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The Club produces a regular English translation of the Chamonix conditions report from La Chamoniarde to help climbers without an understanding of French to access up-to-date information on conditions in the valley. An archive of these reports can be seen below: 

 

Report: 17 November 2021

It’s still inter-season in the valley.

Ski lifts are closed except for the Flégère gondola (access to Lac Blanc and the Chéserys lakes OK but a little snow on the top and signposts not in place; Via Ferrata des Evettes OK).

You can find the opening dates of the lifts and ski areas on this page of the Mont Blanc Natural Resort website.

The snow that fell at the beginning of the month quickly melted in the “moyenne montagne”. So at the moment no skiing, but let's keep our fingers crossed! The fog has been sitting on the valley floor for the last few days but above it's much more pleasant, with nice sun and pleasant temperatures. 

You can hike (on foot!) with no worries below 2200-2300m depending on the orientation. As a reminder, a large part of the signposting is no longer in place. There may be some snow/ice and slippery paths, so it is important to be well shod.

These anti-cyclonic conditions allow for good activity in the high mountains with generally good conditions in the gullies/mixed routes. Some classic routes (Aiguille du Tour, Mont Blanc by the Goûter, Dômes de Miage...) could also be doable but we have no feedback. Snowshoes are still very useful to get around on the glaciers. Beware of snow bridges which remain fragile at this time. 

Many people on the Pélerins side (Rebuffat-Terray, Beyond Good and Evil) or in the Rebell Yell goulotte: the Plan de l'Aiguille winter hut is full every night, think of bringing a sleeping bag and even a mat.

Many people at the Albert 1er (no more wood) and on the Chardonnet. The latest news is that the Charlet-Bettembourg (the rimaye was committing because of variable snow, pitches 1 and 2 are mixed) and the Escarra are in good general conditions, but not the Aureille-Feutren. No news of the Gabarrou 79. The Aiguille du Tour normal route, Tête Blanche or Petite Fourche should be possible for those looking for an adventure!

No news yet from the Argentière basin but no doubt there must be something to do (Lagarde couloir? Ginat?).

 

Report translated from La Chamoniarde.

 

 

 

Report: 3 November 2021

The first real snowy episode in our mountains this week! It even snowed at the valley floor.
 
There is a dusting on the ground from 1400m.
 
In the "moyenne montagne", there is between 20 and 30 cm depending on the sector and the altitude (20-25cm at Planpraz; 20cm at la Flégère, 25cm at Lognan; 30cm at Montenvers). The webcams of the valley can help you to get an idea (be careful with the dates of the pictures).
 
We're going to disappoint you but it's still too early to get out your skis or snowshoes!
 
On the other hand, this complicates things for hiking. It is now reserved for those with a good experience of the mountain (absence of markers...) and correctly equipped (decent boots, warm clothes, poles...). The sectors above 2000m are to be avoided for the moment in our opinion. On the other hand, low level walks such as the lower balconies or the access to the various buvettes (Floria, Chapeau, Cerro, Bérard and Dard waterfalls etc) is all fine.
 
Little information concerning the high mountains, we note about 50-60 cm at the Aiguille du Midi and there was a lot of wind.
 
Beware of the risk of avalanche (the first avalanche reports of the year are already out).

Skis or snowshoes will be useful for the approaches and it will be necessary to dig out the gullies!

 

Report translated from La Chamoniarde.

 

 

 

Report: 25 October 2021

At last some information but still not enough considering the activity at the weekend! To be continued...

Thanks to all the contributors who feed the information chain.

Watch out, the glacier approaches are laborious when you have to break trail (breakable snow crust) and remain delicate (crevasses and snow bridges only just covered).

 

Albert 1er Sector

- Chardonnet: teams on the Migot - the Escarra goulotte. The normal descent route from the top of the Chardonnet and the Col Adams Reilly are tricky. Beware that there is a false track too far to the right on the way down from the summit and many climbers get lost. The Charlet-Bettembourg is tracked without more information.

- Aiguille du Tour is being done by the normal route and the SW ridge of the Table de Roc only has a bit of snow on it. The Table de Roc couloir is not very attractive: a little more patience is needed.

 

Aiguille du Midi Sector

- South face of Aiguille du Midi : you can climb the Rébuffat : 1 snow patch on the 1st pitch.
- Sightings of teams on Vent du Dragon: no information.
- Arête des Cosmiques, Lachenal traverse and traverse of the vallée Blanche are being done.
- Triangle du Tacul: Chéré couloir is in good condition (abseiling down the route) - a team has been seen on the Contamine Mazeaud.
- One track of a descent on the normal route of Tacul: ??? No info.
- East face of Tacul : A team has been seen on the Super Couloir - Valéria goulotte on the Petit Capucin: Good conditions.
- Rognon du Plan: Some people on Pas d'Agonie I: Good conditions. It looks like Pas d'Agonie II is also possible.

 

Torino Sector

- Traverse of the Aiguilles Marbrées: In good condition
- Tour Ronde - north face / grand Flambeau : see our route page

 

Aiguilles Rouges

The rock is dry on routes with the right aspect. Be careful with the aspect: it is autumn and the sun is "dropping" quickly in some areas, even in the south and it gets cold quickly! (Example: Frison Roche route at Le Brévent).

 

Hiking

This is the magic time of autumn! Paths with the right aspect are dry but be careful with the aspect because a covering of snow and/or ice (from about 2200m) can make some passages tricky even at medium altitude.

Equipment and markings have already been removed in many areas, so you will need to be independent in terms of navigation. Some footpaths are currently closed for work; a list of current closures is available on The Chamoniarde website.

 

 

 

Report: 21 October 2021

A beautiful end to the season allows us to enjoy the mountains. Here is some summary information about the high mountains.

The Aiguille du Midi lift reopens on Saturday 23 October until Sunday 7 November inclusive.  

There has been a lot of activity around the Albert 1er hut. The classics (Aiguille du Tour, Petite Fourche, Tête Blanche) are in good condition. The Chardonnet is a little dry, but some teams have done the Forbes arête and the Migot spur (rimaye ok, variable snow below the spur, reasonable ice on the mixed section, easy snow and ice on the summit slope). The rimaye below the col Adam Reilly and the crevasses on the Glacier du Tour are tricky.  

Some activity on the North face of the Grandes Jorasses without further information Linceul; Colton-MacIntyre(hard snow, top part very dry) Desmaison, Rêve Ephémère (descending via the Canzio bivi hut and a few Abalakovs below the col des Grandes Jorasses on the Chamonix side to get down on to the Mont Mallet glacier). 

Climbing is still possible at low-level around the Envers des Aiguilles (depending on today’s bad weather).  

Thanks to the opening of the Plan de l'Aiguille lift last weekend several teams have done the Rebuffat-Terray as well as Beyond Good & Evil. Conditions may have deteriorated thanks to the warm weather in the middle of the week. Beware of overcrowding.  

The North face of the Aiguille du Midi still seems dry. 

Aiguille du Midi sector: we will know more after the opening of the lift. Remember that the Cosmiques hut is closed (but the Simond bivi shelter is accessible). There may have been teams on Pas d'Agonie and in the Supercouloir probably without topping out. The goulotte Valéria on the Petit Capucin is said to be in good condition. 

Lots of activity around the Helbronner (the Skyway lift is open until 2 November as well as the Torino hut). The Marbrées traverse is being done regularly as well as the Tour Ronde and the Rebuffat couloir. The Gervasutti couloir, the North face and the normal route are also being done. The goulotte “Filo di Arianna” on Mont Maudit has been done but we don’t have any further details.   

It continues to be a beautiful finish to the season on the normal route on Mont Blanc. Remember that it's much more committing at this time of year with winter conditions (cold, fresh snow, trail breaking often needed). The ascent to the Goûter is more technical and huts and lifts are closed. Only consider it if you have lots of experience in the high mountains. 

A few teams have done the traverse of the Bionnassay. The rock section is OK but the East ridge is said to be narrow and icy. 

Lots of people around the Conscrits hut in this good weather. Be careful of crevasses in the centre of the Trè-la-Tête glacier. The traverse of the Dômes is OK.    

Finally hiking and climbing in the “moyenne montagne”. Nothing particular to report apart from magnificent autumn colours. 

The Planpraz lift opens this Saturday 23rd October until Sunday 7th November inclusive. The Montenvers train and the Plan de l'Aiguille lift are also open. Days are getting shorter so think about leaving early and giving yourself a bit of extra time. 

 

 

Report: 15 October 2021

A brief report on conditions before a weekend of good weather.
 
All the lifts are shut with the exception of the Montenvers train. The Plan de l’Aigille téléphérique should reopen 16/10 but the Aiguille du Midi section won’t open until the Toussaint holiday (23/10 to 07/11).
 
We have had lots of enquiries concerning conditions in the high mountains.  At the moment we have no information except there is regular activity on the Aiguille du Tour and the Tête Blanche and on the normal route on Mont Blanc via the Goûter. A few parties have been on the Jorasses but there is no further information since the report of the Linceul on our site.
 
Some winter rooms are filling up quickly at the moment.There were almost 50 people last weekend at the Albert 1er for 40 places. Bear this in mind or think about doing something else. The Torino Hut is open with access via the Skyway (pass sanitaire obligatory for the lift). Activity is concentrated on the Aiguilles Marbrées and the Entrèves. No new information on other routes or the gullies.
 
The rock is dry on south facing aspects in the Aiguilles Rouges but approaches are long from the valley. No new information about the Envers des Aiguilles but it should still be possible to climb up there a bit. The Montenvers ladders are closed for work and access to the Mer de Glace is via the Grotto.
 
For walkers there are no particular worries and most routes should be doable. Some shady high altitudes routes will be snowy and therefore slippery. You will need good boots and poles (Salenton, Buet, Jonction...). A few paths are closed for maintenance look at this page before leaving.
 
Autumn is well advanced and the “équipements” (chains etc) are being removed on some routes (the gangway on the Tricot à Bionnassay, chains under the Nid d'Aigle). Some summer signs will be removed soon in ski areas and in places exposed to avalanche.
 
Not surprisingly we are lacking a lot of information and eagerly await your feedback to supplement our next report.
 
 
 

Report: 6 October 2021

Snow and wind at altitude, the first frosts, fog in the valley - there’s no doubt it’s Autumn.

It snowed high up at the beginning of the week. We think between 5 and 10cm of snow at 2,300m. There was a dusting at 2,000m but it has already melted. Higher up it’s difficult to estimate the quantity of snow. At the Torino Hut there is about 40cm. What is certain is that it’s all beautifully white. You can get a reasonable idea of conditions thanks to the webcam of Punta Helbronner and for the footpaths the webcams of the Compagnie du Mont Blanc.

The classic snow routes must be possible at the moment but at this time of year they are much more committing, and you will need lots of experience. It’s a long way, the huts are shut, it’s cold and there are no tracks. You may need snow shoes to get around on glaciers.

The Skyway lift and the Torino hut are still open. The shorter classic routes (traverses of the Marbrées and Entrèves and glacier trips) are being done.

It’s certainly possible that mixed routes are in condition, but you will have to go and see as we have no information.

The rock is well plastered even quite low down (Envers des Aiguilles, Plan de l'Aiguille, Argentière basin, Aiguilles Rouges). Rock climbing is therefore concentrated on sunny valley crags. Watch out for fog, seepage and cold fingers. Or go further south.

Quiet footpaths and beautiful autumn colours await you. There are no problems with walking below 2,200 m (warm clothes + gloves + hat needed). Above that height, there is some snow and you will have to equip yourself properly (good shoes + poles).

Remember to consult the list of trails closed for work.

As a reminder, the Montenvers train is the only lift currently open in the Chamonix Valley.