For the most part, the snow routes were in good condition last week, thanks to good freezing at night. However, the hot weather this last weekend means alpinists are now preferring either the rock routes or snow routes above 3600m.
- Albert 1er: Generally good conditions. Most of the routes are being done. if it freezes hard enough at night.
- Argentière : The Aiguille d’Argentière is being climbed by the Glacier du Milieu, the Flèche Rousse and the Y couloir ; only average conditons for the “Y”, (sugary snow.) The normal route on the Petite Verte is popular. There is a large bergschrund on the Chevalier, (can be passed on the left;) conditions are deteriorating for this route.
- Charpoua / Couvercle: Good climbing on the Flammes de Pierre. The S Pillar of the Grand Dru is feasible. Sans Nom Ridge on the Verte was climbed on 9/07, The approach up the glacier is OK, but one needs to work out the best line. The climb up to the Brèche sans Nom is on snow, (but likely to deteriorate rapidly,) then good conditions on the ridge to the summit. The traverse of the Drus looks feasible. Descent by the Whymper: conditions are worsening and the central gully is dry.
There has been another serac fall from the Charpuoa glacier: Take care if in this area as it is unstable. The hut approach by the new route is recommended. The rock routes near the Couvercle are mainly in condition and the Normal route on the Moine has got a lot better. It is better to wait until night time freezing improves for the snow routes in this area, (the Courtes Traverse – Pointe Isabelle – Whymper are deteriorating.)
- Leschaux: No problems to get to the hut from the Leschaux glacier. There is still some steep snow on the balcon footpath, (crampons necessary.) No problems for climbing on the Aiguille de Pierre à Joseph just above the hut, or on the W face of the Petites Jorasses, (glacier approach OK). The Aiguille de l’Eboulement is still possible if it freezes correctly. The Periades: the glacier goes OK for the moment. Concerning the Grandes Jorasses, the mixed routes are clearly not in condition. The Walker is in the process of “drying out”, situation to be followed!
- Requin: The Envers glacier is tracked The Vallée Blanche is being done, the route is becoming more complicated at the Salle a Manger and it is recommended to pass by the hut and then the ladders to regain the Mer de Glace. The Dent du Requin is in condition.
- Envers des Aiguilles: The season has started, climbers on the Tour Verte – Tour Rouge – Pointe des Nantillons – République – Grépon Mer de Glace – E Ridge of the Crocodile – Bec d’Oiseau.
- Conscrits: The summer path is open, the ropes are back in place and the footbridge is as new. Some snow patches remain, which require crampons early in the morning, though these are disappearing rapidily with the heat. Condition generally are good in this sector: Dômes de Miage –Bionnassay traverse – Bérangère – Tondu.
For the return by the Tré la Tête glacier do not descend until the “Mauvais Pas” but after the “Tré la Grande”, keep to the centre of the glacier, (covered in stones), and at the level of the glacier snout go onto the true right bank, cairns
- Diable Ridge traverse: the bergschrund is OK. The gully has snow all the way. The aiguilles are dry, (except for a little snow between the Carmen and the Isolée.)
- Kuffner Ridge: Stonefall has been reported after the Fourche bivouac, at the level of the first gendarme, (tower).
At lower altitudes, with the recent hot weather, the snow is rapidly melting. However, there are still many awkward snow patches in the Aiguilles Rouges: (col Cornu - Index - col de la Glière - Brévent by the col du Brévent – Buet – Emosson sector)
The next update will be after the stormy period, which has been forecasted for the next few days.