La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 27 July 2023

Just a few bits of info before the weekend.
Not much has changed in the high mountains, apart from a small snow fall in the middle of this week (whitened ground up to 2300m, between 10 and 30cm above that depending on altitude and sector). The rock has been plastered and is gradually drying out (at this time of year, it's slower on the N faces) but it could snow again tomorrow, Saturday, with the passage of a new rainstorm. These spells of snow will allow the snow routes that were still being done to continue.
Generally speaking, the glaciers and rimayes are still going well, even if it's the end for most of the technical mixed routes.
In short, we've had much worse conditions for the end of July, and we are fine about that!

Le Tour

All's well except that the 10cm of snow that fell has already melted and we now have to concentrate on Chardonnay (wine) as the Chardonnet (mountain) is finished.

Argentière Glacier
Access to the hut via the ladders (2 rungs missing but not a problem). Access is possible via the glacier but it's more tricky so only for those who know how to get out of the labyrinth.
There’s climbing in the sun up here!


Everything's good in this sector! Stay tuned for a possible closure of the refuge for a few days next week due to a technical problem.

Talèfre / Leschaux

Normal route and S ridge of the Moine: nothing to report

Some of the rimayes are starting to suffer and you often have to fiddle around and be a bit daring (climb down and back up) to get over them (Contamine, Nonne-Evêque).

No one on the Moine ridge still (apart from some rock-hunters who didn't make it to the summit a fortnight ago). The rimaye is gaping and seems to be the crux of the route.

Pointe Isabelle is still a decent route.

The N face of the Grandes Jorasses is once again quite white...

Envers des Aiguilles / Requin

No changes here either.

Most recent feedback (last weekend), you had to pass between the rocks on the descent of the Nantillons glacier. We'll have to keep an eye on this as the temperatures drop, but it doesn't look too good.

The glacier de l'Envers du Plan to climb to the eponymous aiguille is still ok.

The traverse of the Jorasses can still be considered when weather conditions allow (normal route still in good condition). The Arêtes de Rochefort and Dent du Géant are still being done a lot (take care when accessing the Salle à Manger).

The S faces of the Tacul satellites have dried out, but watch out for the new snow forecast.

Vallée Blanche traverse: OK.

Aiguille du Midi

The Trois Monts route was retracked yesterday (around 20cm of fresh snow on Maudit) in conditions unchanged from our 21/07 update.

The S faces are dry, with just a little snow on the ledges.

Plan de l'Aiguille

All's well except for the situation on the Nantillons glacier (see Envers sector), which needs to be monitored. If you are doing the traverse of the Aiguilles you should descend down the Blaitière abseils.

The Grands Mulets refuge has closed for the season a few days early!

Mont Blanc via the Aiguille du Goûter

A burst of snow and a drop in temperature that's reassuring! No abnormal rockfalls in the Goûter couloir. Crampons now stay on for the ascent to the Goûter hut after the snow fall. Good conditions for the end of July!

Miage / Bionnassay

Still great conditions on the traverse of the Dômes and the Aiguille du Bionnassay.

Gonella / Monzino

The Gonella refuge closes on 30/08 (winter room open with mattresses and blankets). For the moment, the Dôme glacier is still a good route to the Piton des Italiens. There is still some activity on the Tournette spur in decent conditions.

The S ridge of the Peuterey Noire is dry. Quite a few people on the Ratti Vitale this year (access is now via the Col de l'Innominata).
Access to the Eccles bivi is still OK via the glacier. No one on the “grandes courses" (Innominata, Freney, Intégrale) recently because of the weather.

Translated with permission from an original report by La Chamoniarde.

Readers are reminded that conditions in mountain environments are prone to (sometimes rapid) change and that they should use their own best judgement when visiting them.