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Report 24 September 2017

The rise in temperatures has melted a lot of the recent snow at mid-altitudes.   However, some of the shaded paths may still be awkward from about 2300m upwards.
During this Autumn period, many of the paths are closed for repair.  For example, the path linking Col des Montets and Lac Blanc will be closed from 25 to 29/09 as far as the Tête aux Vents cairn.
Consult the list at Chamoniarde site.

 

The Tour du Mont Blanc is still feasible but you need to be self-sufficient, as many of the huts are closed.

 

Most of the high mountain huts are now closed; exceptions are the Goûter, Cosmiques and Torino huts.


The recent snow has temporarily improved conditions for some of the Tacul Triangle routes, but overall the conditions are dry.  Summer 2017 was the driest ever recorded and Autumn, with its snowfalls, has only just started, patience is required!

The Chéré, Allemands, Contamine-Grisolle, Contamine-Mazeaud and Contamine-Negri are being climbed in variable conditions.  

The normal route on the Tacul is tracked but the not the traverse of the 3 Monts. The Mont Maudit looks to be avalanche prone.
The Pointes Lachenal traverse is tracked but there is already some bare ice.  The Laurence and Cosmiques ridges are also being done.
The S faces are being climbed, despite some snow still on the ledges.

 

Near the Torino the conditions are Ok for the Aiguilles d'Entrèves and Marbrées (best done N-S), traverses. Good conditions for the Dent du Géant. The Rochefort ridge was done on 22/09.
Careful on the glacier (weak snow bridges.)

 

All the lifts are shut, except for the Aiguille du Midi, Montenvers train and the Skyway (Italy).

 

Good conditions reported for the Grand Paradis via Chabod hut.

 

We are entering a period where less information is available. La Chamoniarde is counting on you to report your experiences to them, to help with their next report.

 

Report 19th September 2017

Between seasons !

 

The Planpraz/Brévent – Flégère/Index –Tour/col de Balme – Valllorcine – Lognan/ Grands Montets – Prarion lifts are closed.  The following are still open :  Montenvers train–Aiguille du Midi cable car –Bellevue cable car (until 24th September) –  Monte Bianco Skyway, (Italy). 

 

Many of the huts are now closed; more information on the Chamoniarde site.

 

There is snow down to 1800m, and at 2000m there is 10 to 20cms in some places.  The Loriaz and Moëde Anterne huts have 15cm of snow, 10/15 cm at the Albert 1er, 20 cm at the Leschaux , 30 cm at the Goûter, Torino and Conscrits  and 50 cm of new snow at the Cosmiques. 

 

It is cold for the time of year. At mid-altitudes in the morning the ground is frozen, (use mountain boots and hiking poles), and snow covered in some areas. This creates difficulties on some paths.  At higher altitudes, the temperatures are low (-10° at 3300/3500m), with almost winter conditions.  There were strong winds during some of the snow falls, creating both snow drifts and patches of bare ice.  Take care on the glaciers, the snow and wind have helped form snow bridges which can be extremely fragile. The rocks are plastered with snow but the gullies are not yet in condition!

 

 There has not been a lot of activity in the high mountain recently. 

Aiguille du Midi sector : some parties on the Chéré couloir, (abseil descent, be careful of other parties). The Triangle du Tacul looks snow covered but appearances can be deceiving.  Parties turned back on the Pointes Lachenal traverse, (windslab.) 

Torino sector, the Marbrées and Entrèves traverses were done in winter conditions. Parties turned back on the Rocherfort Ridge, (bare ice.)

Albert 1er sector : the Petite Fourche has been done.

Chamonix Aiguilles sector : everything is plastered.

Conscrits sector: no activity for the moment.

Report 12th September 2017

With the series of weather fronts since the start of September, it has been difficult to find a good weather window for the high mountains.


In the last two days about 30cms of snow has fallen at 3500m, with some drifting due to the strong winds. The rocks are plastered, but routes like Cosmiques Ridge or the Aiguilles Marbrées traverse remain feasible.
There is fresh snow down to 2100m and some paths are affected, notably on the multi-day tours, (Aiguilles Rouges, Tour du Mont Blanc...). To remain safe, mountain boots and hiking poles are essential.

The bad conditions, plus the fact that most of the lifts will soon be closed, means some of the huts might bring forward their closure dates.  Check with the hut before leaving the valley.   On a separate topic, be aware that there are unstable blocks on the routes at the “Le Spa”,(Fayet)  dry tooling site.

Several paths in the Chamonix valley are closed for works, details available on the Chamoniarde site.
The Mont Blanc Tramway is closed and you are reminded that it is forbidden to follow the tracks when accessing  the huts on the normal route up Mont Blanc.

There are plenty of options for climbing on the valley crags during the dry spells.

Report 5th September 2017

After a few days of mixed weather, the sun is back again in the mountains.  The rock routes at altitude are generally dry, though some ledges are holding snow and there is a risk of verglas in shaded areas.

 

- Albert 1er : The normal routes on the Tête Blanche and Petite Fourche have been done recently.  The Aiguille du Tour remains feasible by the Table Ridge and the normal route.  There is a fixed rope to help cross the begschrund.  The cols to cross to and from the Trient glacier are still awkward and some parties have turned back.

 

- Argentière :  The hut shuts on 7th September.  The access to and from the glacier via Lognan has been affected by the pipelaying works.  At Grand Montets, the Petite Verte is no longer practical but the Belvedere, (East) ridge remains feasible.  Care needed with the bergschrund at the Col du Grand Montets.

 

- Couvercle : The Moine has dried well.  The normal route and S ridge are feasible even though there is still some snow near the top.  The Contamine route looks more awkward. The Moine Ridge on the Verte seems like it should soon be feasible.  The landline at the hut is not working, please use the mobile number to make a reservation.

 

- Leschaux : The routes near the hut are dry, but there is still some snow on the W face of the Petites Jorasses.

 

- Envers des Aiguilles : There is still snow on the upper third of the Aiguilles but, Tour Rouge ,Tour Verte and the Pointes des Nantillons are being climbed.  There is no water at the hut; fill your bottles at the stream a few turns before the hut.  There are some water containers along the path, you can fill them and attach them to the rope, so that they can be hauled up to the hut.

 

- Requin : The hut is closed.  There are 12 bunks with blankets in the winter room; no gas but there are cooking pots etc.

 

- Torino : Conditions OK for the traverses of the Rochefort , Entrèves and Marbrées.  No problems for the S facing routes on the Tacul satellites. The Dent du Geant still has snow and verglas, but still some parties managed to climb it today.

 

- Les Cosmiques : Nobody has done the 3 Monts route up Mont Blanc yet.  This is due to the amount of fresh snow. No problems for the Laurence and Cosmiques ridges.  Conditions for the Pointes Lachenal traverse are temporary better due to the new snow.  Foresee an abseil of 35m.
Frendo Spur and Midi-Plan traverse are not recommended as the conditions are too dry.  

 

- Goûter / Tête Rousse : The normal route up Mont Blanc was tracked this morning.   The Mont Blanc tramway is closed and it is forbidden to walk along the rail track!!  The approach to the huts is by the Rognes path or the Chalets de l'Are. The Bellevue cable car remains open until 24th September.

 

- Durier / Conscrits : The Durier is shut but the Conscrits will be open for a few more days yet.  There has been no activity recently due to the recent bad weather. The “there and back” either to the Central or the East Dôme, via the Col des Domes, remains feasible, however, conditions are awkward on the Tré la Tête glacier. The traverse of the Dômes is not in condition.

 

La Chamoniarde would like to remind you that they are collecting as much information as possible and the more reports they receive about your outings the better their advice will be.

Report 2nd September 2017

A quick update, as Autumn arrives, for the conditions in the mountains following the recent bad weather. It has snowed down to 2500m, with the showers being very localised.

 

Albert 1er Hut: 5 cm of snow (the landline phone is not working, please use the mobile: 06 60 33 73 62)

 

Envers des Aiguilles Hut: only a few cms at the hut and the lower sectors (Tour Verte, Tour Rouge...) should dry quickly.  The Aiguille de la République and the Grépon look to have a lot of snow.

 

The north side of the Aiguilles de Chamonix: The rock is plastered with snow and patience is needed before climbing in this sector, (Pilier Rouge de Blaitière, Peigne...).

 

Cosmiques Hut: about 30 cm of new snow, plastering the rocks.  Be aware of a potential avalanche risk (fresh snow and wind) on the 3 Monts route. 

 

Torino Hut : About 10cms.  The rock routes (Dent du Géant, Tacul satellites) should be dry by the beginning of the week, when the good weather returns.

 

Goûter Hut: 20 cm. The normal route up Mont-Blanc should be re-tracked in a day or two.

 

The forecast is for the weather to improve, starting on Sunday with an East wind at altitude until Monday.  Temperatures will remain cool for the time of year.

 

Report 30th August 2017

 

No real developments since the last report of 23rd August. However, the conditions are going to change with the bad weather forecasted for the next few days.

We are getting reports of numerous stone falls, sometimes large, from many areas in the Mont Blanc Massive.  Great care is needed in choosing suitable routes and respecting the time of day!


The Charpoua hut is now closed. Some of the other huts and lifts will also close soon.  Please visit the dedicated hut websites and the Company du Mont Blanc site ( www.montblancnaturalresort.com ) for the latest information.  


Because of pipe laying work, it is forbidden to use the path between Lognan and the Argentière glacier viewpoint/Lognan hut.  Access is only possible via the Pierre à Ric and the path that climbs up under the Lognan hut.

It is also forbidden to go up the Mont Blanc Tramway tracks between Bellevue and the Nid d'Aigle. Access to the Tête Rousse is possible by either the Rognes path or the Chalets d’Are.