The blue skies and above average temperatures continue for the moment, though a passage of unsettled weather, (Foehn,) is forecasted for the weekend.
Here follows the latest information on mountain conditions, (and thank you to all those who have contributed to this.)
Albert 1er Sector: the approach is via the col du Passon. Some people doing the Haute Route are using this way. The Couloir de la Table, (passage on rock near the start,) the Normal route on the Aiguille du Tour, the Tête Blanche/Petite Fourche and the Col du Midi des Grands are being climbed.
Argentière Sector: Y couloir is in condition. The Barbey couloir has been skied, descent “delicate”, with ice hidden under a thin layer of snow near the summit. Return via Fenêtre du Tour down to Vormaine, taking the skis off once at the moraine.
The Lagarde couloir : Bergschrund awkward due to inconsistent snow. Thin ice in the lower part, better mixed climbing higher up.
Couturier couloir: was done again on 28 March, good snow for half of gully, ice at the “kink” and exit by a dome of deep snow. Descent in good conditions down the Whymper, (if you are early enough.) The way down onto the Leschaux glacier is either by the Central couloir or the Pierre à Béranger.
Aiguille du Midi Sector: the snow in the Valley Blanche is still good. The Valley Noir, (Italian side) is OK. There is about a five minutes walk to reach the approach for Montenvers, (ice cave area.) The Fil à Plomb has been done, the Mallory skied and rock climbers on the S Face of the Aiguille du Midi.
Brèche Puiseux: Good conditions for the most part. There is a fixed rope at the breche, (col). You need 2x40m if you descend directly from the Périades bivouac. The ski down the glacier is not inspiring!
Since the last snowfall, the Tour Ronde face now looks white, (i.e snow not bare ice.) The Gervasutti couloir is feasible, with descent either by the normal route or, if it is getting late, by the SE ridge.
A group of ski tourers left for the Trois Monts, (Mont Blanc) yesterday. On the normal route up the Tacul there were sections of hard nevé, it is necessary to alternate between skis and crampons. No further information on the route, though the snow looks deep on the climb up to the Col du Mont Maudit. Returned by the same route.
Grands Mulets sector: The hut is now open with a warden. The route via the Dôme du Goûter, N ridge was done this morning. It is preferable to be roped up for the traverses of the Bossons glacier and the Jonction; conditions OK.
Conscrits Sector: Obviously, there is a lot of ski carrying on the way up to the Tre la Tête from Cugnon. The rest of the way up to the Conscrits hut goes well. There is a small section of ice on the traverse of the Dômes de Miage. Good snow conditions for the Aiguille de la Bérangère and Mont Tondu. The Armancette glacier is skiable, down to about 1800m.
With the rise in temperatures, the signposted ski touring trails, except for the Col du Balme, from Charamillon are no longer feasible.
Please remember, it is forbidden to go upwards, (skinning, snow shoeing etc,) on the ski pistes.
The strong winds in the valley, together with falls of wet, heavy snow have resulted in numerous trees being uprooted, often with stones/boulders coming onto the paths. Mountain bikers be warned ! The responsible services in the Chamonix valley are working, bit by bit, to put the paths back in order.