/ Chamonix conditions
Anyone in Chamonix and know what the conditions in the Rouges or on the Mt Blanc side are like?
Still lots of snow in the Rouges but people have been trail running everywhere already, so there are well-established paths going over all of the snowy bits, and it's fairly easy to go off road if you don't mind traipsing through heather and alpenrose.
Because of the persistent snow some routes might still be a bit damp, and anything high and north-facing (like the middle section of the Crochues traverse, or the path leading to the crux on the south west ridge on the Belvedere) will have significant snow to deal with. At a guess, the sport crag at the Brevent Breche will have the first 3 or 4 bolts still under snow.
Ete Indienne and the similar route just next to it up the Berard Valley are bone dry and incredibly busy.
I think planpraz is opening from today. I'm wondering / will be watching keenly to see if and what rock climbs are feasible. I'm guessing a lot of the more ridge / buttress based ones will be dry ish but there could be bergschrunds issues getting onto the routes, and getting off / down could be a bit of a pain / potentially hazardous. Some have walking sections between pitches which could also be a hazardous PITA in climbing shoes.
I was thinking if to go I would approach in trainers with my toy crampons and take 1 lightweight axe each. If my mountaineering boots weren't so big and heavy and horrific on slabs I would probably take them for everything and ditch the climbing shoes, and go down a grade or so.
Also wondering about the South facing routes on the Grand perrons. Barberine too.
The Brevent buttresses were being climbed a couple of week ago when the Planpraz lift was open, particularly the Bodinosaur buttress with those 6a-6c routes on it. The two easier routes closest to the midstation, "Tartiflette" (I think...) and the newer slab route that starts below the Charlie Bozon piste were absolutely crawling the last time I was in the area, with no snow to complicate matters to speak of.
The higher buttress routes, La Somone and Krakoukass, are at the end of a long walk over a still snowy piste, but with the traffic they've seen there's a solid path all the way there, and it's no big deal. I walked up to the base of Krakoukass with my 15 month old daughter on my shoulders and bumsledged back down again, it was super easy glissading conditions a couple of weeks ago, and not much will have changed.
People have been cragging at Barberine at all of the single pitch venues, not sure but I assume the big routes are being done as well. The rock routes themselves on the Perrons will be dry, but any descent down the Veudale gorge to the dam will still be incredibly snowy, so rapping the routes might be easier.
That's fantastic info thanks for the time spent Pete
20cm of fresh snow overnight at the Cosmiques hut: https://twitter.com/Meteovilles/status/100806815089266688/
Alpine Club Chamonix conditions updated last night:
Thanks for the info!
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