/ Alps in May? -
Has anyone got stories of climbing out there/ ideas about what might be in?
Seems quite snowy just now. Anyone know how this might translate into conditions on the north faces? (or is this crystal ball territory...)
If you need to ask advice to climb North Faces I reckon you shouldn't climb north faces!
Huts have no guardians as a rule, no cable cars, quite a few hotels etc will be closed. Lots of melting, lots of avalanches.
I guess that's why. Some people ski tour but most have done their touring by then. Our skis are currently being serviced and then packed away till next winter.
Every year & its conditions are different so be prepared to be totally flexible.
As for this year, its really is crystal big ball territory with the amount of snow present & the now complete omission of spring with summer temps already here.
> If you need to ask advice to climb North Faces I reckon you shouldn't climb north faces!
Here we go!! Every time someone ask for advice some smart ass has to pipe up with 'If you need to ask.. you shouldn't be doing it'
Well done, you win the prize on this thread :-)
Thank you, my acceptance speech will follow.
Fellow climbers, ramblers and knitters
It is with great honour I accept the State The Bleedin' Obvious Award for 2013.
Every now and again someone asks a fairly niaive question and many responses follow.
On UKC if you dare to challenge the Kiterati you will be hounded down, I take this challenge with honour.
If you need to ask - don't do it. If you know, do it.
I'd like to thank my mum, Brownie leaders and everyone who raised me to this high status. One day I may even join the Kiterati.
(leaves stage in tears )
PS - I wouldn't go near the Alps at the moment!
Awwww, what a shame. I was hoping you'd ask for advice on what to write ;-)
Any suggestions... ;)
Guess it's going to be a last minute decision then.
Hope the knitting goes well
Hmm,is it only north faces in the usual spots (i.e. Hautes Alpes)you are after? How about going to the Verdon, Dolomites, other places slightly lower to do some top quality stuff? You might get more done then there (and it might be just as good!) only with better weather...
If you're not allowed to ask questions, how do you get the knowledge to do it?
I'm sure your mum is very proud of you, never asking questions makes parenting much easier.
North faces CAN be very good, but they can also vary from bullet hard ice to massive quantities of snow - there is not a general answer to your question, it depends on the area, the individual face and previous conditions. You also of course need to check the condition of descent routes in your area of interest, and to work out what you are going to do about climbing with skis/snowshoes or returning to your start point.
The weather can be glorious at that time of year, but the mountains feel much more serious, also as others have mentioned many huts will be shut, or rather unguardianed (roughly in the late May-June gap after the ski-touring season tends to stop and before the Summer season starts). Mostly you can check the opening dates of an individual hut on websites, they will invariably have a Winter room but then you need to carry food yourselves and sometimes stoves.
is a good website about trips/conditions in specific areas, or you can ask about routes/areas here, there are quite a few people who live much of the year in mountain areas, though this will certainly give a bias toward Chamonix which is not always helpful.
So in summary, Alpine climbing at that time can be good to very good, but is mostly for the experienced and those well equiped to judge local conditions. If you have that ability, it can be very rewarding.
Post of the week!
May is more ski touring season, and a lot of huts will be shut - often an unguarded winter hut is open with just bivvy facilities. I've been there in May on my own and when I'd skinned up to a col it was lovely but felt very lonely! So possible but not for the faint hearted or inexperienced.
Just one point there is a lot of snow in the Alps at present according to French TV and with the sudden warm up a lot of avalanche danger - there have just been several deaths, so be careful.
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