Some old threads on here regarding the 'via ferrata' at Montenvers (Chamonix). Going out in a couple of weeks for some winter / mixed climbing and at the moment due to poor snow not many of the lifts are operating, so our options are limited.
As the train always tends to run, considering a trip along the via f, but it was closed at a similar time last year due to avalanche risk - any better knowledge as to whether this is always the case?
Its been closed for a few years now, and last summer the guides bureau told me that it is closed indefinitely and a new set of ladders had been installed further up the Mer de Glace, to bypass the extremely dangerous area below the Charpou Glacier. These ladders are now the recommended approach to the Couvercle Refuge, (via the rest of the Balcon route) but are extremely difficult to see from the glacier. The previous approach, Les Egralets, is extremely dangerous, bits missing and very unstable giant boulders on the approach, (never again!)
PS, none of the previous or current sections of the Balcon Mer de Glace was proper 'via ferrata', it didn't have cables by the ladders, etc, it was just the same as the usual Montenvers ladders stuff.