MOUNTAIN CONDITIONS 16/08/2019
A quick update for the weekend. There has been little change since the last update. Given that with the temperatures are now typical for the time of year and there is good re-freezing at night, the conditions have remained stable.
Aiguille du Tour sector: the Col Supérieur du Tour is still passable. It has been reported that he fixed rope here is badly damaged and should not be used.
The Drus traverse remains feasible. Some parties went for the Aiguille Verte by the Moine Ridge today, (Friday) but no feedback yet on conditions and especially for the bergschrund, (more info Saturday !!!)
For the Leschaux sector: " the approaches to the Aiguille de Leschaux and the Petites Jorasses are in good condition. There have not been any parties on the Grandes Jorasses for 10 days. There is snow on the face above about 3800m....".
The Three Monts route up Mont Blanc remains committing and technical with, as usual, sections exposed to serac fall. The Tacul bergschrund is awkward, there is ice on Col du Mont Maudit, and icy snow on the Mur de la Côte.
The crevasses on the Miage glacier, (approach to the Durier from Plan Glacier,) are opening up but passable if there is a good freeze. The recent snowfall has improved conditions for the Bionnassay traverse. There is no longer any ice below the summit or on the ridge, (which remains narrow and airy).
The Trè la Tête glacier has lots of crevasses but is still OK. On the Miage, the majority of the parties are stopping at the Col des Dômes. The slope up to the 3rd Dôme is ice and there is ice between this and the 2nd Dôme. The Col de la Bérangère is no longer feasible.
The Gonella hut closes this weekend. The conditions have deteriorated. There are lots of crevasses open on the glacier, with ice and stonefall below the Col des Aiguilles Grises.
Monzino sector: there has been no improvement at altitude. A via ferrata has recently been constructed at the level of the Col Chasseur. It provides a link between the Monzino hut and the Borelli bivouac, giving a pleasant 2 day tour. (Information in Italian here: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2708609995839249&id=104501702916771&__tn__=K-R ) As well as the usual via ferrata equipment, ice axe and crampons are also advisable.
For the Aiguilles Marbrées traverse, there has been a rockfall in the sector of the descent. It is now probably best done there and back from the Col de Rochefort.
Ice has been reported for the Vierge / Petit Flambeau.
Ice is beginning to appear on the Rochefort Ridge. There are still some parties doing the Jorasses traverse. (The OHM route book has recent info, cahier de courses).