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Report 8th December 2017

Latest update

10 cms of wet snow at the valley floor.

20 cms of wind affected snow, (strong winds from the SW,) at 2000m.

About 40cms of windblown snow at 3000m, (very strong winds from the NW/W.)

This is encouraging news for off piste skiers, ski tourers and snow shoers for the weekend.  Also, many of the   ski lifts are opening this weekend

ATTENTION :  there is a high risk of windslab avalanche  both in the mid and high mountain.  The snow conditions give rise to concern.  There is no cohesion in the underlying snow layer and more snow is expected over the next days. 

Therefore, take care.  BERA has not yet published avalanche risk figures.  Take time to use the information available to make the right assessment for your planned activity,  snow and avalanche information.

Report 27th November 2017

The snow cover is gradually deepening.

There is not much snow in the base of the valley. It is only above1800/2000m that one can really use skis or snow shoes.  The snow cover is very variable, so be careful of stones/rocks just below the surface.  Nonetheless, if you accept this limitation, there is good skiing to be had above 2000m.

Concerning the high mountain, Chamoniarde has not received any information.  The Skyway Monte Bianco (Italy) opens 1st December and the Torino refuge on the 2nd.  Hopefully, information on conditions will follow soon after.

There has been some ice climbing at the Crèmerie (true left bank of the Argentière glacier.) No further information.  Please remember that access to this area is by foot from the Grands Montets car parking. The Rosière road is restricted to clients of CMBH and the Crémerie restaurant.

The Company du Mont Blanc has announced limited opening this weekend at Lognan and Les Houches.

Report 21st November 2017

There is still not much snow in the mountains for the time of year, though things should improve from this weekend onwards. 

 

There has been very little activity reported from the higher mountains and the information received indicates a great variation in conditions from one sector to another. There have been strong winds at altitude, stripping the snow in some areas and dumping it in others

 

On north facing slopes above 2000m one risk floundering in deep snow even with snow shoes, while on the south faces the snow is variable, bare in some places and knee deep elsewhere.  Some paths, even at lower altitudes, maybe iced over in places.  Whatever the activity, the current, difficult conditions require the correct equipment.

 

It is still too early to ski tour in the Chamonix valley, have patience.

 

Report 12th November 2017

A chain of weather fronts is gradually building up snow levels at altitude.
There are 30cms of snow at 2000m and more above this.  

This snow was accompanied by strong N to NE winds, causing drifting and windslab above 2000m.  The avalanche risk is 3/5.  At mid mountain the snow cover in insufficient for ski touring but snow shoes could be useful above 2000/2200m.

Concerning the lifts, only the Montenvers train is running.  Check the timetable first.

 

Winter is slowly coming; take care, be patient.  

 

Report 26 October 2017

 Since the bad weather last weekend, (wind at altitude with snow almost down to the valley,) the Office de Haute Montagne has not received any information about recent conditions.   The quantity of fresh snow and the extent of drifting during the stormy weather remains largely unknown.  On the 26th October there were again strong N/NW winds. 

The rocks are still plastered with snow, except for those in the Aiguilles Rouge exposed to the sun.  (Only the Flégère lift is running on this side of the valley at the moment.)

The warm weather these last two days has been ideal for climbing on the valley crags   N.B.there has been a rockfall at the Spa sector at the Fayet : an area of rock has come away near a bolt protected crack used for dry tooling.

Concerning the hiking trails, the snow has melted away up to about 2000m but above this there is still some left, especially on the north facing slopes, (hard snow).  Be aware, as part of the preparation for the winter season, at mid altitudes many of the signposts are being removed, as well as some of the footbridges. 

Report 17th October 2017

The weather is due to deteriorate for the weekend and will restrict activity at altitude.  Nonetheless, here is the latest reported information:

 

The 3 Monts route was done at the end of last week, with some steep sections and apparently bare ice in places.  The normal (Gouter) route up Mont Blanc was also being climbed

 

Near the Torino hut (still open), the conditions remain generally good for the Dent du Geant, the Rochefort Ridge, (good track and firm snow,) the Entrèves and the Marbrées.
Activity also on the Tour Ronde normal route, (stonefall reported,) and the N face, (no further info.)
Some parties climbed the Küffner Ridge, using the direct start as there is a rockfall zone near the Col de la Fourche.  The Lafaille and Valéria gullies would appear to be climbable, but still thin and the bergshrunds could be problematical.

 

Near the Aiguille du Midi, the S face and the Cosmiques Spur are in condition.  Some activity on the Midi-Plan, with most parties turning back before the abseils at the Rognon, in order not to miss the last lift back down. Some parties on Fil à Plomb but the other mixed routes on the N face of the Midi are not in good condition.

 

A party on the Desmaison route, Grandes Jorasses; the route being very difficult due to alternating dry (rock)/ice and inconsistent snow.  A party topped out on the Shroud.  The descent was awkward but passable.  The Colton-McIntyre looks to have very little ice.  

 

Despite the sections of bare ice and crevasses, the Dômes de Miage ridge was traversed last weekend.  The Tré la Tête glacier is heavily crevassed.

 

No particular problems for hikers, other than some paths being closed “for work”.