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Mountain conditions for Chamonix August 2018

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Brian Kieran | Chamonix Editor | Published: 24 Jul 2018


Mountain conditions for Chamonix August 2018

With the heatwave currently hitting the Chamonix valley making for extremely difficult conditions in the mountains, it is important that you seek information from the relevant authorities before heading out for a hike or climb.

This is where the Chamonix High Mountain Office (OHM) comes in. The OHM publish helpful information on how to organise trips into the mountains, reducing risk and how to get assistance or rescue on their website. They also have a Facebook page La Chamoniarde where they post detailed updates on mountain conditions, in English and French. If you're looking for regularly updated information, then make this your go-to place for mountain condition reports.


Some new information for the week of July 23rd, which promises to be hot. In general, the conditions at altitude remain good even if some areas are inevitably becoming dry. Storms over the weekend of July 21st brought some fresh snow, with the rain/snow limit around 3500m with 25cm at 3600m and 30cm at 4000m. This snow has quickly transformed and settled, temporarily improving conditions on some routes, although rapidly clearing from south faces.

Restrictions remain in place for Mont Blanc, with the summit via the Tete-Rousse Glacier is off limits for the rest of July to anyone without a reservation for the Gouter hut, officials have said. Originally from July 14th to 22nd, the order has been extended until August 2nd, with the possibility of being extended further, depending on how the situation progresses. The prefecture of Haute-Savoie took the action after the Mayor of Saint-Gervais, Jean-Marc Peillex, warned of overcrowding at the refuge, and accused department officials of not enforcing the laws and regulations regarding Mont Blanc access and reservations at the mountain refuges.

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Via the Grands Mulet route, Mont Blanc is still being summited via the north ridge of the Dome du Gouter. The warden will be back in the Mulet hut by July 23rd and will be able to provide the latest info. Elsewhere, the Cosmiques Arete is completely dry and no longer requires crampons, apart from on the approach. Also worth noting, the approach to the Envers des Aiguilles hut has been altered due to rockfall, with the new access route 100 meters further up from the original.

On the Aiguilles Rouges, there are still some snow fields which can cause problems at the Col de Salenton between the Index and Lac Blanc, at the Col de la Gliere, by the Lacs Noirs and Cornu, and between the Col du Brevent and the Brevent summit. Still no news about the opening of the Lac Blanc hut this summer with the legal battle between owners and operator still ongoing. Bookmark La Chamoniarde Facebook page to keep up to date with current conditions, or if you're already in Chamonix, you can call into their office which is open from Monday to Saturday, from 09:00 - 12:00 and 15:00 - 18:00. See the location of the office on the map link above. Full report here.

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