Mountain Conditions 13/05/2020

Back in business !!!

A little information as activities restart. Even if one cannot go too far, or too hard and the weather is decidedly unreliable, everyone is happy that we can hike, bike and ski again.   

The Company du Mont Blanc has confirmed that the Aig du Midi cable car and the Montenvers train should be open on weekends 16th/!7th and 21st/24th May.

The snow level has receded a lot during the lockdown period.  Conditions are several weeks in advance compared of other years.  To get an idea, look at the webcams on the Chamoniarde site.

Bad news for the ski tourers, who will have long walks carrying their skis. The skiable snow starts around 1800m on the N side, e.g. 100m below Pierre à Bérard hut, at the water outlet on the true right moraine of the Tour glacier and at the last big bend on the Pierre à Ric below the Lognan station.

Above, the snow is Spring nevé, pleasant to ski but with the more recent snow often being soft and “sticky”.

It is difficult to judge the conditions in the high mountain and  also difficult to access within a day.  The recent bad weather from the SW has plastered snow on the faces and concealed the underlying bad situation.  The Tacul Triangle was seen to be very dry on the 12th May.  Without doubt, snow will have accumulated in other areas and care is needed with unstable conditions.

Hikers will find that the snow level starts around 1800m, regardless of orientation, and is fairly continuous from this level. Therefore, it is too early for hikes to the mountain lakes,  (Lake Blanc, Chéserys lakes, Lake Cornu...), the Grands Balcons etc.

On the other hand there are some beautiful early season walks e.g. Cerro chalet, Bossons glacier, the Floria - Chapeau, Loriaz chalets, Pendant Alpage from Lavancher, Tête de Prapator, Montenvers via the Mottets buvette, Blaitière Alpage, Montagne de La Charlanon, Planpraz via the Plan des Chablettes, Chailloux chalet (some snow still on the Aiguillette des Houches), Prarion via the Col de la Forclaz, Lac Vert and the Ayères chalets, Varan hut.....

The Parc de Merlet opens on  the 16th May. The bridge way to the Bérard waterfall is accessible.

It is also a good time for mountain biking (with or without “assistance”)  and for crag climbing!!!

Please do not hesitate to telephone the Chamoniarde for more precise details or to pass on your information.