Mountain conditions update

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    Focus hiking: given the reports of non-ordinary situations on the Alta Via n. 1 and Alta Via n. 2 and on the trails of the Aosta Valley, it should be remembered that over 2,000 meters, in the valleys and in the shade, especially under the hills, it is very likely to encounter snow on the ground that can be frozen in the morning or in cold weather creating difficulty of crossing. It is therefore highly advisable, to overcome these traits, to equip themselves with adequate equipment (crampons, trekking poles or ice axes, gaiters ...). Moreover it is possible to find snowfields that cover the riverbeds of the torrents that can, if crossed, suddenly give up ").

  8. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    Weekend characterized by strong wind and precipitations. The main snowfalls have been recorded in the northwest part of the region, the strong winds have definitively moved the snow. 

    New snow
    The rain/snow limit has been at around 1100-1500 m. 
    The amount of fresh snow recorded is higher in the Northwest part of the region. Along the border with Switzerland and France (Valtournenche, Valpelline, Val Veny, La Thuile, Gran Paradiso valleys), at 2000 m asl, we have 15-20 cm. In the Gran San Bernardo and Val Ferret valleys peaks of 30 cm have been registered. In the central valley and in the eastern part of the region the amounts are lower, about 10 cm.

    Wind and Temperatures 
    The wind has been the main actor of the weekend. In particular, since last night, strong winds from N have strongly wind-drifted the snow pack, with erosion even down to the ground. Temperatures dropped significantly with averaged values at 8.00 am of -6°C at 2000 m, -10°C at 2500 m and -14°C at 3000 m (-27°C at Capanna Margherita, 4560 m). 

    Typical avalanche problems 
    The strong winds from N NW, especially at the end of the snowfall, have strongly wind-drifted the fresh snow, creating eroded areas down to the ground and accumulation zones. The avalanche problem, associated to the wind-drifted snow, with the possible release of hard slabs of fresh dry snow, is present particularly along the ridges at high altitude (> 3000 m). In general they can be more commonly found along the areas bordering with France and Switzerland and at the southern aspects.

    http://appweb.regione.vda.it/DBWeb/bollnivometeo/bollnivometeo.nsf/vista_e/$first?OpenDocument&L=_e

  9. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    A north-east perturbation has brought rain and snow during the weekend, starting from Saturday evening. Precipitation was more intense in the south-eastern sector and along the bordering ridge, the winds at 3000 m were moderate to strong, first from south (during the snowfall), then by N-NE with foehn in the valleys (after the snowfall).

    Fresh snow
    The rain/snow limit has been at 1700-1800 m (few cm).
    The amounts of fresh snow recorded are 10-15 cm at 2000 m, 20-25 cm between 2200 m and 2500 m along the ridges bordering with Switzerland and Piedmont (then from Gran San Bernardo to the heads of Cervinia and Monterosa valleys and in the heads of the Gran Paradiso and Champorcher valleys), with a maximum of 30 cm recorded at Gabiet. While in the north-west and central parts of the Valle d'Aosta the amounts are slightly lower.
    The snow is wet up to 2500 m, more and more dry and cold moving up above this altitude.

    Wind and temperatures
    At the end of the snowfall, from Sunday afternoon, moderate-strong N-NEwinds began to blow, which resulted in a strong snowdrifting (bumps and ridges are already eroded) and in a sharp fall in temperatures with average values (at 8.00 am) of -3°C at 2000, -8°C at 2500 m and -12°C at 3000 m (-20°C at the Margherita hut, 4560 m).

    Typical avalanche problem
    The moderate/strong winds, from S during the snowfall, from N-NE after, promptly wind-drifted the fresh snow: the typical avalanche problem is linked to the wind-drifted snow, with the possible release of dry snow slabs (already reported with weak overload), at high altitude (> 3200 m) where the slabs (up to 1 m thick) stand on ice, the most critical are the southern aspects for the action of cold winds from N-NE, still in progress.

    Trend 
    Today some weak snowfall are still expected, especially in the southern areas, and a new depression will result in a modest perturbation in the middle of the week.

    http://appweb.regione.vda.it/DBWeb/bollnivometeo/bollnivometeo.nsf/vista_e/$first?OpenDocument&L=_e

  10. Fondazione Montagna Sicura - Courmayeur

    Focus Monte Bianco: These days we have good conditions for Traversée des Diables.
    Beware, however, of the conditions at higher altitudes: the storms of recent days and the cold currents taken on Sunday have created particularly dangerous conditions of "snow-blown snow" (particularly on the French side of the Dome du Gouter, north of the Mont Blanc du Tacul And Mont Maudit) that require great attention and special experience in cramponnage. For more information and pictures: https://www.chamoniarde.com/actualites/general/info-securite-neige-vitrifiee-en-altitude.
    Likewise, the conditions are not yet good in the West side of the Jorasses, where several climbers have abandoned near the Canzio bivouac.
    In this regard, there are some problems in the last few rappels, those to get off the bivouac, where we recommend 2 ropes of 50 m, as a rock collapse struck some spit

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