Saturday 21st August - SNOW SNOW SNOW

Posted by Rob Wills Alpine Blog
Sunday 22nd August 2010

Ok folks here it is, for what its worth. My Oh My, to quote the great Captain Beefheart , what a week. It's been a constant battle with the weather, and I have to say the weather did sort of win, but only just.

Midi and Mont Blanc - plastered again

Midi and Mont Blanc - plastered again

Sunday through to Tuesday was almost constant rain in the valley snow high up, well down to 2500. Wednesday perked up a bit, for a while but it all went down hill later on in the afternoon and pretty much rained for the rest of the evening and into the night, again snow high up.

Thursday dawned overcast, windy and very low cloud in places, light drizzle in the morning.

Friday, just over cast all day, reckon on 30% sun, hmmm almost right. Bit of storm action later on in the evening.

Saturday is forecast to be hot dry and sunny, 90% sun and the same for Sunday.

Aiguille Verte and the Dru on Tuesday 17th

 Aiguille Verte and the Dru on Tuesday 17th

So what did we do this week, other than walk around in the rain, snow and cloud.

Well to be honest not a lot, we walked up to the Albert Prem hut, which by the way they are going to rebuild next year, and about time too. Great, a new Albert Prem Hut.

So we walked up in the rain, spent a soggy hour on the glacier, then headed back to the hut. Got up at 5 am to snow, snow, and more snow, made a valiant attempt at getting up the TETE BLANCHE, map and compass, and local knowledge all the way, then headed out to the Trient Hut. Sorry folks, no pic's as the weather was shocking.

Next day, Tuesday, up at 5 am and just made our way back to the col and down to the valley, we had planned to do Aiguille du Tour, but we just needed to get across the Trient plateau and down to the valley.

Argentiere basin - Vert Courtes Droites

 Argentiere basin - Vert Courtes Droites

We were then due to go up to the Cozzy Hut and try the Blanc, and it was one of those forecast where it could go either way, you know the ones I mean. Anyway the whole team decided they wanted to at least go have a look see, which is what we did. The weather at 1am Thursday morning was to say the least, uninspiring, one of the guys likened it to the end of the world, mmmmm nice. Suffice to say we didn't do it, and re grouped at 7 am when it had sort of stopped snowing.

We then just bailed out to the valley, tea and cakes.

So all in all a real tough week for the team, not an easy  week to guide, as it was soo hit and miss with the weather on the last few days.

I've had a look at the routes book in the Guides office and to be honest there were no new entries. From the conversations I've had with people, most folks have just been ducking and diving this weather. The pics included  where taken by a mate who was out running during a clearish spell, gives you an idea of the snow we had, some of which will disappear over the next couple of days, but its still going to leave a good chunk behind to play on.

Grand Charmoz and the Chamonix Aiguilles on Tues 17th

 Grand Charmoz and the Chamonix Aiguilles on Tues 17th

So as per keep an eye on that forecast and be safe.

I'm out here for another 3 weeks and hope the weather improves for my clients' sakes. If you're thinking of heading out to Cham next summer to push your grades or try alpinism for the first time, drop me a line at or check out my website - Rob Wills Mountain Guide




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