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Ecrins Snow

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 HardenClimber 18 May 2024

Am going to be in Ailefroide from mid June... Going for the window before it all goes soft....

There is a lot of snow....

Is anyone brave enough to guess what conditions will be like in a months time?  Even had the pessimists suggesting the roads further up will not be open...

 Juan S 18 May 2024
In reply to HardenClimber:

As I'll be there at that time, happy to share my guess. Which is just that, a complete guess.

I reckon the snow line in mid june will be between 2,500m and 3,000m. All roads open (Ailefroide is already open, past Ailefroide and close to Pre. By mid June i guess it will be open all the way to Pre de Mme Carle). B2s, crampons and ice axe needed for most stuff at altitude that one would be able to do in approach shoes on drier years.

OP HardenClimber 18 May 2024
In reply to Juan S:

> As I'll be there at that time, happy to share my guess. Which is just that, a complete guess.

> I reckon the snow line in mid june will be between 2,500m and 3,000m. All roads open (Ailefroide is already open, past Ailefroide and close to Pre. By mid June i guess it will be open all the way to Pre de Mme Carle). B2s, crampons and ice axe needed for most stuff at altitude that one would be able to do in approach shoes on drier years.

Thanks.... that is rather what I'm guessing at... Hopefully the higher snow will have settled down...

 Juan S 18 May 2024

> Hopefully the higher snow will have settled down...

That's what I'm hoping too. But it needs to stop snowing at altitude. The avalanche risk was still 3 yesterday after snows above 2,000m to 2-500m this week. It's gone down to 2 today but there is more rain/snow forecast for the next couple of weeks. I hope we don't need avalanche gear!

 Jp 31 May 2024
In reply to HardenClimber:

Bump.

Trying to build up a picture from different sources. The Chamoniarde/Alpine club reports are helpful, even if they are for the Cham area. 

 Martin Haworth 31 May 2024
In reply to HardenClimber: The Pelvoux hut has opened this week, they will give regular conditions reports. The traverse of the Pelvoux was done this week but on Skis.

The opening of the road from Ailefroide to the top of the valley has been delayed until 7th June.

Sure there will be stuff to do you will just have to be flexible on your objectives.

 Tom Redwood 17 Jun 2024
In reply to HardenClimber:

Does anyone have an update on conditions? Heading out there later this week.

 Juan S 18 Jun 2024
In reply to Tom Redwood:

Still snowy above 2,500m. Last couple of days it's been warm so quite soft and slushy. There are some snow patches to get to glacier blanc hut (but haven't needed crampons up to there - could change if it got much colder before the patches melt). Continuous snow above the hut. 

OP HardenClimber 19 Jun 2024
In reply to Tom Redwood:

There is a lot of snow about. Just hitting a warm spell. Has been freezing overnight but by afternoon progress can be slow. Plenty of routes being done. (Barre still too snowy, plus big avalanche).

Weather is quite unstable.

In reply to HardenClimber:

We have just had 24 hours of hard rain. This on top of the snow melt has sent the rivers in to flood and caused a lot of damage to roads. 

This morning the Lautaret was closed because of rock slide on to the road. Should be cleared by the end of the day, but expect more issues on the high roads. I am guessing access across the rivers off the glacier Noir are closed? They were on temporary bridges after heavy snow melt earlier in the month. The photos/videos from up there this morning snow the river has burst its banks big time. 

Coming down from la bans refuge yesterday in the am, the first small bridge after the parking has been washed away.  While at the refuge saw some avalanches coming down with the weight of the water. 

150 people where evacuated from around Vallouise due to flooding, emergency procedures have been put in place across the area. 

In the queyras a walker has been killed by rock fall caused by the rain. 

So take care if traveling of out in the mountains. the forecast isn't set to get much better next week, not as much rain but still wet. 

Edit it has now been confirmed the route to Pré de Mme Carle and access to La Bans valley is now closed. 

Post edited at 08:48
OP HardenClimber 21 Jun 2024
In reply to ecrinscollective:

Bits of the Ailefroide campsite have been washed away and we had to move this morning.

The bridge across to Valouise has been closed, stranding people in the village.

There must be over 40cm snow higher up, which will take time to settle, and weather looks unstable...

OP HardenClimber 21 Jun 2024
In reply to ecrinscollective:

Bits of the Ailefroide campsite have been washed away and we had to move this morning.

The bridge across to Valouise has been closed, stranding people in the village.

There must be over 40cm snow higher up, which will take time to settle, and weather looks unstable.

In reply to HardenClimber:

Sorry you had to move but glad you are safe. the parking in vallouise has been swept away taking a car in to the Gyr river.  Video of it happening on my Facebook group and site. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/146634635971764

Just sat watching all the alerts and videos coming in. it's going to take a while to settle. 

 Tom Redwood 24 Jun 2024
In reply to ecrinscollective:

Any more recent updates on snow conditions up at the Glacier Blanc? We are looking at doing between the two huts and maybe head on to the Barre if the weather improves for Wednesday (unlikely but the forecasts are very changeable).

OP HardenClimber 25 Jun 2024
In reply to Tom Redwood:

On Monday we did the Cooidge on Pelvoux. The snow was pretty good.

Tuesday: Third hand: guardian at Ecrins is NOT recommending the Barre at all. Second hand the snow around upper glacier blanc is not great (was good last week EARLY in day). (A couple of our team got accriss on the temporary tyrolean...gone now).

The 'bridge' across the Torrent de St Pierre at the pre is down and will not be in before Friday at earliest. Late in the day the Torrent is not crossable. A bit earlier pple have had lifts in digger buckets etc. Perhaps early in the day it is possible to cross.

Weather forecasts are not very stable.

 LakesWinter 27 Jun 2024
In reply to HardenClimber:

Not glacier blanc but I did the Pic de la Grave north side/ normal route this morning from the chancel hut and it was just frozen enough on the face.  The ridge at the top was well frozen.  Going up the avalanche cone at the bottom of the face was hard work. 

 Tom Redwood 01 Jul 2024
In reply to LakesWinter:

We did this on the same day, we were the group of three with two women up there between 9am and 1pm (we got the gonadal), if you think you were up there at the same time and want some distant photos of yourself, send me an email.

For other's benefit, the route felt very low in the grade in these conditions, the short traverse option looked much rockier and a grade harder but nobody was trying it. The Bergschrund was much wider over there whereas it was virtually non existent where crossing it on the normal North Face route.

 huckleberry 09 Jul 2024
In reply to HardenClimber:

Not sure what the current state of the Barre is but towards the end of June a couple of guides attempted to open the normal route up to the summit but were hit by a wet avalanche and had to turn back.

Lots of snow this year, it was quite a cold start! 

OP HardenClimber 10 Jul 2024
In reply to huckleberry:

The Barre is now coming right and is seeing traffic in the last few days. The weather has been all  over the place.... I'm told the Meije tx has been done by a couple of PGHM guys who found it hard work.... Pelvoux etc are all good....


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