30 May 2020, Aravis Mountain Walking & Running Snow Conditions

With the good weather continuing, the snow line rapidly receding up the mountain and access restrictions now relaxed after the recent period of ‘confinement’, there are plenty of teams enjoying both the Aravis and Mont Blanc massifs.

We enjoyed a rapid tour of the Cabane de Petite Pâtre, 1915m above Cordon & Sallanches in the Arve Valley today, in trainers and with only a few steps of the circuit made in an easy track through a barely remaining snow field.  There are some more sustained snow fields above the Cabane and on the path leading across to the Croise Baulet, but they are going pretty quick in the warm temperatures.

Col de Portette 2128m with limited remaining snow fields at the end of May 2020

With good views across to the Pointe Percée area we could also see quite limited remaining snow patches on these steep south facing slopes.  The Col de Portette, 2128m only has a few patches (although of course not much is needed to cause a problem if the snow is hard and you have not taken crampons and ice axe).  On the approach to the classic Cheminée de Sallanches route on Pointe Percée from the Refuge Doran, there is still a significant snow field that would need to be crossed.  Thus it would be necessary to take crampons and ice axe, or perhaps better to wait not that long before this has melted and these quite exposed slopes can be crossed on the summer rough but snow free path.

Aravis Walking
The remaining snow patches on the approach to the Cheminees de Sallanches route on the South Ridge of Pointe Percée

In Chamonix the Aiguille du Midi is open again for this bank holiday weekend and the following openings have been announced for the forthcoming summer season:

Aiguille du Midi

– Long weekend of 30th May to 1st June inclusive, Weekend 6th & 7th June, Daily from 13th June onwards

For the Brevent, Flegere, Le Tour, Montenvers Railway & Tramway du Mont Blanc there is a mix of weekend opening through to 4th July for full opening or some lifts are opening every day from mid June. Full details on the Compagnie du Mont Blanc site.

It sounds like the Gouter & Tete Rousse Huts will be opening in June also with a slightly reduced capacity.  Access to the mountains & cliffs in the Mont Blanc and surrounding Massifs is permitted but still currently restricted to single day trips with no stays in the mountain huts, winter rooms or bivis for now although this may change quite soon.

Heading back down the Tour Glacier from Tete Blanche with the Aiguille du Chardonnet North Face beyond

In Chamonix there have been some more good alpine routes done recently including the North Face of the Aiguille du Chardonnet via the Migot Spur.

We are happy to arrange guided days or half days for any of the following activities…

We are working with several guests who are keen to Climb Mont Blanc In A Single Day later this summer.  So get in touch if that is something you are also keen to do…and keep up the training where possible!

Lovely early morning light walking in the Aravis, above the Mayeres Hut on a crossing of the Col de Doran.