I’d like to give my take on this mixed seasons conditions for those of you interested.
Some of it is speculation, some of it experience and some just from talking to others and seeing others reports of routes. I’d welcome comments bellow if you have any input or want me to further shake the magic 8 ball.
Despite the hot and dry summer the mountains have recovered somewhat and there seems to be, in the right places, some good ice about. Here is a brief run through of popular areas to give you some insight.
Seemingly good conditions on most routes, lots of fun snow ice on the German gully, Profit Perroux, Chere and other mixed lines. A good choice for a day hit to get some fun climbing in.
Passerelle Couloir/ off the Midi Bridge
Theres been a few teams going of the bridge each day. Reportedly Vent du Dragon is good but the Pérroux-Profit Gully is lean and in a bad way. Other routes might be good but I’ve not heard.
Midi North Face
The Chere Couloir is a Plastic neve Romp as ever and the top seracs are fairly begnin looking, however the serac next to the Frendo spur is very threatening right now. The Mallory would be climbable but needs more cover to make it enjoyable. I climbed the Eugster Diagonal (see previous post) yesterday and it was fine. I started 150m to the right in the next gully system and traversed hard left after 60m. This avoided the thin and spindrifty start. The Direct looks a bit thin but should be passable. I did hear of a team climbing it but that’s just hear say. Charli Chasagne looks ok aswell.
Pellerin North Face
Not heard of any teams on this but the Carrington/Rouse would probably be pretty good. Beyond is starting to form also.. Are you keen?
Looks quite snowy from this photo but I bet some of the routes are climbable. Not heard of any ascents but it will be quieter up there than last year for sure!! Any news? Send me some photo’s and I’ll post them here!
I’ve heard of some teams climbing the Droites, ColtonBrooks Etc. Probably most classic routes, Ginat etc are good if your keen for the romp up there. Trip report of the DEBRUYNE-MANU/GABBAROU 79 here showing some pictures of the basin. However my friend Pete told me that the Chardonnet descent definitely requires a sense of humour! I’m sure this is true for the Droites too!
Nant Blanc and Dru Couloir
Nant Blanc is looking OK but I’m sure the glacier is horrendous to get to the base of it. not sure about the Dru Couloir area but It is probably ok.