At the moment, ski touring is the main activity, with a reasonable snow cover above 2000m. Snow conditions are becoming spring-like, so it is important to respect the time of day, especially on routes exposed to the morning sun, in the lee of the wind and regardless of altitude. Hard packed snow exists on the shaded slopes sometimes either polished or sculptured by the wind.
Despite already a lot of avalanches, more are to be expected, either spontaneous or from weighting, (e.g. skiers).
Some recently received information:
- Albert 1er Sector: the Couloir de la Table was done on 13/03, no further information other than a rock barrier near the bottom.
Nobody on the Chardonnet, the gullies are all very dry, but the Forbes Ridge looks feasible.
Be warned, some of the slopes near the Signal Reilly look to be still unstable. Do not take the summer route from Charmillion to the hut. Snow conditions gave difficult skiing down from the Col du Passon on 14/03. The telephone is not working at the hut, use the mobile number to contact the warden.
- Argentière Sector: The cols in this area are been done regularly but the conditions are variable and not as good as last weekend.
No news from the N faces, which remain very grey looking.
Col des Cristaux is tracked, the bergschrund being passed on the right, (looking up.)
- Vallée Blanche Sector:
The Pas de Chèvre has not been practicable for several days now!
There was a party on the Drus N Face, (no further info.)
The Valley Blanche is still OK, but do it early. The descent by Mottets, (snack bar open,) is still possible for a few more days. You have to walk some bits, about 20 mins in total. Since the large avalanches last week, the Brèche Puiseux and the Col du Tacul have been re-tracked, (no further info.)
Whymper done on 12/03 in poor conditions, (inconsistent snow).
- Aiguille du Midi / Torino Sector:
Pointes Lachenal, the Cosmiques Ridge, the Marbrées and the Normal route on the Tour Ronde have all been done recently.
The gullies are still very dry. However, the Chere, (1st pitch dry, better above.) the Contamine-Mazeaud, the Pellissier Gully and M6 Solar have been climbed, though placing ice screws can be difficult.
The Tour Ronde N Face is black ice. None of the gullies near the Torino have been climbed recently.
- Aiguilles Rouges Sector: there is activity in this sector but sadly the OHM has not received any feedback on snow conditions. An early start is, again, important!
Concerning snow shoeing, the information remains the same as in the last update of10/03.