/ Chamonix current conds?
Any help is much appreciated.
Above 3000m the temperature did seem to stay cold though. Sorry cant be more specific, i was skiing. On another note there are rumblings of this being a very good snow year so glaciers are pretty safe by all accounts (listening in to people on the bus mainly).
Other note is that this winter has seen very few high pressure systems out there, which means not much sun, not sure if this trend is set to continue or not.
Hope that helps somewhat.
Temps have been quite high until just last couple of days. Yesterday was a return to very cold (minus 30 at top of Midi).
There has been no fresh snow of note for around 2 weeks (there has been a dusting). However VB is in still in good condition as far as Montenvers. Snow pack has been stable for a while now.
Conditions yesterday and today looked good high up, however heavy snow is expected again this week - potentially putting big routes out of bounds for a while - but great for skiing if that's your thing.
Some of the ice falls at Rive Gauche are formed but not fat and who knows how stable after recent warm temps.
Also the goulottes on Mont Blanc du Tacul?
Came back from Cham yesterday. There has been a decent amount of snow in the last 3 days - avalanche city!
In reply to bluerockman:
Ive just been touring in the Vallee Blanche today and took some piccies of the E. Face of Tacul (it looks good and was v.busy today), and the Frendo from the Benne on the way up.
Any body who wants a closer look at the routes can email me and I'll copy you in on the photos. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Perhaps its not very helpful to add that Mont Blanc Radio is forecasting 40cms of fresh at 3000m tomorow.
Thamks for update john, im heading out friday and hoping to try some of the routes on east tacul, if its ok, i wouldnt mind seeing some of your pictures, was the supercouloir seeing any traffic?
Email is email@example.com
I'm not questioning your decision to come home but if winter alpinist is something you are keen on then learning to ski is the best way to avoid wading through deep snow and it seems conditions for skiing at the moment are great so it might have been the better use of your time.
We tried to get to the Frendo-Ravanel on the the Aiguille Vert on Tuesday but the weather was gash, the snow on the approach (after dumping skis) was chest deep and the face was sluffing off constantly.
Yesterday the forecast was good so we got early benne up the Midi and went to Pointe Lachanal. Conditions were excellent - good goulotte ice, sunshine and not "too" cold. (i.e. we didn't get frostbite of hypothermia).
Today it is dumping and it's forecast to be 25-40cm so it's back to skiing pow for me!
I don't understand this UKC fixation with having to get one up. Conditions aren't great, people ignore this and continue on regardless, then get them selves killed. It's a conditions thread, I'm reporting my experience of the conditions. Ski conditions are fine (as of two days ago when I was out there), but I didn't drive 500 miles to go skiing.
There's also an issue about knowing where to climb given particular
The Frendo-Ravanel is not a good choice after heavy snow because of the extensive lower snow slopes. But at the same time LJC was on the Frendo-Ravanel, a route 500metres to the right (called Pepite) was getting hammered by several parties (at one point this week it had 5 parties on it). It has 10metres of snow at the bottom, not 50-100m! There are also 4 other routes on the Lachenal in reasonable condition with virtually no snow approach.
I guess it often comes down to what you do or do not know, and also whether you speak any French and can follow the French route reports...
I'd done Goulotte Pépite early this year so fancied something a bit more challenging. We had a look at Claire Chazal but decided to sack it off and save our energy for the sunny Wednesday. Good acclimatisation for my partner anyway.
Also, not sure I'd want to be on Pépite with 4 other parties...
Much of this is windblown (the Midi car was closed all y'day) and Avo risk is considerable on most N. and E. facing slopes.
Lower down the snow is also v. wet and at times desperate to ski (it acts like glue).
The forecast for the week is 'unstable' with fleeting showers and sunny spells.
Any suggestions on routes to do around Chamonix in current conditions? ie avoid avalanche prone slopes. How about the routes on Pointe Lachenal?
If the slope is windblown (deep slab) and you feel brave enough to approach the rpoutes, the best way would be to ski low and past PL and then turn back and to side step or skin up to the routes..
Did the cosmiques arete yesterday,lots of fresh snow, snow a little soft but ok, enjoyed it much more this time in winter conditions that in normal summer.
Climbed Pellisier on ponte Lachenel yesterday, was in good condition, the walk in and out on snow shoes was tough but if on skis would be easy.. nice little route.
Snow conditions ahve settled down very quickly given the heavy recent fall, but trail breaking is demanding where no trail is in place..
The recent and unusual freeze thaw cycles have also rendered most routes very icey. The stand out is the Supercouloir where the Direct Start looks to have reformed. It was also pretty busy today with a good trail in. No trail appeared to be in place for the Gab-Albinoni and Moudi-Noury routes, but breaking a trail would be worth the effort. They do look very phat.
The Pointe Lachenal was also getting a thumping. Le Pellisier (3-4 teams) and M6 Solar look good, and the Tentation buttress area looked snowy..
Finally, the Valeria and Chippendale routes on the Petit Capucin look in unusually good nick for this time of year, though the serac that threatens the approach has let rip and there is considerable debris on the approach. That seems like an important note of caution since there were a good many spontaneous mini powder avalanches cascading down high ground in the VB today.
if you can, what scottish winter grade would you assign to cosmiques arete in winter condition?
Cosmiques Arete is steady,one short tricky rock move otherwise I'd give it
Thanks for update John, weather not looking great today and wind looks high so we ended up skiing down in the valley.
I would agree the cosmiques is fairly simple with only one little section, off to check forcast now, guides office recommended a route called Pepite on the petit verte.
Cosmiques has hardened up with the cooler air and is in amazing condition just now. Although the crux wall is only about 3 foot high....
Hey emily, yes was busy, we continued and finished the route, was some queing at the belays but wasnt too bad, Pepite sounds good, although weather wasnt to good today so we went skiing instead, we did cosmiques on sunday and it was pretty snowed up, did it late in day and finished in an amazing sunset, but had to sleep in station as missed last lift down.. hope you guys have a good rest of trip. :-)
Dont forget that their are other routes in the Tentation area on the Lachenal that deoesnt get the same level of traffic as the Pellisier.
The Gab-Albinoni on the Tacul is also fairly steady, and doesnt seem as busy, surprisingly. Its longer and has some wading to do on the mid snow section, but is a worthy alternative..
Finally I noticed that 'Beau comme en reve' on the Pointe de la Noire off the Periades glacier (rte 561, page 276 Neige, Glace et Mixte, Vol 1) looks to be in very good nick and that the approach is fairly easy at the moment. Its also a liitle esoteric so a great way to get away from the crowds..
Climbed Pepite on the Petit verte today, if fairly good conditions, this would be a good acclimatisation climb, we also see a pretty big avalanche come down the Verte Face, not sure which line it took though.
Hey guys out there!
Just for information:
Yesterday, 7th of April, 9 alpinists of four different parties were hit by an avalanche triggered by an serac near the start of "Beyond good and evil" and Rebuffat-Terray. No one was injured but we lost all of the equipment. We were able to find most of it, but there is still something missing: 2 different ski boots, 2 ice axes, several screws, 2 cameras, skins and other small items.
So, if you find something of this gear please let me know:
chri.leitinger [at] gmx.at
Would be nice!
Teams on N. Face of Courtes, Ginat on the Droites, Lagarde on the Droites and Richard Cranium Memorial route.
The GInat teams were making really quick progress (one team had put a tent up on the glacier for a quick getaway-not that I’d encourage that sort of thing), which is no surprise because the Droites looks in the best April condition I think I’ve ever seen it.
In general, the higher mountain routes are in fantastic conditions, and although we have some bad weather coming in over the weekend, it’s still shaping as one of the best late April seasons ever!
Did you get anything interesting done?
In Chamonix area from 02 May - 09 May :) is it worth bringing out winter gear for routes such as cosmiques arete or stick to rock routes in the valley?
Also, anyone else there at the same time feel like a climb - up to AD/IV 4? My climbing buddy is ski touring out there now and may not have the gear to do winter routes.
Mountains are super snowy (1 metre of fresh at the Midi, but we have foehn, so that means very changeable, very wet (and warm).
Unless there is a dramatic change (the forecast is for foehn through to Sunday), you need to come equipped to tackle everything since its hard to read whats best to do from day to day....
As regards what Ive been doing, well, Ive managed to fall in a 'shrund (it was so warm at 3000m it hadnt frozen at all!), some ski touring, and quite a lot of dry-tooling out of the rain...
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