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Report 22nd February

Some updates following the weekend:

The bad weather over the last few days has added about 40cms of new snow at 2300m. The strong winds at altitude have transformed the snow, (wind crust, drifting….)

The important rise in temperatures the last two days has resulted in ski conditions which vary from wind crust through to spring snow.  With this warmth, wet snow avalanches have been seen, be careful with your timing

 

The classic descents on the Italian side have been done regularly:  Marbrées, Toule, Col d’Entrèves, Brenva, (careful in the heat of the day).

 

The Vallée Blanche is also very popular even though the conditions are not the easiest to ski.  The descent via the Mottets remains possible, however it is necessary to walk some sections before the Planards.
The Pas de Chèvre is not recommended due to a very awkward exit.  

Ski touring: Cols du Tour Noir, d’Argentière and the Aiguille d’Argentière by the Glacier du Milieu (some weak snow bridges) have been done as well as the classics in the Aiguilles Rouges. Difficult snow conditions on the N side though the Bérard valley is in good condition. .

Concerning the gullies: A reasonable amount of ice in the Pelissier, (Pointes Lachenal,) exit dry but goes without problems,

Star Académixte was climbed on 18/02, conditions dry, foresee large friends up to No.4

M6 Solar : First pitch difficult. (A party had to back off.)
Ice is Nice : bergschrund difficult but goes if one has very good technique or makes a detour to the left via an abseil.
Pépite climbed on 18/02, bergschrund delicate but goes, followed by snow more or less firm, except for the corner,  Deep, soft snow at the exit to the summit.

 

Concerning the ice falls: Déferlante, EMHM, Mini Couloir, Mini Goulotte and Noix de Samba have been climbed.
Nuit Blanche and the ice falls on the right bank are to be avoided for the moment.

The forecast is for very changeable weather this coming week, so conditions are likely to evolve as a result..

Concerning snow shoeing:  this remains popular, though snowshoes are not always necessary on the marked trails which have been used regularly,