July has started with a period of warm weather. This has complicated the conditions in the high mountains but has improved the situation for hikers.
The approach to the Albert 1er hut from Autannes is much better. There is still some snow to cross near the Charamillon lake and also some snow on the final traverse to the hut. The path has deteriorated in some of the gullies but remains feasible. The freezing level for the last few days has been reasonable.
- Aiguille du Tour by the Table Ridge and Normal Route OK
- Normal routes on the Tête Blanche and Petite Fourche OK. Nobody on the N face of the Tête Blanche (bergschrund open.)
- No news for the Dorées traverse, which should be in condition.
- S ridge of the Aig de Purtscheller OK
- Aiguille du Chardonnet : Forbes Ridge popular ; ice on the Bosse, (two axes recommended), ridge dry. The Migot Spur still possible but going out of condition, (bergschrund awkward), mixed section fairly dry, ice appearing on the upper slope. Need to do it soon and have a good level of ability. The descent route remains good, no problem at the bergschrund or with crevasses under the Adams Reilly Col.
- hut approach and Glacier du Milieu : information here !
- the rock is dry !
- Jardin Ridge and Flèche Rousse, cols d'Argentière et du Tour Noir (still with snow) all OK.
-A party did the traverse from the A Neuve to the col Supérieur du Tour Noir in good conditions.
All is good. Still no problems for the glacier. The Dru traverse and the Grand Dru are popular. The Évêque has become a bit more awkward.
Conditions good for the rock routes. Condition deteriorating for the snow/mixed routes, (Whymper Couloir, col Armand Charlet, Jardin Ridge ...) which remain feasible though technically harder than normal. Need to use the nearby rocks to overcome the bergschrund s and have good freeze
- Grands-Montets ridge, descending by the Moine ridge (Verte) OK, (some snow high up, 30m abseil to pass the bergschrund, (needs resourcefulness to pass on ascent!)
- Pointe Isabelle OK, A 4m snow bridge, which looks to be firm enough, gives access to the bergschrund from the Courtes glacier.
- Courtes traverse feasible for fast partiesand given good freezing, (still plenty of snow on the descent by the col des Cristaux.)
- The small couloir leading to the normal route on the Droites no longer feasible, it is necessary to use the glacier route.
- still some snow on the hut approach via the Balcons de la Mer de Glace (crampons useful).
- probably finished for the SW Gully of the Aiguille de l’Éboulement
- Périades glacier tracked.
- Climbing popular on the Petites Jorasses (Anouk and Contamine) and the routes above the hut.
- A party on the Bonington route, Aiguille de Leschaux, descending on the Italian side.
- a party found a good way for the Croz spur. The Walker is dry and should be feasible a few days after the storms when the good weather returns.
Envers des Aiguilles de Chamonix
The water supply has been repaired and the hut is fully open again. Not many people here so little to report. The rock is dry but the freezing limited. complicating crossing some of the bergschrunds. Ryan ridge was climbed on 30/06, (2 technical axes to cross the bergschrund.)
- The Envers glacier is OK (up and down).
- Aiguille Pierre-Alain and Dent du Requin popular: good, firm snow on the approach, rock dry.
- Going up the Vallée Blanche is OK, given a good freeze.
Some parties before the storms at the end of the week on the Mont Blanc by the N ridge of the Dôme in good conditions.
Aiguille du Midi Sector
The cable car reopened on the 4th July.
The 3 Monts route is popular, conditions generally good. There is a long deviation to pass a crevasse at the foot of the N face of Mont Maudit. 2 axes recommended for the ice sections at the Mont Maudit col and the Mur de la Côte. The recent storms have hardened the snow surface, which is not yet glass-like but still requires good crampon technique, especially in descent.) On the morning of the 5th there was 5cms of fresh snow at the Cosmiques hut. A party on the Mont Blanc du Tacul the same morning found between 20 and 60 cm (strong west wind). The rest of the route will probably be unstable for several days
- good conditions for the traverse of the Valley Blanche
- no news (is good news!) for the bergschrunds below the rock (S face, Aiguille du Midi and the Pointes Lachenal...) which should dry
- no or little activity on the Triangle du Tacul, awaiting more info.
- Midi-Plan Arete OK, if there is a good freeze, (a party turned back on 4th July due to soft snow.)
Aiguilles de Chamonix
-traverse of the Aguilles de Chamonix looks to be feasible, (no info)
- Cordier pillar and Charmoz-Grépon traverse very popular
- Nantillons glacier descent still OK
- rock routes dry, (crampons useful for some approaches.)
- no snow on the Peigne normal route.
- the upper part of the Frendo spur is becoming dry but still feasible given good freezing. Recent parties have exited to the right.
Mont Blanc by the Gouter
From the 7th July the Tramway will go up to the Nid d'Aigle, making the approach easier. “Normal » conditions between the Tête Rousse and the Goûter with stonefall during the day, cross the gully as early as possible. Nothing to note above this.
- Conscrits hut approach: still snow on the summer path, but feasible without crampons. For mountaineers the glacier route is still OK but there is 60m of ice at the level of the Tré la Grande seracs (crampons).
- The footpath from the col du Tricot to the Plan Glacier hut is almost free of snow but still a serious undertaking, good boots essential. Nothing to note for the path from the Miage chalets.
- Also nothing to note for the approach to the Durier hut, whether from the Plan Glacier or the Dôme. 5 cm of fresh snow at the hut on the morning of the 5th.
- generally good conditions for the traverse of the Dômes de Miage. A little bit of ice above the col to reach the first Dôme. No ice on the descent to the Bérangère but the snow is smooth and hard if there is a good freeze.
- Mont Tondu still popular : the lower ramp is dry, ice appearing at level section.
- no recent news for the Tré-la-Tête
- the Mettrier ridge is almost completely dry, cramponning starts at 100m below the exit which is still snow.
- the rock on the Tricot ridge is dry as far as the Aiguille de Tricot. Above this there looks to be a lot of ice.
- the Bionnassay traverse in good conditions, (no ice.)
Gonella Hut Sector
The Dôme glacier still OK to ascend Mont Blanc by the Aiguilles Grises. Tournette Spur was done on 2/07 in awkward conditions.
Monzino Hut Sector
No major change in conditions.
- rock routes dry
- the Brouillard and Fréney glaciers are OK. It is essential to get to the Eccles bivouac early, (large snow bridges).
- Innominata and Brouillard ridges OK. Peuterey Intergral has been done (no further info). A party turned back at the bergschrund for the Vires Schneider. A lot of ice on the Peuterey ridge.
Punta Helbronner Sector
- Brenva Spur remains popular. Likewise, the Kuffner. Despite the landslips last year, the section between the Fourche bivouac and the start remains possible, (no further info.)
- Aiguilles du Diable traverse in good condition but the bergschrund and the approach gully are becoming more awkward and may not remain feasible for very long.
- climbing on the satellites is popular. No news concerning the bergschrunds, (which is good news!).
- Tour Ronde : finished for the Gervasutti and N face. Conditions becoming more awkward on the slope to the Freshfield col. The SE ridge intergral remains the only route in acceptable condition, keeping in mind there is a section that is potentially unstable.
- good conditions for the Dent du Géant : the snow is going from the approach to the Salle à Manger but still OK. Rocherfort Ridge in condition.
- The abseil line from the Canzio bivouac to the Planpincieux glacier will not be re-equipped for some time, foresee 2 x 60m ropes.
- Jorasses traverse and normal route in good conditions
- Hirondelles Ridge has been done (no further info.)
Still no news about the opening of the Lac Blanc hut this summer.
The snow starts about the level of lac Blanc, which can now be reached without special equipment. Still some snow between the Chésery lakes and lac Blanc.
Between the top of the Index chairlift and lac Blanc, though much of the snow has gone, there remains some patches of hard snow, crampons recommended.
In the Glière combe much of the snow has gone but there is still a steep snowfield below the col.
The way up to the Col Cornu from Planpraz is almost dry but there is still a lot of snow on the N side (lacs Cornu et Noir).
The way up to the Brévent col from Planpraz is dry, good footwear and hiking poles are sufficient for this and the descent towards the Arlevé bridge and the Moede d'Anterne hut. For the Brévent, it appears to be better to go via the Brèche du Brévent.
The snow has nearly all gone from the Brévent lake.
On the other hand, crampons are necessary for the descent from col de Salenton to the Pierre à Bérard hut (no longer any snow between the hut and the Buet village.). The Buet summit still has a lot of snow.
Crampons/ice axes useful for the Crochues traverse, the Aiguille du Bélvédère.and most of the approaches to the rock routes in the Crochues/Index/Glière sectors, (except for the Crochues towers if one abseils back down.
Tour du Mont Blanc
The Fenetre d’Arpette variant is not recommended due to the amount of snow on the Champex side and the state of the path on the Trient side, (repair work due to start on 11th July.
General Info :
- still a lot of snow at the foot of the brèche du Brévent climbing area but does not pose much of a problem.
- lac Bleu is free from snow and accessible.
- A lot of snow on the summer Haute route, Chamonix-Zermatt : get the latest information from the huts and foresee good boots, hiking poles and crampons.
- Generally good conditions for the Mont Rosa and Grand Paradiso.
- Lion ridge (Matterhorn) still has a lot of snow, better conditions on the Hornli side.