Chamonix Snow Report: 1st May 2014
The season continues...
With the closing date of Grand Montets fast approaching it seems the season is coming to an end, but heading up the Aiguille du Midi on the first day of May this is definitely not the case.
No. of Pistes Open:
Date Last Snowfall:
Depth Snow - Upper slopes: cm
Depth Snow - Lower slopes: cm
Highest temperature: °C
With an early start yesterday on the national May day holiday, we expected to find queues for first bin, but surprisingly few people were there. Four skiers, and myself on a snowboard, we headed up the midi around 9am. From the cable car we could see skiers making their way down the Mallory face, and a lot of them! I have never seen it so busy on that particular route.
The clouds that were sitting low in the valley cleared quickly as we reached the top and it looked like a bluebird day with the possibilty of some fresh tracks. We took the Gros Rognon route down the Vallee Blanche, which, although not always ideal on a snowboard, was in good condition and we (mostly) kept good pace. A solid crust on some patches of snow ended any pace I was managing to hold on my board and luckily my lovely skier friends pulled me along the flat and slight uphills to get round the Gros Rognon rock to start the proper descent.
Snow was variable but some great turns in fresh snow meant a good start to the descent down towards the Seracs du Geant. Lower down the snow had more of a top crust with some heavier snow underneath and was a bit trickier to negociate on a snowboard...or maybe it was just me!
Again a bit of poling and being being pulled along by my skier friends as we crossed the glacier towards the Salle a Manger. The crevasses were more obvious than normal despite the recent snow falls and we considered roping up for this section. However clear tracks were in place already and we crossed safely. A smooth ride down the Salle a Manager to the stairs and cable car at Montenvers with spectaular views in the sunshine - you can't beat that!
It seems it was a good day for all, and the steep skiers were certainly out enjoying the fresh snow. Joel Evans made his was down the Rond West couloir on the West face of the Midi before the clouds came in again and the snow looked great!
Location: Chamonix Mont Blanc Region