Chamonix Conditions Update 25th June - The Valley abounds with SNOW

Posted by Rob Wills Alpine Blog
Friday 2nd July 2010

The weather system which brought the flash floods to the French Riviera a couple of weeks ago also brought a huge dump of snow to the Alps. The floods subsided pretty quickly but most of the fresh snow is still here in the Chamonix Valley, which is great news for lots of routes.

Here's a summary of my week - what I've done and what I've seen. 

Dru Jorasses and Mer de Glace from Index chair

Tony and Mark enjoying the view - Dru, Jorasses and Mer de Glace from above Index chairlift

Start of the week up around Albert Premier and Trient huts

There's lots of snow on the approach to the Albert Premier hut and this continues when you leave the hut to go bag your peak. Right from the outset you're on snow, not the usual stony gravel track.

  • The Le Tour Glacier is in fantastic condition;
  • the north face of the Chardonnet has had ascents;
  • the Table du Roc couloir of la Tour has also had ascents;
  • the small north face of the Tete Blanche looks good at the moment.

There are ski tracks everywhere and that's not a bad way to move around at the moment. Now, I don't want to be the harbinger of doom but, unfortunately, these conditions aren't going to last as the daytime temperatures are starting to warm up.

Mid week on the Aiguilles Rouges side of the valley

 the peaks of Le Tour and Le Tour Glacier
Looking across to the peaks of le Tour and le Tour glacier from above l'Index chairlift

Again lots of snow and you're probably going to need crampons and axes up there for a while yet, to access some of the rock routes and descend safely.

  • Teams on the Index as you'd expect
  • Many teams heading for the Traverse of the Crochues - up to the col, it's a mix of snow and rock with particularly steep snow at the top. The usual chock stone at the top is under several metres of snow at the moment.
  • There are also a few large-ish patches of snow to cross to get the start of the route. I kept my crampons on until I got to the big corner. The rest of the route is quite clear, except for one or two other sections of snow that require care and diligence.
  • The descent to Lac Blanc: I wish I'd had my skis with me. The snow ran straight from the ridge itself right down to Lac Blanc. There are also a few patches of snow to negotiate on the way back to Flegere cable car.

 

Aiguille Verte and the Dru from above Index chair

Aiguille Verte and the Dru with l'Index lift below us


Latter part of the week up around Cosmiques hut

On Friday 25th June this was the state of play up on yonder peaks:

  • 6 team battering the hell out of the Chere Couloir,
  • 3 teams on the central route of the Triangle du Tacul, Contamine/Mazeud
  • 4 teams on the Contamine/Grisolle (left edge) route.of the Tacul

All 3 of these routes looked and sounded in stonking condition

  • Midi Plan Traverse also looked like it was getting done
  • Point Lachenal was swarming,
  • So was the Cosmiques Arete.
  • There were many teams on the rock routes of the South Face of the Midi
  • Teams also skiing down to do routes on the Grand Cap
  • The Blanc has and was getting skied - I went past 2 teams on their way up to the summit to ski back down via the Grand Mulets and they started from the first cable car up from Chamonix, Good effort!
  • The Kufner Arete has been climbed
  • So has the Gervasutti couloir on the Tour Ronde


Summary

In general, conditions are really, really good for this time of year, especially considering what it's been like for the last few years. If you're on your way here or popping out soon, you're in for a great time. Just keep and eye on those daytime temperatures.

Take care, be safe, do your home work before coming out here and have fun.

alpinerob logo 

Full details of Rob's Guiding services can be found on his website alpinerob.com

 

Read more blog entries by Rob Wills Alpine Blog

Bookmark: Add to Favourites Add to Google Bookamrks Add to Delicious Digg this Add to Myspace Add to Facebook Add to furl Add to Yahoo Review on StumbeUpon Add to reddit Add to Newsvine Add to Windows Live Favourites
Subscribe to RSS Feed Add to Technorati Add to Twitter Add to Yahoo Bookmarks Add to Aol Favourites Add to Ask Add to FARK Add to Slashdot Add to Mixx Add to Multiply Add to Simpy Add to Blogmarks

Comments

There are currently no comments on this article.

Add a Comment

Title
Comment
Security Code:


Please enter the security code in the text box below.
Climbing
Adventure Racing
Mountain Biking
X-Bionic Test Day
Article by planetFear Preview
Tuesday 6th May 2014
UKanTrail Partnership
Article by planetFear Preview
Tuesday 6th May 2014

  • Be the first to know
  • Great special offers
  • Exclusive sports news
  • Exclusive Content