Apart from a micro shower last night the Chamonix Valley has remained dry – and generally very warm and sunny for the last couple of weeks. The snow line is receding back up the mountains and there was only the odd patch to cross climbing above Plan Praz near Brevent today. Great views over to the Mont Blanc & side of the valley where even many of the north facing granite routes were dry and in good condition.
Loads of teams enjoying the dry rock and warm, sunny and breezy weather climbing above Plan Praz, the mid station on the Brevent lift, today. Great cragging conditions and easy access to the Clocher / Label Virgine routes. Well the snow easily avoided anyway, the grass is still steep!
The Clochetons traverse was busy with various queues on various belays so we descended the steep & rocky chamois track from the Clocher back to the Brevent piste. On the assumption there would still be snow in the couloir on the approach to the Frison Roche on the summit crags, and for a change, we climbed the excellent ‘Tartiflette’ for the first time. This gives 6 enjoyable pitches but with the main event being the fine series of long & sustained walls on the first 3 pitches, 5b, 5c and 5c. Good climbing.
Our Climb the Weissmeis team, in training for Mont Blanc, found very good conditions on the South Ridge yesterday but got rained off on the ascent of the Mittelruck from Almageller Hut today. The extensive snow cover on the Weissmeis South Ridge – or slopes to the climbers right – meant there was much to be gained by ascending the snow slopes to the right of the ridge, which were in very easy condition, and get on the ridge quite high up. The rock ridge had fresh snow on it from evening storm. but this will soon burn off in good weather. The summit ridge was a little delicate in the final section. In descent we kept crampons on all the way down to the Zwischbergenpass, and avoided most of the rock ridge via a snow couloir we haven’t done in years, made possible by the unusually high snow levels. There were very few people on the north side, but a couple of teams doing it and reports are of a steep path through the area of the séracs.