MOUNTAIN CONDITIONS 18/09/2019
Some information for this September, which has had good weather for mid and high mountain activities.
Charamillon and Autannes lifts (La Tour) open until 22/09
Montenvers train running until 29/09
Aiguille du Midi lift open until 03/11
Bellevue lift and Mont Blanc Tramway open until 22/09
Monte Bianco Skyway (Italy) open until 03/11
Alpine Huts closures:
Cosmiques hut open until 28/09
Plan de l'Aiguille hut open until 03/09
Nid d'Aigle and Tête Rousse huts open until 22/09
Goûter hut open until 29/09
Conscrit hut open until 22/09
Vallée d'Aoste and Valais Hut closures:
Cabane d'Orny open until 29/09
Rifugio Torino open until 03/11
Rifugio Chabod (Grand Paradis) open until 28/09
Rifugio Guide del Cervino
Rifugio Gnifetti (Monte Rosa) open until 06/10
Mid Mountain Hut closures:
Loriaz hut open until 06/10
Pierre à Bérard hut open until 25/09
Lac Blanc hut open until 31/10
Moëde Anterne hut open until 01/10
Col de Balme hut open until 15/09
Miage hut open until 30/09
Varan hut open until 30/09
Tré la Tête hut open until 20/10
Nant Borrant hut open until 25/09
Robert Blanc hut open until 21/09
Rock routes remain the main activity, with routes being climbed in the Argentière sector, the Leschaux sector (Aiguille de Leschaux, Petites Jorasses), the Envers des Aiguilles, the Aiguilles de Chamonix and the Géant sector (S faces of the Aiguille du Midi, Pointes Lachenal, Satellites du Tacul).
The winter room at the Albert 1er is now accessible. The Aiguille du Tour, Tête Blanche and Petite Fourche remain feasible by their normal routes, as is the S ridge of the Purtscheller.
A party turned back while trying to cross the Charpoua glacier, (for the Drus traverse,) despite a full moon and checking out the way the evening before. There are plenty of possibilities to find water near the hut.
In the Talèfre sector, the S ridge and normal route on the Moine are still being done. The bergschrund for the Contamine, (E face) is well opened.
The Moine Ridge on the Aiguille Verte was climbed in good conditions on 13/09, (an abseil needed to cross the bergschrund in descent.)
The Valley Blanche traverse can be done but the way is complicated, (end of season conditions!)
The traverses of the Pointes Lachenal, Aiguilles d'Entrèves, the Marbrées (abseil points re-equipped; 3x20m) and the Dent du Géant are being done. No recent information for the Rochefort Arete, which does not look to be in condition. The Cosmiques Ridge is being climbed again, (potentially unstable, as are other sectors.)
A ramp, to the right of the fixed rope, allows the bergschrund on the Mont Blanc du Tacul normal route to be crossed easily. After this there is good track with steps up to the summit. Take care; a portion of the serac overshadowing the track looks ready to collapse. Remember that falling seracs are an objective danger on this route, (as they are also on the Mont Maudit, for example.)
Experienced, well equipped alpinists, (2 ice axes, ice screws etc,) could attempt the 3 Monts route. The Col du Mont Maudit is bare ice but there are no special problems for the traverse to the col de la Brenva or on the Mur de la Côte.
Conditions are also OK for the Mont Blanc normal route, (by the Goûter.) However, it is necessary to be aware of the crevasses between the hut and the Dôme du Goûter (especially while descending when there is a temptation to take “short cuts”,) and on the Bosses ridge.
A few parties are still doing the Bionnassay traverse. It is more technically difficult than usual, (the initial rock buttress is very dry, there is ice below the summit and the ridge is very thin with ice showing through in places. However, there is no cornice.)
The Dômes de Miage are not in condition, parties are generally stopping at the col.
For the Grand Paradiso (via Chabod), the Laveciau glacier is chaotic, with numerous crevasses. There are 2 ladders in place and there are some ”jumps” to make.
Conditions are good for the Matterhorn by the Lion Ridge, (the hut is closed on the Swiss side).