The off-season is well and truly here! The Indian summer seems to be behind us and winter is just around the corner!
The weather over the last 10 days has not been very favourable for mountain activities, but the glaciers (at least at altitude) and the water tables are recovering!
One storm after another. Last night, it snowed down to 1,800m in the Aiguille Rouges and a little higher (1,900- 2,000m) on the other side of the valley. Guess what, the higher you go, the more snow there seems to be!
In the high mountains, there must be quite a lot of fresh snow, with a lot of snow transported by the inevitable wind. Even if there isn't really a window of opportunity in sight (a bit of sunshine this weekend, but it's forecast to be windy), beware of the risk of avalanches up there, even on the classic 'short' routes from the Aiguille du Midi, for example. You'll also need to watch out for fragile snow bridges on the glaciers.
With favourable weather, it is still possible to hike in the valley. You will need to adapt to the snow conditions and stay below around 2,300m. The paths are quickly greasy and slippery at this time of year, so bring poles and good boots, as well as warm clothing. This is no longer trekking season, so it's best to opt for day hikes.
For your information, several trails are currently closed (particularly in the Argentière-Lognan and Chamonix-Plan de l'Aiguille sectors). For more information, click here
As a reminder, the Aiguille du Midi cable car, the Montenvers train and the Planpraz cable car are open until 5 November (end of school holidays). After that, the Flégère cable car will be open from 6 to 26 November.
Translated with kind 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.