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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: 08 August 2022

Report: 08 August 2022

 

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 08 August 2022

 

The dry spell continues in the mountains. 

Glacier and snow conditions continue to deteriorate. 

Plan B is more than ever rock climbing (without complex glacier approaches). There are no longer any snow routes in good condition, although some are still possible (although technically more difficult). 

There are regular rock falls and landslides in some places in the high mountains. Don't hesitate to share your observations. The drought is such that it can also lead to rock falls in the “moyenne montagne” (lower hills) especially after storms. Beware also of overcrowding on some routes. 

 

Tour / Trient / Orny 

The Trient hut closed for the 2022 summer season on 1 August 2022. It will reopen for the ski touring season in mid-March 2023. During the construction period, the hut is closed to the public. There are no winter or emergency rooms. The Orny hut will remain open. 

Crossing the Dorées ridge via the Col des Plines is still possible. The rock is very good both on the Orny side and on the other side (Envers des Dorées). 

The Tour glacier is increasingly chaotic (ice, fragile snow bridges, crevasses). The rimaye of the aiguille du Tour is wide open (3m). You can still get across on large jammed blocks but it feels like the end (see photos below, thanks to the Orny hut guardian). The col du Tour is passable but there is a lot of ice. 

Tête Blanche and Petite Fourche are still possible but the final part is icy (not very steep). 

 




Argentière Glacier 

Plenty of climbing here. Access to the hut is clear, but you have to look above you at the ladders (we are in the mountains!)

Large rock fall on 03/08 under the Pointe Farrar (Grands Montets ridge). 

 

Charpoua / Couvercle / Leschaux 

The Charpoua hut will close on 25/08. Renovation work will then begin. From this date until May 2023, the hut will be closed and there will be no winter accommodation. In the meantime, the gardienne has "closed" the Drus. 

A fixed rope is in place to access the Contamine on the Evêque. 

There are few changes in the Talèfre basin. The rimayes are opening but no particular worries for the Moine and the Nonne-Eveque. More activity on the Moine ridge on the Verte (the summit ridge is quite unstable). 

As a reminder, the Mer de Glace balcony path is an alpine hike with parts on glaciers and ladders: you need to have a good mountaineering spirit and not underestimate it. 

The routes above the Leschaux hut are perfect. The glacier access to the Aiguille de Leschaux seems problematic. As a reminder, access to the Petites Jorasses is no longer possible. 

Following the storms, there is rockfall and debris on the N face of the Grand Jorasses, all the parties who left for the Walker in the last week have turned back. 

 

Sector Envers des Aiguilles / Requin 

The rimaye of the VN de la République is still passable thanks to blocks of snow stuck in the rimaye (it's a bit of a “building site" after all). For how long (once they melt, it won't be possible to go through anymore)? 

Pedro Polar's rimaye doesn't go anymore: start on the first pitches of the "soleil a rdv avec la lune" (also a tricky rimaye here). Elsewhere, all is well. 

Access to the Requin is still OK on the left bank. Access and rock routes all good (Dent Requin, Pierre Alain). Climbing up the Vallée Blanche is a thing of the past (waterfalls, chaotic glacier). 

 

Helbronner Sector 

Less activity here. The glacier approaches are complex. Still a few parties on the Marbrées, Aiguilles d'Entrêves, Grand Capucin. 

 

Aiguille du Midi 

Here too the engine is idling. 

The Aiguille du Midi Arête is very technical (ice, steep), you need to be comfortable with cramponing. 

The normal route on Mont Blanc du Tacul is still possible from the hut (be careful with the rimayes + keep to a good timetable). 

It feels like the end for the Trois Monts which is more and more technical (Maudit middle rimaye very difficult, 2 ice axes + good technique needed). It is not at all an alternative to the normal route. 

You can still climb on the S face of the Aiguille du Midi. 

 

Plan de L'Aiguille 

Frendo and Mallory : All good (we're kidding but amazingly some people have tried!!!). 

You can climb on the Peigne, the red pillar of the Blaitière and the Aiguille de l'M. 

Access to and Cordier Pillar itself is very exposed (rock falls). 

 

Mont Blanc by the Goûter 

We aren't telling you anything new, the route is in bad condition and the Tête Rousse and Goûter huts are closed (including the winter rooms). Walkers can go up to the Rognes or the Tête Rousse (the glacier is icy and you will need crampons). 

 

Dômes de Miage / Bionnassay 

The ascent to the Durier hut from Plan Glacier can be considered very early in the morning after cool nights without storms. Access from the Conscrits is possible via the Col des Dômes. Aiguille de Bionnassay there and back is still not too bad. 

Avoid the Dômes de Miage traverse (ice, rock falls, crevasses above the col de la Bérangère). 

The Dômes can be considered as a return trip for experienced rope parties (good reading of the glacial terrain necessary, ice etc). 

The Aiguille de la Bérangère can be done as an out-and-back from the Conscrits hut. 

 

Monzino 

One of the sectors where it's good to live at the moment to do rock climbing (Aiguille Croux, Punta Innominata...). 

 

Aiguilles Rouges 

The best idea of Summer 2022. You can climb everywhere. Beware of overcrowding, for example on the Brévent (rock falls). 

No more (running) water at the Bellachat refuge, which remains open. 

Also beware of overcrowding in the bivouac spots and especially around the lakes. Please respect the rules of bivouac (from sunset to sunrise, take down your tent in the morning, one night in each place) or risk seeing this tolerance disappear. Similarly, you should avoid swimming in the lakes. 

 

Barberine 

Following a landslide on 06/08, the following long routes in Barberine should be avoided until further notice: Sylvie, Barbourine, Mirrors, Vipère and Méduse (see photos below). 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Report: 20 July 2022

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 20 July 2022
 
Conditions are changing fast and not in a good way.
 
Some news to replace and clarify our last update:
 
  • Aiguilles Dorées traverse : all the parties turned back yesterday because of rock falls (see cahier de course on the La Chamoniarde website).
  • Rock falls on the Col Supérieur du Tour: it is once again better to go via the Col du Tour.
  • Tête Blanche is icy but it is not very steep. Same for the Petite Fourche but you can go up by the rocky ridge.
  • Teams on the Grands-Montets ridge on the Verte, the calotte at the top is tracked but dont hang around.
  • Rock falls reported on the American Direct.
  • “Tormented" glacial approach for the Walker spur. Some rock falls on the route. Almost everything is done in rock shoes. Descent not easy.
  • Rock falls on the access to the salle à manger (Dent du Géant, Arêtes de Rochefort): the local guide companies are not doing these routes anymore
  • Access to the S face routes of the Pointes Lachenal: the rimayes are complicated, abseiling is better. Good crampons (steel) are necessary for the ascent/descent of the Lachenal (all ice).
  • Beware of the Aiguille du Midi rimaye which is opening up more and more
  • A recent serac fall on the Tacul which hasn't worsened conditions on the route. Take care at the (many) rimayes on the route. Small fixed rope in place to facilitate the (strenuous) crossing of the rimaye under the col du Mont Maudit. The traverse to the col is not equipped, you need to be good on your feet (crampons).
  • Mont Blanc by the Goûter: the bad conditions only concern the part between Tête Rousse and the Goûter. Hikers who wish to do so can climb to Tête Rousse!
  • Col de la Bérangère to be avoided absolutely, in any direction: "constant rock falls".
  • Dômes de Miage and back, is being done every day, "a few" crevasses but still ok, more and more ice on the ridge.
 
A bit further away from us:
 
  • The guides in Cervinia no longer sell the ascent of the Matterhorn via the Lion ridge.
  • The guides in Zermatt no longer sell the ascent of the Pollux because of the state of the glacier.
  • The guides in Grindelwald no longer sell the normal route of the Jungfrau.
 
Finally, following numerous calls from our hiker friends, rest assured that rock falls or other hanging glaciers do not "threaten" the Tour du Mont Blanc nor the classic trails of the valley!
 

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.

 
 
 

Report: 18 July 2022

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 18 July 2022

 

Heat and drought, it looks like it's going to last...it's not going to help mountain conditions.

Conditions on glacier and snow/mixed routes are deteriorating quickly. There are beginning to be rockfalls even on pure rock climbs so choose your routes carefully.

 

Tour/Trient

Lots of teams on the Dorées traverse (E-W direction). There is also climbing on the S side of the Dorées. Access is via the Col des Plines (the fenêtre de Saleina is in bad shape).

A 45-50 m abseil is needed to cross the Col Blanc.

The glacier du Tour is drying out, not much snow, beware of fragile snow bridges. There are several "crevasse jumps" (watch out for your ankles when landing with crampons).

Tête Blanche and Petite Fourche (some ice) are being done, as is the Purtscheller.

Still some activity on the Aiguille du Tour normal route (rimaye ok). The Col Sup. du Tour is unpleasant and not very appealing but is passable. Be careful not to drop too many rocks on other teams.

Arête de la Table is ok if you do the integral route.

 

Argentière glacier

Land of the climber and the crystal hunter!

One of the sectors to practice rock climbing in peace and quiet...

 

Charpoua

The glacier to reach the Drus is still crossable (teams on the traverse and on the Contamine).

Some teams on Sale Athée. A team on the Contamine on the Evêque: little snow at the bottom so the gap between rock and snow (“la roture”) is OK, the start is on steep glacial slabs. 

 

Talèfre basin

Conditions are still good in the Moine sector.  The “roture” (gap between snow and rock) on the VN (voie normale) is deteriorating, you can go a bit more to the right and join the first belay before going back to the left.

The Moine ridge on the Verte is being done there and back. A lot of teams coming from the Grands Montets ridge. The “calotte” (snowy cap on the summit) is fine.

The Droites/Courtes sector is now only terrain for crystal hunters.

 

Leschaux

The rock routes are tip-top.

No recent activity on the Aiguille de Leschaux.

The snow bridges are getting thinner and thinner (and unlike cheese, it's not going to get any better) but it's still possible to access the Petites Jorasses.

Quite a few teams on the Cassin on the Walker spur. No significant rock falls for the moment. See below for a report from a climb on 15 & 16 July (this is a report from just one party and the perception and appreciation of the conditions may vary from one person to another depending on their level etc).

"The approach at the base of the spur is easy but there is a risk of snow/ice falls at the start, the first crack is dirty and scrappy for about ten metres (afterwards it is cleaner). Otherwise the snow is probably still climbable (I can send you a photo if needed).

Then it's generally dry up to the triangular névé (all in rock shoes).

The steep part of the red chimney is easy to climb with rock shoes despite the ice at the bottom (some teams wore crampons), but crampons are needed at the end of the red chimney to reach the traverse to the right at the foot of the Tour Rouge.

(Then I found it comfortable to keep crampons for the cracked slab accessing the traverse under the Tour Rouge and for the beginning of the very wet couloir at the right end of this traverse).

Then it's all dry as soon as you leave the couloir that borders the right side of the Tour Rouge (when you rejoin the crest on the left). (Done in big boots without crampons).

I put crampons back on one pitch below the summit (bits of ice and then a small traverse under the summit cornice).

To summarise I would say:

 

  • Rock shoes at least until the triangular neve

  • Crampons on somewhere between the triangular neve and the top of the red chimney

  • Remove crampons at the top of the Tour Rouge.
  • Put on crampons 60m below the summit.

 

Equipment: one ice axe per person sufficient.

 

Water:

  • In the afternoon in several places up to the base of the Alain-Rébuffat diedres.
  • Small névé shortly after the pendulum abseil.
  • On the descent, below the summit, ice is not far away. On the lower glacier you need to zigzag between the crevasses, at the end some short sections of ice (including 10m of black ice)."

 

Note that several teams turned back this morning: the level of the glacier being very low, there is more climbing than usual, watch this space.

 

Envers des Aiguilles/ Requin

The République rimaye is still passable (first by the rocks on the left bank then by the lower ledges to get a foothold on the rock (the upper passage is no longer ok).

Glacier des Nantillons no longer in use.

The other sectors are fine. République bananière rimaye OK, possibility to find water at belay 15.

Teams on the Dent du Requin (Renaudie) and the Aiguille Pierre-Alain (Congo Star).

Ascent of the Vallée Blanche still possible.

 

Helbronner

Access to the Salle à Manger is completely dry (see the report on the Dent du Géant in the "cahier de course” on La Chamoniarde). The Rochefort arête is still in good condition (some ice but fixed rope in place).

Teams on the Jorasses traverse in good conditions. For the moment, the descent via the normal route is OK. It seems preferable to descend via the Whymper rib (possibly doing the round trip to the summit of the Walker) rather than the classic route and the traverse under the serac. The Grandes Jorasses and Planpincieux glaciers are still quite accessible.

The Marbrées traverse (integral) and the Aiguilles d'Entrêves (be careful on the glacier) are being done regularly.

Aiguilles du Diable traverse: Dry, dry, dry! But still being done.

The rimayes are still there! Perhaps a deterioration at the Pic Adolphe Rey (you may need to go into it) but no certainty on the reliability of this information. Note a new rockfall on the Trident, which has not been done much in recent years anyway.

 

Aiguille du Midi sector

The Midi arete is deteriorating (ice, crevasses).

The traverse of the Vallée Blanche is pretty crevassed but still being done (repeated crevasse falls in the last few weeks). It is necessary to pass as low as possible under Pointe Adolphe Rey. An alternative route (see photo) has been made to avoid the precarious snow bridge under the Aiguille de Toule.

An annotated photo of the Vallée Blanche showing the new preferred route.

It's over for the Midi-Plan. Traversing the Aiguilles de Chamonix is also very dry, plan to descend by the abseils on the West face of the Blaitière.

Curtains for the Pointes Lachenal (all ice, unstable rocks in the abseiling area) and for the Triangle du Tacul.

The Cosmiques ridge is very dry. As a reminder, the abseiling area has been subject to rock falls/bursts for some years.

Trois Monts : The rimayes on the Tacul are becoming more fragile. The bridge of the upper one is regularly collapsing and you need to head more and more to the right. On Mont Maudit, the route is becoming steeper and there is ice on the traverse under the Col du Mont Maudit (2 ice axes recommended). Numerous crevasses to cross on the route. Reserved for good climbers with good crampon skills (as you have to go back down by this route).

 

Plan de l'Aiguille sector

Some chilly rock to climb.

It's over for the Nantillons. The Cordier pillar is being done (descend by abseil).

Go around the bottom of the Nantillons glacier (rock falls) to access the Aiguille de l'M/Cordier pillar etc.

 

Grands-Mulets

A few teams going to or from Mont Blanc. N ridge of the Dôme du Goûter possible (little ice). Contact the guardian for conditions and tips.

 

Mont Blanc by the Aiguille du Goûter

Itinerary in bad conditions (rock falls in the Goûter couloir) and currently not recommended.

 

Bionnassay /Dômes de Miage

The traverse of the Aiguille de Bionnassay is in good condition. However, access via Plan Glacier is not recommended (landslide under Durier). Preferable access from the Conscrits. The descent via the Goûter is also problematic. Possibly plan to sleep at the Goûter and then cross to the Aiguille du Midi via the Trois Monts (bring 2 ice axes).

For the Conscrits area, we quote the post from the refuge on Sunday 17/07:

"Difficult to keep you informed of the conditions, its changing all the time! But overall, it's not getting any better....

The Col de la Bérangère is icy, the traverse is not possible for the moment. It can be attempted, for experienced climbers, from west to east to go to the Durier, but beware of rock falls from the ridge.

Going to the Dôme Central and back is still possible, but you have to adapt to the conditions; the glacier is very crevassed (some sweaty incidents in the last few days, be very careful), some ice appears here and there... in short, it's alpinism!

For an unforgettable experience: those who suffer from the heat can come and refresh themselves in the beautiful swimming pools that you can find on the way up to the Bérangère!"

 

The other side of Mont Blanc

Refuge Gonella closed due to lack of water. The route is still possible. When the glacier gets too tricky, it will still be possible to go by up the Aiguilles Grises ridge which was partially re-equipped a few years ago (it's long).

Still some activity around here but we can't say the conditions are good.

Arête intégrale du Brouillard is possible but it's quite dry (be careful above the Col Emile Rey). The access from the Eccles and the Brouillard glacier is no longer possible.

The Brouillard and Freney glaciers are very crevassed, as is the Eccles sector. It is preferable to access the bivouacs via the Punta Innominata rather than the Brouillard glacier. There are still a few teams on the Innominata, on the Red pillar of the Brouillard and on the Freney pillar (no precise information on access).

Still some activity (be careful with more unstable weather the next days) on the Peuterey integral (see "cahier de course" on website).

 

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.

 

 

 

Report: 11 July 2022

 

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 7th July 2022

 

The drought is getting worse in the high mountains and the heat wave won't help. The conditions will continue to change rapidly, so please take this into account and don't hesitate to call La Chamoniarde or the huts for the latest information.

Snow and mixed routes are suffering more and more and few are still doable in reasonable conditions.

For those who want to go up there to cool off, you will obviously need to aim for rocky things (beware of rock falls).

 

Tour/Trient

As we have said, the Chardonnet is finished (keep the Chardonnay for the evening).

Arête de la table on the Aiguille du Tour: the integral is better in order not to expose oneself to rock falls in the lower section of the classic ridge.

As a reminder, the Col du Tour is the best way to get between the Le Tour side and the Trient. The Col Blanc needs a 50m abseil.

The rimaye on the normal route (VN) on the Aiguille du Tour is still OK, the glacier du Tour is also OK.

Rock climbing: Aiguille de Purtscheller, traverse and routes on the Dorées perfect.

 

Argentière Glacier

It's still possible to descend by the Glacier du Milieu for experienced climbers coming off the Arête du Jardin but it won't last long. It will then be possible to abseil down the (steep) route "La part des Anges": 2x50m ropes are needed; the belays are staggered (and therefore not always easy to find), to be considered only with the topo at hand.

Col du Tour Noir and rimaye du Col des Grands Montets are still possible as glacier routes.

Rock routes and Arête du Rabouin OK.

 

Charpoua

The American Direct on the Drus has been climbed regularly since the beginning of the good weather period. Beware of rock falls with the dryness.

A team was rescued at belay 14 of the Contamine route (two pegs ripped out).

The Charpoua glacier can still be climbed by going high, without abseiling.

As a reminder, a new abseil line was equipped last autumn from the Grand Dru (topo). Bearing in mind current conditions on the glacier, the right hand line is better and allows you to get back on the glacier high up.

Rock routes are dry (teams planning the Sale Athée).

 

Talèfre Basin

The Peace of God reigns on the Ecclesiastical ridge (Moine, Nonne-Evèque) where everything is looking good.

For the Verte, it is now only up and down by the Arête du Moine (see cahier de course).

It's dry on the Droites. On the Courtes, alternating snow and rock under the col de la Tour des Courtes then a pitch of ice below the summit. A rock fall on the Argentière side of the Aiguille qui Remue has changed the route of the Courtes traverse (pretty dry anyway). The descent from the Col des Cristaux has gone into “crystal hunter” mode.

If it's not already the case, it will soon be the end for the Pointe Isabelle.

Crampons are useful for a passage that has become sketchy on the Couvercle-Leschaux traverse.

 

Leschaux

Petites Jorasses: glacier ok (a big snow bridge but it seems solid), dry routes (quite a few teams on the Contamine).

Aiguille de Leschaux: more complicated glacier, the track wanders between the crevasses, it might change.

The Cassin on the Walker spur seems to be on (beware of rock falls and overcrowding). The glacier approach goes well enough but beware of ice falls that cross the track. There is good snow at the bottom. Then it's all dry. Above the red chimney (cheminée rouge), there is mixed terrain (rock-ice) which requires many time-consuming manoeuvres with big boots/rock shoes/crampons. It's good to have a technical ice axe.

 

Envers des Aiguilles

The rimaye of the Grépon-Mer de Glace / République is complicated (see cahier de course): getting established on the rock is very thin and steep ("it's scary"): it should evolve quickly (maybe possible to go lower).

The Tour Rouge hut has been damaged. The door is no longer "fixed". Try to secure it (having said that, no snow forecast).

The descent by the Nantillons glacier is no longer in good condition and is rather challenging: ice and substantial rock fall. Moreover, the snow bridge in the large crevasse under the serac has collapsed: you have to abseil down the crevasse (20m, dead man), cross over the bridge which has collapsed halfway down and then come out on the other side (exposed to rock falls and the serac). There is still the solution of abseiling "Le soleil a rendez-vous avec la lune" but it is long and not obvious without having climbed it.

The other rimayes are ok for the moment.

 

Requin

The ascent of the Vallée Blanche is still OK but it's complicated: crossing the stream above the refuge (in spate with the temperatures and the poor freeze) & crevasses between the combe and the plateau above the Géant seracs.

 

Helbronner

Dent du Géant/ Arêtes de Rochefort/Jorasses traverse (info from a team who did it on July 9&10, thanks for the info!

  • Climb up to the salle à manger: dry.

  • Traverse of the Rochefort arete to Canzio: Good conditions. Snow. On some short passages (maximum 10 meters), the ice is not very far under the snow. When it is rocky, everything is dry.

  • From Canzio to Pointe Walker: Everything is dry until Pointe Croz, no need for crampons. The couloir up to the Pointe Marguerite is dry, but it doesn’t matter. The bivouacs at Pointe Marguerite are still covered in snow (we cleared one of them, it's done). From Pointe Croz to Pointe Walker good conditions, with snow. The bivouacs at Pointe Whymper are under snow.

  • Descent: Some ice in the rocks below the summit. Traverse under the seracs ok, good track and snow. Rochers Whympers dry, abseils ok. Traverse to the Rochers du Reposoir, snow, no ice. Rochers du Reposoir, dry, no need for crampons. Glacier after the Rochers du Reposoir, crevasses filled in. A steep 10m passage (black ice) at the very end (but if you take your time it's no problem).

Aiguilles Marbrées traverse (best to do the full route) and the Aiguilles d'Entrêves (no ice) OK. SE ridge of the Tour Ronde more than dry!

Kuffner: The end. It's very dry, bad conditions (risk of boulder falls).

Arête du Diable: Dry but still doable, beware of rockfalls (other climbers) in the access couloir.

 

Aiguille du Midi

Crossing the Vallée Blanche: It's getting worse, several precarious bridges (especially in the Gros Rognon sector and under the Aiguille de Toule (see photo below). It is necessary to pass well below the Pyramid du Tacul.

Three climbers cross a precarious snow bridge on the Vallée Blanche

Midi-Plan: Curtains, it's too dry.

Pointes Lachenal traverse: It's very dry, ice on the access slope and on the traverse. It's no longer an AD route. You need to be comfortable with cramponing. Note there is a big slab that is hanging off the serac of the E face of Tacul and that overhangs the descent track.

End for the Chéré (the ice is coming off...!). Grisolle may be possible but not attractive.

Cosmiques Arête: Very dry, beware of the abseiling area under the gendarme.

No bad news from the rimayes for the rock routes but it can evolve quickly (except for Harold et Maud which was already complicated a few days ago).

Trois Monts: Conditions are holding for the moment even if the two rimayes on the Tacul are showing signs of activity (cracks). The ice is not far away on the exit slope to the Col du Mont Maudit. It's quite steep and you need to be very comfortable with cramponing (especially on the way down). Preferably in teams of 2.

 

Plan de l'aiguille

Rocky rock!

For the Charmoz-Grepon, we would like to tell you that it's finished because of the state of the Nantillons glacier but we will let you decide for yourself.

A few teams on the Cordier pillar (descent by abseil).

A bit of activity on the traverse of the Chamonix Aiguilles but it's quite dry. You have to descend by the numerous abseils on the W face of the Blaitière (50m max) then those of Fidel Fiasco.

 

Grands Mulets

Still open. Access to the refuge is long and complicated but it is possible. Call the guardian to get advice. You can still cross the Plateaux.

 

Dômes de Miage / Bionnassay

The traverse of the Dômes de Miage has clearly deteriorated (ice above the col de la Bérangère, exposed). It is now only for experienced climbers and should be done in the direction of Bérangère-Dômes in order to do the ice part on the way up.

Dômes de Miage there and back is still possible for less experienced climbers.

It's over for the Tondu ("the drier it is, the more it collapses"!!!)

The Aiguille de Bionnassay traverse is still in good condition (no ice at the moment).

 

Gonella

The refuge is closing this Sunday 17/07.

 

Monzino

Brouillard arête: Rock fall above the Col Emile Rey.

Access to the Eccles is chaotic (snow bridges, seracs). It's better to go via the Punta Innominata.

Good conditions on the Innominata this morning (11/07).

Access to the Red pillar of Brouillard is sporty (50m abseil on the right bank). It's ok for the moment but for how long?

Teams on the Freney pillar without more information. Teams also on the Ratti-Vitale but the crossing of the glacier is reminiscent of Mordor.

Teams on the Peuterey Integral. It's dry until the Blanche. There is still a very small névé under the Pointe Brendel and another difficult one under the Cravetti. Ice not far away on the Peuterey ridge, to be continued.

 

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.

 

 

 

Report: 7 July 2022

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 7th July 2022

 

At last, a pretty normal week, with stable weather, reasonable temperatures and a cool breeze. Let's take a look at the situation, because it's time to get out there. 

 

Tour/Trient  

It feels more like the end of the season in this area, it's all dry and the glacier is starting to open up. 

The Col Supérieur du Tour is very dry, there have been a few rock falls, the Col du Tour is better. 

The Col du Midi des Grands is very dry, it is a pile of sandy stones. 

The Forbes and the Migot are no longer advisable, there is ice and the crevasses are very open. The sector is very serious. 

Purtscheller, Petite Fourche and normal route (VN) on Tête Blanche are still OK. 

 

Argentière glacier 

Take care not to get lost on the way up to the refuge: after the viewpoint (point de vue), you must stay on the left bank (winter itinerary) and take the ladders. Regular improvement of the path is planned (Thursdays normally). The CNRS has put markers at the beginning of the glacier for a scientific study: dont follow them! 

The Flèche Rousse is no longer possible, when there is no refreeze there is rubble at the start, ice under sand on the descent, many boulders on the whole route, summit ridge snowy but ice isnt really far away on the upper part of the descent before the narrows. 

The glacier du milieu can still be regarded as a descent route (but not up and down). Above the narrows, the slope is hard snow and then ice, you have to go to the right following rock falls. At the bottom of the glacier, you have to be careful with a large snow bridge. 

The conditions on the arete du Jardin (be careful on the descent) and on the col du Tour Noir are ok, as well as everything that is rocky (arete du Rabouin etc). Some teams are heading to the Améthystes traverse, but without more information. 

The Tournier spur is done for, it's too dry, even dangerous! 

 

Charpoua 

The rock routes are in good condition. Evêque/Contreforts du Moine are possible. The American direct is being done. 

For the Drus traverse, you can get across the glacier up high, but it won't last long. 

 

Talèfre Basin 

All is good on the Moine, the Arête du Moine, as well as for the Nonne-Evêque, the rimayes are all fine. Crampons are still very useful to get up to the Moine. 

It's over for the Whymper, too dry! The rimaye is still crossable on the right bank on the way down, if there is a good re-freeze. 

For the Arête du Jardin, it’s getting tricky, the rimaye is 3m across, and after that it's all dry, we can't advise it any more... 

The oblique snow couloir on the Droites doesn't go anymore and above is quite dry, as with the Courtes we have no feedback. 

 

Leschaux 

The rock routes around the refuge are fine. 

Good conditions on the Petites Jorasses. 

It's over for the Eboulement and for the climb up to Les Périades! 

The Grand Jorasses season is almost here, in any case everything seems to be in place from Friday! 

 

Envers des Aiguilles 

The descent of the Nantillons glacier (icy) is done by the Charlet/Payot (CP) abseils, it is not advised to go via the col. After the abseils, there are 2 crevasses to cross, then you have the abs down the rognon. 

The rimaye for the République is still passable on the far right. 

The rest of the rimayes are fine.  

There are workers at the Tour Rouge hut repairing fixed gear so less space at the hut! 

 

Requin 

“Top condis” on the Dent du Requin, the climbers are delighted. 

Access to the hut is still ok: either by the left bank with some zigzags in the middle of the crevasses, or by the right bank next to the moraine. 

The climb to the Torino and the descent from the col du plan (take the right bank at the Dent du Requin) is still possible! 

 

Helbronner 

Access to the Dent du Géant is very dry, you have to be careful with rock falls, as it is very busy.  

Marbrées and Entrèves are still ok but very crowded! 

The Tour Ronde is being done by the Freshfield arête from the start. The first 25m don't look too good from the bottom, but when you are climbing it's not too bad.  

Conditions on the Rochefort arête are still good. 

The traverse of the Grandes Jorasses and the normal route are possible and have been done. 

The satellites of the Tacul are OK, the rimayes go without problems. 

The access couloir to the Diable ridge is dry, but is being done. 

 

Aiguille du Midi 

The Midi Plan traverse is drying out and starting to get icy. 

Pointes Lachenal: the slopes are getting icy and the 2nd section is dry and unstable. 

The 3 Monts, conditions are pretty good, there is a bit of ice on the Maudit but not too much of a bother. 

The vallée blanche track goes low down, but is starting to open up. 

On the triangle du Tacul, the Chéré and the Grisolle are ok, the Mazeaud also goes but is thinner. 

Lots of people on the Rebuffat, Cosmiques arête and Lolo (Laurence) arête (dry). 

 

Plan de l'Aiguille 

Climbing is in full swing!  

We have already announced the end of the Frendo, we remind you, the exit is in ice! 

The Cordier pillar and the Charmoz-Grepon are possible if you use the Nantillons abseils, but there are still 2 crevasses to cross! 

The traverse of the Chamonix Aiguilles seems ok. 

 

Grands Mulets 

There is no more activity in the area, it takes a long time to reach the refuge (which will close soon), the route is complicated to find, and this approach is done too late in the day.  

 

Mont Blanc by the Goûter 

The hut has a telephone problem: you have to call Tête Rousse, and the guardian will liase with the Goûter. 

The grand couloir is very dry, get onto it as early as possible. 

The crevasse on the Bosses ridge is currently passable on the Italian side. 

 

Miage/Bionnassay 

Good conditions for the Dômes traverse, the ridge is snow and the track is good. The glacier is starting to open up but the approach remains OK. Ice is starting to appear on the descent to the col de la Berangère but it is still not a problem. 

The ascent to both the Bérangère and Mont Tondu are fine despite some not so steep ice passages. 

The Bionnassay ridge is still in good condition, it is snowy and not yet too narrow. 

 

Gonella 

The hut will close on July 16th or 17th. 

Pretty good conditions on the voie du Pape despite a very open glacier. 

For the Tournette, it's been a while since it was done.  There is ice above the Quintino Sella. 

 

Monzino 

Access to the Eccles is very crevassed, it takes more time to get there and it's tricky. For info, only the upper bivouac is usable, go into the Monzino and make yourself known to avoid climbing up there for nothing. 

Conditions on the Innominata are not great but it's ok. There is underlying ice on several parts of the route, otherwise the rock is dry and the narrow snow ridges are OK. 

No info on the Brouillard integral, but it it looks possible from below. 

The red pillar is dry but there is a big crevasse to cross (be careful!) 

The Freney glacier is terrible! (Beware of rock falls on the Schneider ledges). It was crossed between the Innominata col and the Ratti route (which has been done) via a line lower than normal. 

The East ridge of the Aiguille Noire has been recently re-equipped. 

No news from the Freney pillar. 

Some teams on the Peuterey Integral, but no more information. 

Crampons and ice axes are now not needed for the Aiguille Croux. 

 

In short: 

For walking, you no longer need specific equipment to access the Buet, Salenton, Cornu, Glière. 

The same goes for the climbing approaches. 

We are told of an unstable boulder on the first belay of “Douche Écossaise” on the Tête de Lugon. 

 

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.

 

 

 

Report: 23 June 2022

La Chamoniarde mountain conditions report for 23rd June 2022

What’s it like up high after the heatwave?  Conditions are more like the end of July or the beginning of August. Rather sad to see the mountains like this and it’s only the beginning of summer. Let’s not mention global warming.

What about the details? In general snow routes have taken a big hit although some are OK. Colder but less stable weather on the way so route choice will be critical.


Tour/Trient

Mid-August conditions around here.

Good conditions on the Aiguilles Dorées traverse (best done East-West).

The Albert 1er hut has a temporary telephone problem. To contact them, please use the contact form on the website: https://refugealbert1er.ffcam.fr/bottom_contact.html 

There are few changes around the Aiguille du Tour. The normal route is being done by the Col Supérieur du Tour (dry at the top but ok). It's also possible to climb the arête de la Table: dry couloir and some rockfalls, possibility to go via the intégral ridge to avoid exposure.

Purtscheller, Tête Blanche (VN) and Petite Fourche OK.

On the other hand, things are getting worse on the Chardonnet with more and more ice on the Forbes arête (see cahier de course) which is still in acceptable conditions for those who have a good technical level. It feels like it's over for the Migot (the bottom traverse is dry, the top slope is ice). The descent is also more complicated.


Argentière

The end is approaching for Flèche Rousse (very dry ridge) which is becoming tricky.

The crux of the upper part of the Glacier du Milieu is now dry (you have to rappel on the way down).

Rock, rock, rock!!!


Charpoua

The hut is open. Almost nobody around! Access by the marked "Charpoua express" variant (more snow).

A few teams on the Drus traverse. The glacier is already becoming complicated. Some teams went up high, some via abseiling. The Contamine looks dry.

The rock routes on the Evèque/Moine are also dry.

Some teams on the Directe Américaine without more information.


Talèfre Basin

Teams are on the Moine every day (VN, S ridge: crampons useful for the nevé then all dry; Contamine: rimaye ok) and on the Nonne-Evèque traverse ("conditions crèmes").

The Whymper rimaye is still ok but it is now very dry. It feels like the end.

No one for the moment on the Moine ridge: the rimaye looks fine, ridge ok.

The end is also approaching for the Jardin Arête.

One team off to the Droites bypassing the oblique couloir. It's completely dry right to the top!

No one on the Courtes but voie normale looks OK. Descent via the Col des Cristaux: upper slope is snow but the bottom is drying out, no big rock falls seen.

Pointe Isabelle still possible, two decent crevasses to cross, 2 ice axes recommended.


Leschaux

End of the day for the Aiguille de l'Eboulement (dry couloir, complicated descent).

Les Périades via the Mont Mallet glacier is still on.

The Walker spur will be possible subject to future precipitation and a weather window.

Good conditions on the Petites Jorasses.

Climbing routes around the hut tip-top, blue sky.

No snow on the balcony path from Talèfre.

Regular and important rock falls from the N side of the aiguille du Tacul: avoid the left bank of the Leschaux glacier.


Envers des Aiguilles

The hut opens tomorrow! Access to the hut is ok: no snow, a ladder has been added at the bottom and a passage secured by the footpath team.

The rock here is dry!

Some important rock falls have been reported on the access to the Pointe des Nantillons, more info to come.

The rimayes for the République/Grépon Mer de Glace are crossable on the right. The glacier des Nantillons descent is still possible but for how long?


Requin

Access to the refuge ok, no snow.

Ascent from the Vallée Blache to the Cosmiques or Torino tracked and fine.

A track is also in on the glacier de l'Envers du Plan to come down from the Aiguille du Plan.

Dry rock.


Helbronner

Access to the Salle à Manger is dry (take the right side of the couloir and follow the cairns). Arêtes de Rochefort in good condition (snow a bit soft on the way back depending on the timing).

Some teams have done the Jorasses traverse without more information. The descent by the normal route does not pose any particular problem at the moment. A team on the E face of the Jorasses via 'Mad Max' without more information.

Marbrées  traverse (most teams do the full traverse to avoid abseiling) and the Aiguilles d'Entrêves OK.

The Tour Ronde is now done by the main ridge. Even abseiling from the Freshfield col is not very attractive. The N face and the Gervasutti couloir are in trouble.

A lot of activity on the Aiguilles du Diable: rimaye OK, dry traverse, snowy couloir (watch out for refreezing), dry rock (before the storms!)

The Küffner has dried out but remains in good condition (for the time being!!!) with a good refreeze.

Rimayes for the rock routes are still good overall. Approaching from the Helbronner is best. The start of the Grand Capucin is now from the "Francesco terrace" (the Aiguillettes couloir does not go anymore) where you can leave big boots and glacier kit (you can go back down by the rappels of the Echo des Alpages). The rimaye of the Pyramide du Tacul is still passable.


Aiguille du Midi

It rained at the hut for most of the night before turning to snow. About 5cm this morning, a little more at the Tacul.

Vallée Blanche: Beware of crevasses, especially between the Rognon and the pointes Lachenal (well, everywhere actually!).

Midi-Plan Arête: It's now very dry (ice/rock/sand) and where is snowy you will be wading. But why not if there is a good refreeze? Chamonix aiguilles traverse in good condition. The ledges on the Col du Fou are dry but there is enough snow to melt for water. Descent by the abseils of the Brégeault arête then the Nantillons glacier.

Lots of activity on the traverse of the pointes Lachenal (quite dry but you can avoid the ice) and on the Cosmiques Arête.

The Contamine-Grisolle has dried out and is now almost all (good) ice (it will warm up your calves - to be continued with the forecasted storms). The exit of the Triangle is icy with a lot of crevasses here and there. Chéré OK (first pitch a bit dry then good steps). Best to abseil before the mixed section.

The voie normale on the Tacul was retracked this morning by going right out on the shoulder. Latest info is that the previous path is still there but with one steep bit. A serac fall last weekend ravaged the bottom of the face (ice blocks etc).

On Mont Maudit, conditions are still good but the ice is not far away. Beware of the risk of avalanche if it starts to snow with the storms. It is worth mentioning that there was a major serac fall here last weekend.

The Contamine rimaye on the Pointe Lachenal is starting to open up but is still crossable.


Plan de l'Aiguille

The Mallory is finished.

The Frendo exit is all ice.

Teams on the Peigne-Pélerins-Deux Aigles-Plan traverse.

Crampons are no longer necessary to access the normal route of Peigne, the Pilier Rouge de Blaitière or the NE+VN of the aiguille de l'M.

Unstable rock on the N side of the Petits Charmoz just below the summit.

No news from the Cordier pillar or from the Charmoz-Grepon (looks dry). The descent by the Nantillons glacier is still ok, but for how long?


Mont Blanc by the Grands Mulets

Not many people around. The upper Jonction route won't survive for long (narrow passage). The hut guardian plans to re-mark the lower route but until then you will need to have a good sense of direction. The N ridge of the Dôme and the Plateaux can still be climbed on foot.


Mont Blanc by the Aiguille du Goûter

As a reminder, from 9 July to 28 August 2022, the first departure from Le Fayet via the Tramway du Mont-Blanc is at 7am instead of 8am. This earlier departure time will allow the Goûter couloir to be crossed at a time when the probability of rock fall is lowest.

In the meantime, the conditions have dried out with rockfalls already in the Grand Couloir. It is still advisable to cross in the morning, to avoid bad weather and to cross with caution. For the options of crossing the famous crevasse on the Bosses ridge, we will let you have a look here. With a decent level of mountaineering technique, good crampons and an ice axe, it shouldn't be a problem.


Miage/Bionnassay

Access to the Conscrits refuge is recommended by the path.

Conditions are still acceptable on the Dômes. Beware of crevasses on the way up to the Col des Dômes. Crossing the Dômes in good condition (no ice). Quite a lot of snow on the descent by the Bérangère which makes it pleasant.

Mont Tondu continues to dry out but is still ok.

The end for the classic Mettrier ridge intégral.

Aiguille de Bionnassay traverse still in good condition: good refreeze this morning, dry rocky part, snowy ridge, stay on the crest from start to finish!


Gonella

The hut might have to close in July because of the lack of water.

Good conditions to access the Aiguille de Bionnassay from here too.

The Pape route is in good condition at the moment. The glacier du Dôme is good (good track, some impressive snow bridges), the exit to the col is still mainly on snow. The ridge is in good condition (snow).

A few teams on the Tournette spur. The Quintino Sella is accessed from the Miage glacier (new green fixed rope in place at the beginning of the spur so you can't go wrong). From the hut, the Mont Blanc glacier is easy to cross. Continuation of the route in good condition (for the moment).


Monzino

Dry rock (Aiguille Croux).

Still a lot of teams on the Punta Innominata (return by the glacier ok).

Access to Eccles is complicated (a lot of snow and soft, it's wading) and so no activity (arête du Brouillard, Pilier Rouge, Innominata). A team on the Freney pillar but still a lot of snow.

Ratti-Vitali (Aiguille Noire de Peuterey) still a bit wet, you have to work hard to cross the glacier but it's ok.

No one on the Blanche or the Grand Pilier d'Angle from Monzino.

Teams seen on the Peuterey Intégrale, good conditions.

A team on Divine Providence without more information.


In short:

Still some snow on the Col Cornu/Col de la Glière; Col de Salenton/Buet, Col Corbeau.

No need for crampons to access (and descend) the Pouce, the Chapelle de la Glière or the S ridge of Persévérance.

A boulder hanging 2m above the last belay on Voie Jaune at Chéserys.

Quite a few unstable boulders on the N side of the Pointe d'Orny (altitude 2,850/2,900 m) on the right bank of the Combe des Ecandies which can reach the path that climbs to the col.

We are told that there are 2 young falcons on pitch 2 of Tatie Crochue to the right of the Crochues tower. Please avoid the area until the end of July.


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.