There are still good snow conditions and impressive snow volume on the Tour and Trient Glaciers and still not that much dry ice for crampon training on the glacier below the Albert Premier Hut! There are some good crevasses however for ice climbing training and overall the snow cover is great and means the journey up to the Swiss border and to Aiguille du Tour / Tete Blanche is much less crevassed than usual, for recent summers at least.
Likewise the crossing of the bergschrund below the Aiguille Tour is in good condition and we made an enjoyable ascent today via the ‘Voie Normale’. Whilst snow conditions on the glacier and approach slopes are good, the Table couloir is well finished for the season now and there is a big bergschrund and rocky slopes on the North Face of the Tete Blanche although the normal route on that mountain and the Petit Fourche were very good today. The NW ridge route direct had some loose rock and some detours required today!
The upper half of the North Face of the Chardonnet is looking pretty icy although there were however numerous teams heading towards different routes on the Chardonnet at 0300 this morning. There was also one Brit team who returned at 9pm last night having had a long day on the Forbes Arete. There also appeared to be numerous teams being rescued by the PGHM from the Forbes last night too.
There were also many teams climbing the fine South Ridge of the Purtscheller today with an easy snow slope approach and nice sunny high altitude granite rock climbing.