Latest update on conditions. :
Last week it rained up to 4000m and then with the lower temperatures, the snow became very hard/icy. First class cramponning skills are needed.
Otherwise, the dryness continues with the snow bridges on the glaciers becoming ever weaker.
- Albert 1er : The Petite Fourche, the Aig du Tour, both by the Table Ridge and the normal route, remain popular. Crossing the Col Supérieur du Tour is very technical and it is better to use the Col du Tour, which itself is more awkward than usual. The bergschrund crossing has collapsed, though it is still possible to get across on the right.
- Argentière : The Petite Aiguille Verte is now bare ice and not feasible. The bergschrund at the Col des Grands Montets is awkward but passable, (fixed rope.). The Belvédère (East) ridge is dry and popular. The conditions for rock climbing behind the Argentière hut remain excellent. Parties are also doing the Col du Tour Noir, there and back.
- Charpoua : The storm last Friday resulted in a lot of stone fall in the gullies in this sector and some areas are unstable, notably near Ciao Marco (to be avoided). The Dru traverse is still being done but crossing the glacier is becoming difficult.
- Couvercle : Do not start the Nonne-Evêque by the gully but go instead on the left, (looking up.) A large stride is needed to cross the Moine bergschrund but the normal route and S ridge are still being climbed. On the Verte, there have been some parties on the Grand Montets and the Moine ridges, (time taken very variable between parties.)
- Leschaux : Still a little bit of snow on the Grand Jorasses N face but parties have tried the Walker spur, some successfully, others chosing to turn back. Be aware of stone fall in this area!
Anouk and Contamine on the Petites Jorasses have been done recently. The hut can only be contacted by telephone, (internet not working.)
- Envers des Aiguilles : Very little has changed since the last update. The bergschrund for the République has become more awkward but it is still passable.
- Requin : The hut approach is OK and the rock routes in this sector continue to be climbed. There is some ice on the approach the Aiguille du Requin, but not a problem. For the Pierre Alain, it is better to return by the normal route, because some of the streams (torrents) are difficult to cross in the afternoon. Virtually nobody going up the Vallee Blanche anymore.
- Torino : No major changes in the access to the Tacul satelittes. The Aiguilles d'Entrèves traverse is best done in reverse, (i.e. NE to SW,) so that the ice slope is done in ascent. Ice present on the Rochefort Arete, some parties retreating, others reaching the Canzio bivouac and then the Jorasses traverse. The belays below the Canzio have been damaged, 2 x 50m ropes advisable.
- Cosmiques : The snow is still very hard on the 3 Monts traverse; good cramponning technique essential! There is a fixed rope at Mont Maudit, but also ice. No information for the Pointes Lachenal. The Laurence and Cosmiques ridges remain in condition. The snow bridges on the Vallee Blanche crossing are becoming ever more suspect.
- Goûter : Conditions are becoming increasingly awkward as the end of season approaches ; proper alpine equipment and experience essential. You are reminded that due to work on the Tramway, it is forbidden to walk up the track. To reach the Tête Rousse or the Nid d'Aigle it is necessary to go either via the Chalets de l'Are or the Rognes route.
- Conscrits / Durier : The Tré la Tête glacier is very dry but the Central Dôme de Miage and the East Dôme are still being done (there and back) The traverse to the Durier and Mont Tondu from the Conscrits hut are also being done.
Conditions are OK for the Bionnassay traverse, though it is more difficult than usual.
- Monzino : The Brouillard glacier is no longer passable it is now necessary to go via the Pointe Innominata to reach the Eccles bivouac, (an additional 4 hours.) Some parties on the Peuterey Integral, Freney Pillar, Brouillard Ridge integral and the Pillar Dérobé. Conditions are very dry and some sections can be challenging. It is also difficult to find snow to melt for drinking/cooking.