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VIDEO: Alpine Preparation - When To Travel and What's Open

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 UKC Articles 07 Jun 2021

In this video, Rebecca Coles details when best to plan your alpine trip. Seasons play a crucial part in deciding the ideal time for your objectives and it's important to think about the amount of snow, what will be open in terms of lifts, huts, winter rooms and valley infrastructure, and then plan accordingly. Rebecca explains what you will need in terms of kit for alpine huts and winter rooms, and how to reduce the cost.

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 Webster 07 Jun 2021
In reply to UKC Articles:

I think i would disagree that the main summer alpine season starts in july (other than because of the school hollidays). June is very much peak summer season, and even by early july many 'summer' alpine routes can have passed out of condition thanks to the heatwaves of the last few years. Certainly by august the high mountains are falling down and anything other than the most well traveled stable rock route is out of the question most years! By september the permafrost can begin freezing up again enough that things can start to stabilise again, so assuming you can access the routes (think gaping bergschrunds and impassible crevasses!) then it can almost be considered a second summer season.

So the days of a traditional summer alpine season coinciding with the traditional summer holliday period are long gone in my opinion. Increasingly the 'summer' apline season is becoming may-june with a potential second comming in sept-oct!

 Tim Davies 08 Jun 2021
In reply to Webster:

Good article in Le Dauphiné last year about a second generation mountain guide so uses the summer (late July/ Aug)  for his own personal climbing trips. In the interview he said his dad would have “kicked him up the “fesse”” if he’d have seen him having a day off in august. Seemingly, not anymore 

 LakesWinter 11 Jun 2021
In reply to Webster:

You are largely right I think. I don't know why people disliked your post?? Obviously there will be some seasons where you can do a wider range of classical alpine routes in July and August but the majority of routes involving snow and ice are not in good condition in most Augusts these days.

Secondly prolonged heatwaves dramatically increase the risk of large rockfalls in the 2800-3800m altitude zone due to enhanced melting of the deep permafrost, so in a real hot spell most stuff is questionable.

 Webster 11 Jun 2021
In reply to LakesWinter:

im hoping the dislikes are from people who dislike that the alps are falling down! but then again there are people out there who just dislike anything and everything...


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