Mountain conditions update

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As they say mountain climbing is dangerous, and there are many dangers to deal with.

This service is a free and institutional teamwork and has been implemented as part of project III ALCOTRA n° 125 Safety in the Mountains around Mont Blanc, funded starting from 2008 by Compagnia di San Paolo di Torino.

This action is promoted by the Safe Mountain Foundation of Courmayeur and the High Mountain Office of Chamonix- La Chamoniarde.

You are strongly advised to consult all available bulletins before each ascent and to make use of the support of mountain guides before undertaking any excursion.

All information found on the site is from staff foundation's accounts according to region's persons in charge and is therefore closely tied to specific weather and snow conditions, which can change unexpectedly. Furthermore, the situations described should be considered in the light of an individual's physical condition and his mountaineering skills .

We are not responsible for the use of the information published on the web

  1. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    Funivie Monte Bianco, in agreement with Courmayeur Town Council after consultation with the competent technicians and institutions, and based on official technical reports provided by independent experts, Funivie Monte Bianco announces the immediate

    CLOSURE of the “TOULA STAIRCASE” and its consequent PROHIBITED USE

    Funivie Monte Bianco will be taking concrete measures to prevent use of
    the staircase and will provide widespread notification of this closure and
    prohibition.

  2. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    The mountains begin to wear their winter clothes. The rapid disturbances of the past week have deposited a good amount of snow that will be fed by new precipitation from Thursday.

    The Functional Center of the Valle d'Aosta Region indicates in detail that large-scale general circulation is characterized, until tomorrow, by the passage of cooler air from northern Europe, and generally dry and quite sunny weather. Starting Thursday, the entry of an active disturbance from France will bring frequent rain and snow until next Monday at least.

    The general snow conditions are not yet sufficient for a good ski mountaineering activity, but the layers of snow that have just fallen should be a good starting point for the upcoming season. As far as climbing is concerned, activity has now mainly shifted to low altitudes and warm regions (Finale, Albenga, etc.): many low-altitude structures in the valley (including cliffs but also long routes) can offer very pleasant conditions if climbed in the sunlight and in the absence of wind. Finally, in terms of hiking, the trails are covered with snow above 1,800 meters. Under that altitude, the southern slopes can always be pleasantly frequented.

    Do not forget that the Skyway Monte Bianco is closed for testing and periodic reviews, while the Cervinia area is open from Plan Maison, with the connection to active Switzerland.

  3. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    The weekend was very favourable to mountain activities with sunny days and pleasant temperatures.

    On the other hand, this week looks rather disturbed because of the currents of high altitude, which allow the passage of more humid air (passage already between tonight and tomorrow morning). The weather in western Alps will be changing and characterized by alternating dry and sunny periods and grey periods with very light rain.

    In the high mountains, snow was less abundant than it seemed at the beginning: in the sector of Pointe Helbronner, on the glacier, the disturbances did not leave more than 20/30 cm of snow compressed and worked by the wind, while frost has concreted the walls. The sun quickly cleared the rock facing south, but snow is still present on the northern slopes. For the moment, the ice is not yet very well formed, so it is still too early to consider the chutes; climbs in mixed (or even new lines) have already been carried out, but they suppose an excellent capacity of evaluation and management under ephemeral conditions. Strung on the Aiguille d'Entrêves, on the Marbrée, on the Dente del Gigante and on the Kuffner (for this we have no feedback on the specific conditions).

    Sometimes, approaches have been made on skis, but for that, it is recommended to pay the greatest attention and the greatest caution: many holes are covered by the snow extended by the wind and are not visible. It is necessary to get into proper coordination (distances) to manage the risk.

  4. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    In this short pause between the perturbations, today the mountains have shown themselves to be well snowed above 2,700 / 2,800 meters.

    In detail, the forecasts announce that until tomorrow, Thursday 24, large-scale circulation will be characterized by the presence of a large area of low pressure slowly moving towards southern Italy. His influence on the weather in our region will end on Friday. Therefore today temporary dry break with beautiful sunny spells, but already from the evening we will have the first rains; Thursday disturbed with clouds and rainfall and from Friday time in a definite improvement with stable weather until at least Tuesday.

    The activity in the mountains will probably resume close to the weekend, with conditions still to be evaluated, even if the snowfalls of recent days will have a rather long train. On average, it will be pleasant to take advantage of the autumn conditions to walk the paths of our beautiful valleys. In any case, it is recommended to pay close attention to the watercourses which, with the abundant precipitations, can assume impetuous character even when in summer the flow is usually scarce.

  5. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    Mountain conditions: the autumn conditions that have been established in recent days will continue for a few days. From the Regional Functional Center the forecasts announce in fact the minimum depression directed towards the Portuguese coasts will continue to send disturbed flows, with precipitation that will continue this afternoon. Tomorrow the minimum will shift, allowing a wedge of high pressure to expand also towards the Valle d'Aosta, bringing more stable conditions and temperatures slightly higher due to the call of more mild African air. But Wednesday the minimum will regain strength, again conditioning the weather with rainfall on Thursday and falling snow levels. Improvement later.

    The amount of snow deposited on the ground, being very windy, is not easily quantifiable (up to 40 cm) due to the inhomogeneity of its distribution. This contribution is gradually transforming the conditions, making the situation of mixed routes slowly evolve - after the extremely dry summer - towards more normal conditions. However, the weather situation is not allowing the mountaineering activity (if not in a very limited way on the easiest and closest routes to the cable cars); of course for the rock roads, at medium and high altitudes, the structures are snow-covered and wet.

    As for the trails and hiking, snow is currently confined to altitudes above 2,500 / 2,700 meters; be careful, however, to assess the exposure well: in this period of great temperature changes, it is often possible to find areas in the shade that are fresh and still covered with snow, although in the sun you still walk in a t-shirt! However, walks immersed in autumn colors are an experience not to be missed.

  6. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    The second week of October opens with a first weak autumn snowfall that has reached the mid-mountain (lower limit at around 2,000 meters in the Upper Valley) whitening the landscape. Let's see in detail the weather evolution.

    The high pressure on the Middle Atlantic tends to strengthen until Friday with a rise in temperature to a decidedly warmer climate tomorrow, but with a probable incursion disrupted on Wednesday. After the snowfall of this night, today the day will be sunny with some initial residual cloudiness, located in particular on the ridges. The strong winds at altitude are attenuated until they become weak in the afternoon; also the foehn in the valleys is expected to be attenuated. Thermal zero from 2100 meters up to 3300 meters.

    General conditions in the mountains: in the high mountains the activity is significantly reduced, the snow and the wind have diverted the climbers towards the medium and low altitude rock routes. To assess the evolution at altitude it is necessary to wait for the new impulse of the next few days and see its effects. In medium mountain, considering hiking activity, the snow fallen above 2,000 meters, should quickly melt, but beware of the shady slopes (north) where it will be possible, especially early in the morning, to find ice on the ground. It could therefore better to prefer sunny routes and paths, at least for the days of today and tomorrow.

  7. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    Close to the weekend, we update you on the general conditions in the mountains.

    From the meteorological point of view, the conditions are typically autumnal, with more pretty cold temperatures. In detail, the western currents will bring on the Aosta Valley an alternation of weak disturbances; between Sunday evening and Monday, cold air from the north will cause a temporary drop in temperatures with possible weak snowfall even in medium mountain areas, while later there will be a partial anticyclone comeback with a subsequent return to an Atlantic flow.

    As for the alpinism, the situation does not seem to favour a great activity in the high mountains. The faint snowfalls that have just fallen (between 10 and 20 cm) have created accumulations on the ledges and clogged the cracks, precluding rock activity for a few days. For the other routes, the more classic ones remain (Aig. Entreves, Dente del Gigante, Marbrées ...) but great attention is recommended to the presence of snow. For the rest, pay attention to the covering effect of the holes that snow has often made on glaciers: caution.

    In the mountains, hiking and rock climbing are practiced without any particular problems, but beware of snow or glass walls above 2400 m, particularly on the northern slopes. It should also be noted that some paths in the shade or in the woods can be damp and have slippery tracts at this time of year.

  8. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur
    The second weekend of September is about to begin; let's see what conditions the mountain will have in the coming days.
    News from the meteorological point of view: a vast trough favors the current marked cloudiness on our region with some precipitation, especially in the low valley. From tomorrow clearings are expected in progressive extension, accompanied also by some episodes of foehn. The temperatures, already in the descent phase, will tend to fall even further, with the isotherm reaching up to 2,300 - 2,400 meters on Sunday (in some sectors minimum night-time temperatures below zero, already around 2,000 meters). Attention therefore to the windchill effect which, with the northern winds, will tend to be felt in a decisive manner.
    High mountains: this morning the high altitude refuges awoke under a layer of snow of varying thickness depending on the area. The rain / snow limit has sometimes dropped to around 2,600 meters (especially in the eastern quadrants) and snow events could still be repeated today. It follows that the conditions for the weekend will be rather unfavorable to the attendance of the higher altitudes, also considering the wind forecast for Sunday. The rock routes will be affected by today's snow spray, while mixed routes (despite the cold and snow that help to evolve the situation) will continue to present the same problems of the past few days. It is therefore advisable to carefully evaluate the available options with great caution or to orientate your choices towards lower altitudes.
    Please note that the Boccalatte Piloti Refuge has closed its season and that the access path to it has been closed by order of the Municipality of Courmayeur (see post).
    Mountain and hiking: the Tor des Géants weekend is upon us. Today at noon the longest race of the event has started, the "Tor des Glaciers" which precedes the start of the late summer queen race, scheduled for Sunday at 12.00. At a general level, the lower temperatures of these days and the snowfalls of today should not be too disturbing for the participants in the competition, who may however encounter some difficulties at the highest hills. In terms of hiking, the "randonneurs" are advised to equip themselves with appropriate clothing, given the cooler temperatures, and not to underestimate the windichill effect. The snow has not yet practically affected the trails around Mont Blanc, but the cold front, arriving from the north on Sunday, could create some discomfort, particularly on the hills on the border with Switzerland.
  9. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    The first week of September begins with good weather, but with fewer degrees. Here is the update of the conditions in the mountains.

    Weather: this night's rapid disturbance is giving way to an expanding high-pressure field from the west that has already caused a rotation of currents from the north. It follows sunny weather and fresher air especially today; an increase in temperatures is expected tomorrow and Wednesday, with more clouds on Thursday.

    High mountains: even for this beginning of September there are no great variations on the conditions of the different sectors of Mont Blanc. On the glaciers, in some areas, the action of leaching caused by rains and thunderstorms is clearly visible, which, together with the heat at the end of August, have contributed to the reduction of the snow cover and the thinning of snow bridges. As already mentioned, the approaches are therefore sometimes tortuous but visible.

    Focus at Rifugio Dalmazzi: from today and until September 15, the refuge will observe the following schedule:

    - Saturday and Sunday open all day;

    - from Monday to Friday open from 3.00pm until 8.30am; closed between 8.30 am and 3.00 pm, ie lunch time; open for evening service on half board.

    Mountain and hiking: once the UTMB week is over and waiting for the Tor des Géants, the trails around Mont Blanc will return to be relatively less frequented. The shelters are still open and the conditions of the paths are signalled to be still good (some traces of storms without criticality). Recall that the Courmayeur Mont Blanc Funivie ropeways closed yesterday and will reopen on November 30th.

  10. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    The last week of a particularly hot August has begun. Let's see how the conditions of the coming days are presented.

    The Regional Functional Center announces a temporary anticyclone comeback that favors some more stable and sunny days until tomorrow. The next evolution is uncertain, but the approach of a low depression area from Wednesday seems likely.

    In the high mountains there are no particular changes compared to the past few days, so we renew the recommendations made in our previous updates.
    In the middle of the mountains and on the trails, a particularly intense week is expected: in fact, starting today, the various races of the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc © are held. We remind you that these last ones absolutely do not prevent normal hikers from being able to walk on the paths around the Mont Blanc, indeed they can be the occasion to support the trailers in the race. To find out which races run along the paths of the Italian white valleys and to check the possible times of the passages, consult the official website of the event: https://utmbmontblanc.com/it/home

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