/ Tour du Mont Blanc Snow Conditions June 2013

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Oceanic - on 03 Jun 2013
I'm planning on starting the TMB on 16th June.

There's a lot of snow at the moment...

How icey is it? I'm particularly concerned about the Aiguilles Rouge in this respect. I'm guessing that axe and crampons may be necessary?

Avalanche risk? I'm considering changing the route in places and taking transceivers and shovels, is this over kill?

How soft is the snow? Will I be postholing through snow drifts or moving easily over neve?

Obviously a lot can change in a week and a half, but any conditions reports would be a welcome.
Mountain Llama on 03 Jun 2013
walts4 - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to Oceanic:
A lot can change in 10 days or so, but Le tour ski slopes ( South facing) are still plastered with snow which may give you an indication of what to expect.
Forget neve unless your lucky or up extremely early or north facing, think at the very least a ice axe may be prudent.
Only back today so not 100% on the conditions you are likely to encounter, but a very unusual winter/spring.
A alternative game plan prior to leaving may be wise.
Alexandre Buisse - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to Oceanic: Axe and crampons useful, so would snowshoes, to be honest, unless it's super warm in the next week. It's soft spring snow, not hard leftover neve.

Shovel/transceivers probably useless, if you are caught in a slide, it will be a heavy snow purge and you will most likely be crushed before it stops.
Luca Signorelli - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to Oceanic:
Tons of snow everywhere. Snowiest June conditions in decades, at least on the Italian side
Alexandre Buisse - on 04 Jun 2013
In reply to Luca Signorelli:

Same on the French side, see the aerial photos I shot yesterday: http://www.camptocamp.org/outings/434265/fr/dome-du-gouter-par-l-arete-nord-et-retour-parapente
LakesWinter on 04 Jun 2013
In reply to Alexandre Buisse: Wow, that is even more snow than June 2001! 2001 was the last year when most alpine glaciers had a strongly positive mass balance. If the summer isn't too hot, this year could have the first positive mass balance since then.

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