Autumn alpine conditions

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 delta_lapin 12 Sep 2021

Afternoon all

First time posting here, so apologies for any faux pas.

Thinking that there was no chance I'd be getting away to the alps this year I've not even bothered looking at what the conditions through the summer have been like - they were irrelevant! I'm now perhaps in a position to go away sometime this October and in an ideal world would get some alpine action in. I've never been out at that time of year before but understand that I could be looking at S facing rock (but perhaps only until the first snow falls, after which wetness/verglas might be an issue); or alternatively, I could be looking at higher mixed routes if the summer has been appropriately wet/snowy; or, as would be typical for me, I could just be sitting in the rain of course...

So, what have the eyes and ears on the ground this summer got to report back? Has it been a wet/dry/hot/cool/snowy summer? What's the pattern been like? What are people's best guesses as to what might be in decent condition in a month or so's time?


 im off 12 Sep 2021
In reply to delta_lapin:

We're just back from. Mont blanc way. Got plenty of rock routes done. Climbed vent du dragon too...mixed. was in condition, thin but ice formed. Good fun route. Spoke to a helpful guide, James. He said some mixed routes were forming as its been a fairly wet end of summer. Needed a few more freeze thaw cycles. Mostly, things looked fairly dry to me. It stayed mostly dry last 2 weeks. But a few days of rain seemed to be setting in when we left.

I've been in october b4 and had really hot dry rock route weather. 

I'd go and see what's what. You could have abit of both rock and mixed. October can be a good time from my experiences.


 shaigh 19 Sep 2021
In reply to delta_lapin:

If you're as desperate as I am to get to the mountains then t's worth the risk. Donkeys years ago I went out to Chamonix in late November and had calm and clear weather for about 3 weeks, up until mid December. I was working so didn't have time to go up high, but the valley crags were great in the afternoon sun  

If you're flexible and have a car you could always carry on south if the Alps were no good, if you were in France maybe Verdon or the Calanques would be worth a look. If you were further East the Dolomites could be fantastic in October.

 Doug 19 Sep 2021
In reply to shaigh:

Might be of interest that here in the south of the Ecrins we had snow this morning. Not much & only above 2 500m & mostly melted by mid morning

 Will_he_fall 19 Sep 2021
In reply to Doug:

Up at the Torino hut tonight, it was super Scottish today with a  fair bit of fresh snow, but warmer temps look to come back. 

We had a warmer august after a snowy start to the season, so whilst not as good as 2014 I think mixed stuff could shape up.

It's worth noting that around chamonix most of the lifts will be shut in October- particularly the midi which will be closed from the 5th October for a few weeks. 

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