Mountain conditions update

  1. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    The Regional Functional Center informs us that, from a meteorological point of view, an unstable circulation will remain in the next few days, with alternating lightening and clouding with occasional showers, especially in the afternoon.

    In the high mountains, the mountaineering activity has restarted practically only from today, after the spell of bad weather in recent days. We therefore await the return information from industry professionals to detail the situation. Meanwhile, we draw attention to the presence of snow accumulations and the risk of snowfall at high altitudes. Specifically, particular caution is advocated by the French colleagues of La Chamoniarde on some routes (such as the route des Trois Monts on the Mont Blanc). Yesterday's snowfalls, which mainly impacted the Chamonix side, accompanied by strong winds, may have hidden some crevasses and created precarious bridges. On some slopes, recent snow often serves as a cover, barely concealing live ice or glacier fractures. As for the rock roads, some walls were still white this morning, but the sun should quickly clean up the surfaces. Be careful, however, on the northern slopes where ice and snow could clog cracks and corners in the shade for a few days.

    The excursion activity is resumed at full speed (on the Tour du Mont Blanc it has practically not been interrupted). The trails around Mont Blanc are often frequented by trailers who are preparing for the UTMB, in anticipation for next week. Preparations for the organization of the race are already underway; in this regard, it should be remembered that on 31 August, the Dolonne cable car and the Chair lift Maison Vieille Courmayeur Mont Blanc Funivie, will open extraordinarily at 6 am.

  2. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    The beginning of this week welcomed us with the arrival of clouds and some precipitation; let's see what will happen for the next few days.

    From a meteorological point of view, after a long period of pleasant summer weather, from yesterday evening a vast perturbed front reached the Valle d'Aosta. For today great variability is expected with alternating dry and showers or thunderstorms, while tomorrow precipitation will be more intense and frequent. This situation will be associated with a drop in temperatures that will record an isotherm of 0 degrees around 3,600 / 3,800 meters today, 3,400 / 3,600 meters tomorrow. The next evolution is uncertain, with a possible partial anticyclonic recovery only from mid-week.

    High mountains: the situation that has continued to this day, characterized by high altitude and very dry areas, could undergo evolution (already this morning a very light layer of snow settled above 3,500 meters). From mid-week we will be able to verify any improvements and changes for the various sectors.

    Medium mountain: the rains arriving especially the next night and tomorrow, even if not foreseen as particularly intense, could sometimes cause phenomena of increase in the flow of streams and watercourses that could present problems in their crossing. Recall that, especially in the mountains, it may happen that the center of greatest intensity of rainfall causes waves of floods that quickly reach slopes even far from the heart of the storm. It is therefore recommended to pay particular attention along the paths, especially where watercourses and streams are crossed (the latter, even if normally dry, with thunderstorms could give rise to even major runoff phenomena).

  3. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    Update for the weekend on the mountain situation.

    From the METEO point of view, the atmospheric instability that brought clouds, some showers and temperatures slightly decreased between last night and this morning will be followed by the return of good weather which should last until Monday. From Tuesday a vast and deep North-Atlantic trough will determine a week of humidity and instability with showers.

    Helbronner Sector / Turin Refuge: good frequentation of the routes on the satellites with refreezing that allows the approach without major problems (surmountable terminals). For the other routes, numerous roped parties on the crossing of the Aiguille d'Entrêves and the Marbrées. Access to the Gingiva / Dente del Gigante - Rochefort continues to deteriorate and is now definitely dry: for this stretch maximum attention is required. Rare cordate on the Diables where, even here, the access is very delicate and dry. Situation even more complicated at Kuffner. Still a few roped parties on the crossing of the Jorasses with descent from the normal, but the live advice remains to carefully evaluate the situation of the sections on rock that have often uncertain conditions.

    Brouillard / Freney / Monzino sector: in this area the situation is constantly changing. Various rope groups concentrate on the rock roads of the Aiguille Croux and the Noire de Peuterey, but the situation is more delicate at the higher altitudes, frequented by very rare roped parties. Access to the Eccles still presents a fair practicability of the glacier, but the great high-altitude routes are characterized by conditions that require extreme caution and a willingness to desist.

    Focus on the French side (information reported to us by La Chamoniarde): the Des Cosmiques refuge has some difficulties with the telephone, in case of need do not hesitate to insist. The route of the Trois Monts al Bianco still has a potentially unstable serac in the upper part of the Tacul (along the axis of the track). Serac falls, it is known, represent an objective risk in this way, for which everyone must make their own decision independently. It is possible to form an opinion on the situation on the north side of the Mont Blanc du Tacul by looking at the Aiguille du Midi webcam. However, the terminal at the bottom of the slope is opening and there are no equipped sections; it is therefore necessary to use 2 ice axes at least for the first group.

    Via Normale Francese da Goûter: "normal" situation in the couloir of the Goûter which appears dry, with few rocks moving only early in the morning. From the latest news, the ice does not seem to be far from emerging on the arête des Bosses.

    The refuge des Grands Mulets closed yesterday, Thursday 1 August.

  4. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    A quick update on medium and high mountain conditions for this new summer week.

    After a weekend disturbed by heavy storms, during which the climbing activity in the high mountains was very limited, the week resumes with a more favourable climate: sunny conditions in Aosta Valley probably for most of the week, with pleasant temperatures and only temporary cloud cover for the passage of weak low-pressure waves north of the Alps.

    High mountains: rainfall on Saturday and on Sunday morning has left relatively few traces. As expected, the temperatures have dropped, although a slight rise of the isotherms is expected for today and tomorrow (up to 4000 - 4200 m). The refreezing on the snow routes has therefore improved, but we await more detailed news from the Guides and huts Managers after the resumption of today's activities. At the moment we can only confirm that most of the rock routes are, de visu, dry.

    Medium Mountain: Saturday's violent storms left some traces of water runoff on the trails, but there are no indications of criticality so far. For those who go on the Tour du Mont-Blanc, we remind you that a particular situation remains in the French area of La Flégère (already mentioned in the previous posts), for which we refer to our TMB information site: https: // bit.ly/2ywok4t

  5. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    This new week in July begins with the return of the summer heat. Let's see the updates on the conditions.

    As for the meteorological aspect, an anticyclone tends to expand towards Central Europe and to strengthen, favouring sunny and stable conditions with an increase in temperatures and some afternoon heaps. In the next two or three days the isotherm is therefore expected to rise to around 4,800 / 4,900 meters.

    High mountain: in anticipation of rising temperatures, it becomes increasingly important to check the quality of the night refreezing. The choice of schedules will be fundamental especially in the planning of returns. It is also recommended to tie yourself immediately to the exit from the huts and not to underestimate the conditions of practicability of the glaciers: follow the traces and manage the rope according to the presence of crevasses and the quality of the snow. In case of uncertainty, it is always good to rely on a professional.

    In general, it is confirmed the indication to pay attention on mixte in particular where the access channels are crossed (eg Diables, approaching the Dente del Gigante ...) and where you move on unstable ground which, with the merger of snow, could be potentially dangerous. On the other hand, the rock routes (eg Satellites, Triolet - Dalmazzi, Aiguille Croux and Aiguille Noire ...) are very busy and in favorable conditions.

    Medium Mountain: the paths around the Mont Blanc are increasingly popular, in particular the Tour du Mont Blanc which, as far as the Italian and Swiss sectors are concerned, is in good condition. On the French side, the critical situation already reported in the Flégère area, affected by the renovation of the cable car, remains. Some trails in the area are indeed closed, while the classic route remains accessible. For more information, check the map and consult the website https://www.chamoniarde.com/actualites/acces-et-fermetures-de-sentiers/travaux-secteur-flegere-acces-lac-blanc

  6. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    The week began with a small meteorological surprise: a light sprinkling of snow at medium altitudes. However, the situation should evolve rapidly.

    Weather update: the small low-pressure wave that brought disrupted weather in the Aosta Valley, with the return of snow at altitudes just over 2000 m, moves away to the east; the occurrence of a western flow will favour sunny weather in the coming days, with temperatures gradually increasing.

    High mountains: while awaiting the return information from Alpine Guides and Refuge Managers about the potentially positive effects of this lowering of temperatures, we remind you that some delicate situations persist, effect of the great heat at the end of June / beginning of July. Some areas, in fact, have been the subject of discharges of rocky material (examples: Triangle of Tacul, Tour Ronde, Couloir du Goûter ...) and for this reason a good ability to assess specific situations is required - or the support of professionals for the evaluation of the feasibility of some trips - in particular for those routes that stand in areas where the absence of snow has exposed surfaces covered by debris (especially canals and conoids). It is therefore important not to underestimate the potential dangers.

    As for the average mountain, the rains and thunderstorms of this night / morning should soon leave room for good weather. The crossing of the streams could therefore be more complex at this time due to the greater flow of the rivers. Maximum attention is recommended.

  7. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur
    Another beautiful summer weekend is coming and here is our update on the conditions in the mountains for the Mont Blanc area:
    the meteorological situation foresees the stabilization of an anticyclone that favors sunny weather with isotherm today at around 4,000 - 4,300 meters, while from tomorrow afternoon the approach of a low-lying area from the north will lead to a partial increase in instability, especially on Sunday.
    High mountain: the past night was very clear and this allowed a good refreezing, as it hadn't done for days; this morning the conditions of the approaches were therefore decidedly good, but of course with the hottest hours the areas exposed to the sun began to deteriorate. Roped on all the main routes, especially on satellites, Aig. d'Entrèves, crossed Midi-Helbronner, Marbrées and towards the Tooth. However, it is important to be very careful and, in the hot hours, avoid areas subject to possible stone discharges that could change with the transformation of the snow (eg today discharges of large stones to the Tour Ronde - Normal zone already at 9 am) . Greater caution is required on Sunday morning when assessing the situation, for possible Saturday night thunderstorms that could limit the refreezing.
    Trekking and hiking: the conditions are better every day for walks around Courmayeur. The snowfields persist only in the watersheds of the areas exposed to the north above the 2,400 - 2,500 meters. The main paths are abundantly visited, especially the balconies and the Tour du Mont Blanc. For the latter, we note some delicate situations: in the Swiss stretch between Champex Lac and Bovine, the path is rather bumpy with sometimes abundant water on the path resulting from the melting of the snowfields. Similar situation on the path that goes up to the Col de Balme (therefore Swiss side). Snow remains on the ascent to Col di Bonhomme (Les Contamines - F) and on the Swiss variant of Fenetre d'Arpette, which is not recommended and very little used (only with suitable equipment from high mountains).
  8. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    From the meteorological point of view, the African heat peak of yesterday and today should undergo a slight decline, with the isotherm that from 5,000 meters of today will gradually tend to fall starting especially from Sunday and Monday.

    High mountains: this week's rise in temperatures has significantly changed conditions compared to last week. The refreezing is almost absent even at very high altitudes and the snow has become very soft throughout its surface layer (sometimes even more in depth). Therefore, pay the utmost attention to snow bridges that are likely to become very fragile, to terminals that tend to open, becoming fragile, to the increasingly probable falling of stones. The progression on snow will inevitably be tiring even in the traces that are in any case very evident (it is advisable to follow them faithfully and not to venture outside them, the snow bridges are very delicate). From this situation in continuous and rapid change, it follows that it is not possible to make a general forecast and that the information on the single itineraries (to be preferred in any case the routes on rock) risk becoming soon unreliable; it will therefore be extremely important to be able to make precise assessments of the sector by sector situations or rely on a professional.

    Mountain and hiking: the heat has greatly contributed to melting the snowfields on the trails that become increasingly viable. On the other hand, streams and streams are definitely rich in water and can create problems of crossing and sliding. In fact, it is reported that in some waters the water is abundant even where it is usually absent. On the Tour du Mont Blanc, several crossings of important brooks meet up towards the Col de La Seigne from the French side, between La Casermetta and Rifugio Elisabetta, on the path between Champex and Bovine (CH), between the Bertone and Bonatti Refuges. The snow instead remains present especially on the stretch of path that goes up to the Col du Bonhomme (early morning crampons still recommended), while the diagonal crossing of the Arp Vieille (between Combal and Lake Checrouit) is always less problematic where the snowfield is disappearing.

  9. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur
    MOUNTAIN CONDITIONS
    MOUNTAINEERING: in the Helbronner area the snowfall of two days ago deposited 20 to 30 cm of snow that was worked by the action of the wind, forming some accumulation and covering some hole. Therefore, pay close attention to how you move, especially if you have to leave the already traced tracks (in which case the skis are advisable). As for the rock, some snow still covers many structures (eg Aig. D'Entreves south slope - exposed to the wind, upper part of the Dente del Gigante and the structures of the Arete du Dable) and the ledges are still a little snowy; on a hot day the situation should be optimal.
    With regard to the approaches, excellent tracks towards Aiguilles Marbrées, Dente del Gigante / Rochefort, crossing Helbronner-Aiguille du Midi, Tour Ronde and Col d'Entrèves. Some climber today on the Rochefort Ridge, on the Helbronner-Midi, on the Aigulle du Toula and on the normal route of the Tour Ronde. For the latter, the presence of a fair amount of snow makes the conditions fair at the moment, but it must always be remembered that numerous blocks on site are definitely unstable; pay close attention to passages that are often delicate.
    REFUGES: from today the Monzino Refuge is open and begins its season. For access, we are told of a snowfield on the last stretch of path for which we recommend crampons and ice axe. The Dalmazzi and Boccalatte refuges will open instead from next weekend.
    HIKING: on the paths around Courmayeur the snow is slowly giving way to green grass, but in the canals and on the slopes in the shade the snowfields are always present. Snow coveres the Grand Col Ferret, the Col de La Seigne, the upstream area of Col Chécrouit and the Col di Malatrà.
    As for the Tour du Mont-Blanc, remember that this year the Flégère cable car (Chamonix) will be closed for works and the paths below the cable line will be closed. Instead, the Refuge du Lac Blanc reopens. Moreover, the Courmayeur Mont Blanc Funivie have modified their timetable to favor the activity of the hikers: opening from 8.30 to 17.50
  10. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur
    After the slight instability of yesterday and the cloudy passages of today, tomorrow the day seems to be discreet, with a reduced cloud cover. On Sunday, greater instability is expected with time marked by variability.
    The conditions in the high mountains of the Italian side of the Mont Blanc have not changed much in the last two days, but the meteorological instability suggests choosing routes with the possibility of escape routes or otherwise not too adventurous.
    Trekking and Hiking: even if at the bottom of the valley the temperatures are mild and the ground conditions are almost summery, you don't need to be fooled. Above 2000 meters the snow is still abundant, so much so that some ski touring itineraries are still passable on skis. We therefore recommend maximum caution in choosing the route and it is recommended to equip yourself with good footwear, poles and crampons always ready in your backpack.

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