.
For our friends the snowshoers and other winter walkers, the valley's signposted routes are all open! More information on the dedicated page on La Chamoniarde.

Translated with kind 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: 22 December 2023

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 22 December 2023
A few bits and pieces of information before the holidays start!

Lifts opening up tomorrow:
  • The Aiguille du Midi
  • The Le Tour ski area (road reopened)
  • Les Houches ski area

The snow cover is good above 1800 m but quite poor below that. It snowed at altitude (above 1700m) last night (around 20cm at 1800 m, more above). The wind has been working hard (moving snow around), so beware of the risk of avalanches (remember the avalanche report is there to be read!).
The Aiguille du Midi arête is not equipped.
The Montenvers/Mer de glace access regulations were amended today. Access via the lower station of the old gondola (path + stairs) is once again possible until the opening of the new gondola, but is no longer maintained and requires the use of mountaineering equipment. You can also go up by the new “ferrata" route. Otherwise, you'll have to call Father Christmas and his sledge :)
There's not much snow in the Bérard valley, so you'll need to be a good skier (see the report in our cahier de course on the website).
The cascade season is starting tentatively either on the rive gauche (Déferlante) or at Cogne (not well formed).
Good weather is forecast for the start of the holidays, so we look forward to hearing from you!

Translated with kind 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: 15 December 2023

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 15 December 2023
Here's some news before what promises to be a sunny weekend!
After the partial opening of Argentière-Lognan and La Flégère, it's the turn of the Domaine du Brévent to open tomorrow, Saturday 16 December. On the other hand, you'll have to wait and see further up the valley (the road to Le Tour village is closed). There is poor snow cover on the Vallorcine pistes and at Les Houches. The Aiguille du Midi (looking very snowy) will open on Saturday 23 December.
The Mont Blanc tunnel is open again from this evening! Here's to pizza and hiking in the Aosta Valley! The Monte Bianco Skyway is open, as is the Courmayeur ski area.
The Montenvers train is running. 
IMPORTANT INFO: the new gondola lift is not yet open (due to open in January), which means :
- No access to/from the glacier for non-alpinists.
- The old gondola lift, staircases and ladders have been dismantled/closed/prohibited by municipal by-law.
- The only access between the Mer de Glace and Montenvers is the new route (in yellow on the map below). A sort of via ferrata, it requires mountaineering equipment and techniques.
The marked up hill ski touring tracks are closed for the time being due to lack of snow. La Trapette at Argentière is just about passable (watch out for the Pierre à Ric home run, which is closed for the time being).
The best solution is therefore to take the lifts up to find better snow conditions. If you start in the valley (Le Buet, etc.), you will probably be carrying your skis, particularly on the descent. In the Argentière basin, the classics were tracked today in good conditions: Col  du Passon, Col du Tour Noir, Col d'Argentière. On the way back, it's best to take the right bank or the centre of the Argentière glacier, as the left bank is "acrobatique".
There's also been some activity in the Aiguilles Rouges, but we don't have any more information (Index/Lac Blanc sector). We await your feedback!
Beware, there has been a lot of snow in the high mountains (above 2200m) and the north wind picked up today (moving snow around).
As you can imagine, there's been no activity in the high mountains recently!
As far as snowshoeing is concerned, there isn't enough snow at the bottom of the valley, so the signposted snow shoeing routes can be done with good shoes and poles. As for the high-altitude itineraries, they are being prepared and you can check their opening times in the bulletin.

Translated with kind 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.




Thalay Sagar Expedition Film

Thalay Sagar Expedition Film

In May 2023, Keith Ball, Mike Pescod and AC member Guy Buckingham travelled to the Garhwal Himalaya for an attempt on the unclimbed south-east ridge of Thalay Sagar (6805m). The expedition was supported by both the Alpine Club Climbing Fund and the Mount Everest Foundation.

Mountain Equipment have now released a short film of their expedition which you can watch below.




Kapadia Interviews Go Online

Kapadia Interviews Go Online

Alpine Club member and Editor of the Himalayan Journal Harish Kapadia has, over a period of nearly two decades, conducted interviews with many notable figures from the world of mountaineering. In 2023, Kapadia formally made a gift of these recordings to the Alpine Club Library.

From December 2023 onwards, we will be releasing these interviews once a week via our YouTube channel so that they can be enjoyed by mountain-enthusiasts throughout the world. Episodes will release on Thursday mornings UK time. If you subscribe to the channel, you will receive a notification when new episodes go live.

The first episode, an interview with Sir Chris Bonington conducted in March 2008, is now online and can be watched below. In the recording, Sir Chris discusses his personal journey into climbing, his 1970 expedition to the south face of Annapurna, the evolution in Himalayan style from siege to alpine and his experience of managing mountaineering teams in a leadership role.



 The Alpine Club Library holds a wealth of mountaineering material to which we are very pleased to add these recordings.




Report: 1 December 2023

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 1 December 2023

The weather’s still unsettled. The rain/snow limit has been going up and down like a yoyo!
There are large quantities of snow in the high mountains, so the glaciers must be very pleased! Reasonable snow cover in the “moyenne montagne". With the rain (and now the snow), there is around twenty centimetres at the bottom of the valley!
Lots of avalanches yesterday, because of the rain, and the avalanche risk will remain high for the next few days. So be careful. We're all eager to the start of the season, but you have to tread carefully!
The good news is that the Argentière-Lognan ski area will open partially but continuously from Saturday 2 December! Beware of the risk of avalanches and rocks, it's only the start of the season!
Remember that the other ski areas are still closed and being prepared, which means that they are not safe and that piste bashers are in action (beware of cables and please respect the work of groomers and pisteurs!). This is particularly true of the Nants piste (Brévent area), where a mechanical digger has gone up to 1500m to carry out repair work following the recent torrential floods (work completed).
The Montenvers train has also reopened. Please note that the old Mer de Glace gondola lift is closed permanently. Work to finish the new lift is continuing, but it is not yet ready for use. This means that there is no access to the grotto or the glacier for non-climbers. The old stairway (currently being dismantled) and the ladders are closed by decree. Access to the glacier is therefore only possible via the new access. See the map above which shows the "via ferrata" in green. This route requires mountaineering equipment and techniques (anchors in place). We haven't yet had any information on whether it can be used in winter.
With the arrival of the snow, snowshoeing is beginning to be possible on the signposted routes at the bottom of the valley:  
(; sometimes possible without snowshoes with good shoes and poles).
In fine weather, the more experienced might consider climbing to the Chalets de Chailloux or Loriaz (itineraries that are neither signposted nor safe).
In the high mountains, a few teams have climbed the Rebuffat-Terray goulotte in good conditions during the one window of good weather.

Translated with kind 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.