Mountain conditions update

  1. 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).
  2. 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.

  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    Information Note issued on 5/9/2019 at 04.00 p.m.

    Avalanche problems:
    New snow -
    On Friday, with wide clearings up to clear skies over the entire regional territory and rising temperatures (freezing level at 2800 m), the natural slope discharge intensifies with several small and medium-sized avalanches.
    Below 2800-3000 m avalanches are wet, loose snow or slabs, sometimes even full-depth (where the new snow is directly on the ground), above this altitude avalanches are dry snow type.
    Wind-drifted snow -
    At high altitude still winter conditions due to the new snow and moderate/strong wind that accompanied and followed the snowfall, first by SE then by NW: possible new potentially unstable windloads. Hikers/skiers can trigger small or medium size slabs. 
    In the areas where it has snowed the most, in single cases, also natural slab avalanches of large size may occur and reach the base of the usual slopes and gullies, starting from high altitudes.

    General conditions:
    The snowfall on Wednesday has whitened again the landscape already from 1300-1400 m.
    Amounts of new snow at 2000-2400 m:
    - Mont Blanc, Great St. Bernard, Ollomont, Morgex-La Salle, La Thuile and Valgrisenche: 40-60 cm;
    - Val di Rhemes, Valsavarenche, Pila, Valpelline, Valtournenche: 20-40 cm;
    - Ayas, Gressoney, Cogne, Champorcher and central valley: 5-15 cm.
    Going up in altitude it is likely that the amounts are slightly larger. 
    The new snow is rapidly humidifying and settling at least up to 2500 m, between 2500 and 3000 m it is humid powder, above 3000 m powder.
    On Thursday morning we received reports of small and medium avalanches of wet fresh snow, both superficial and full-depth, below 2400 m. 
    Above this altitude, in the areas where it has snowed the most and weak precipitations are still in progress, there is no visibility, whereas where it has snowed less there are already large clearings and fresh snow seems to have bound well with the underlying snow cover.

    Snowcover and skiability:
    Snow already from 1800 m, umid/wet at low altitudes up to at least 2400-2500 m, above drier and lighter, on generally spring snow; powder cold winter snow on the northern slopes at high altitude.

    Tendency: 
    Natural release avalanche activity due to new snow decreases; weak scattered precipitations possible and winds at 3000 m moderate from SW, in rotation from NW in the afternoon and intensification up to strong.

  6. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    Some updates on the conditions at high altitude. As the situation in the mountains can change in a short time, we invite you to contact the Aosta Valley Alpine Guides Societies for further information and for your ascents.

    Monte Rosa - Gressoney

    Rifugio Città di Mantova

    We point out the presence of fresh snow at altitude for a recent snowfall (5 cm at Rifugio Mantova, 30-40 cm at Rifugio Regina Margherita) which has covered some crevasses superficially. Pay attention to wind accumulations. There are large crevasses behind the Capanna Gnifetti.

    Mont Blanc

    Rifugio Monzino

    The climbs to Pic Eccles, Punta Innominata and Cresta del Brouillard, the passage to Col Émile Rey are in poor condition. We report the presence of fresh snow for a recent snowfall.

    Rifugio Torino

    Pay attention to the ridge for the Aiguille de Rochefort, which is thin and sometimes unstable.

    Rifugio Boccalatte

    The normal route to the Grandes Jorasses presents a complex access to the glacier. We report the presence of fresh snow for a recent snowfall.

    Rifugio des Cosmiques - French slope of Mont Blanc

    The normal route for Mont Blanc is passable. There are 20 cm of fresh snow for a recent snowfall and the presence of ice towards the Col du Mont Maudit. Stay near the rocky sector on the right to get past the bergschrund of the Col du Mont Maudit.

    Rifugio del Goûter – French Mont Blanc slope

    The climb to the hut is done without the use of crampons and it is in good condition.

  7. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    The high temperatures of this summer can make some rock walls subject to discharges of stones that, even if small, can create problems to the rope teams.

    Always plan your ascents, take care of your equipment and carefully evaluate the high mountain conditions by contacting the Aosta Valley Alpine Guides Societies.

    Monte Rosa - Gressoney

    Rifugio Città di Mantova

    Good conditions on all routes. We point out the presence of fresh snow at altitude. Pay attention to the large crevasses behind Rifugio Gnifetti.

    Breuil - Cervinia

    Rifugio Teodulo

    Good conditions on all routes. We point out the presence of fresh snow at altitude.

    Matterhorn

    The Normal route presents good conditions. Crampons needed by the Great Cord up to the summit. Contact the Cervino Alpine Guides Society for further information.

    Gran Paradiso

    Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele

    Good conditions on the Normal route to the Gran Paradiso. Pay attention to the snow bridges that cross the large crevasses of the Laveciau glacier beyond the "schiena d'asino". Good conditions on the via ferrata.

    Mont Blanc

    Rifugio Monzino

    The climbs to Pic Eccles, Punta Innominata and Cresta del Brouillard, the passage to Col Émile Rey and the climbs to the Red Pillar of Brouillard and to the Central Pillar of Freney are in poor condition. The route Ratti Vitali on Aiguille Noire de Peuterey is not accessible.

    Rifugio des Cosmiques - French slope of Mont Blanc

    The Arête des Cosmiques is not recommended, given the rock falls that affected the area last week. As already noted, pay attention to a snow bridge in the middle of the Col du Mont Maudit and to the presence of ice on the crossing to the Colle della Brenva. It is advisable to leave early to face the route.

    Rifugio Torino

    Pay attention to the bergschrund at the Aiguilles d'Entrèves and the crevasses around the Tour Ronde.

    Conditions are good at the Aiguille de Rochefort (ice at the start) and at the Dente del Gigante (pay attention to the base). The Roi de Siam on the Petit Capucin is in good condition. The Cresta Kuffner on Mont Maudit is not accessible.

    Rifugio Gonella

    The first part of the Italian route to Mont Blanc on the glacier is articulated. The connection point between the last plateau presents a large serac. The slope of access to the ridge and the first part of the ridge that reaches the Piton des Italiens are free of snow and ice, so you climb on a rocky plate. Closure of the hut scheduled for 1 September 2018.

    Rifugio Boccalatte

    The Normal route to the Grandes Jorasses presents a complex access on the glacier.

  8. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    Updates about some Mont Blanc mountaineering routes very popular during the summer. Always check the conditions at high altitude by contacting the Aosta Valley Alpine Guides Society.

     Rifugio des Cosmiques - French slope of Mont Blan

    Huge stone falls are affecting the Arête des Cosmiques route. The area is under surveillance. The route is extremely inadvisable.

    The route Trois Monts to the Mont Blanc is passable. Pay attention to the crevasses below the Aiguille of Midi and to a snow bridge on the way to the Col du Mont Maudit.

  9. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    We invite you to carefully check the mountain conditions by contacting the Aosta Valley Alpine Guides Societies.

    Monte Rosa - Gressoney

    Rifugio Città di Mantova

    Good conditions on all routes.

    Breuil - Cervinia

    Rifugio Teodulo

    Good conditions on all routes.

    Mont Blanc

    Rifugio Monzino

    The ascent to Pic Eccles and Punta Innominata are passable.

    The ascent to the Pilastro Rosso del Brouillard, the Pilone Centrale del Freney, the route Ratti Vitali on the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey and the passage to the Colle Emile Rey are not accessible.

    Rifugio Torino

    Good conditions for the Aiguilles du Rochefort. Pay attention to the bergschrunds around the "satellites", which are open.

    The Traversata del Monte Bianco is passable, although with a twisted path.

    Rifugio Boccalatte

    The Normal route to the Grandes Jorasses is passable. Pay attention to the presence of ice on the Couloir Whymper and under the peak (avoidable).

    Rifugio des Cosmiques - French slope of Mont Blanc

    The ascent to Mont Blanc du Tacul is passable.

    Pay attention to the presence of ice at the Col du Mont Maudit and on the crossing to the Colle della Brenva.

  10. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    Monte Rosa - Gressoney

    Rifugio Città di Mantova

    Good conditions on all routes.

    Breuil - Cervinia

    Rifugio Teodulo

    Good conditions on all routes.

    Mont Blanc

    Rifugio Monzino

    The ascent to Pic Eccles is passable.

    The ascent to the Pilastro Rosso del Brouillard, the route Ratti Vitali on the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey and the passage to the Colle Emile Rey are not accessible.

    Rifugio Torino

    Good conditions for the Aiguilles du Rochefort and for the west face of the Grandes Jorasses. Pay attention to the bergschrunds around the "satellites", which are open.

    The Traversata del Monte Bianco is passable.

    Rifugio Boccalatte

    The Normal route to the Grandes Jorasses is passable. Pay attention to the presence of ice on the Couloir Whymper.

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