1 March 2023, Ski Vallee Blanche, Val Feret Touring, Chamonix Ice Climbing

Our Ski Vallée Blanche team had a fine run down the classic route yesterday and benefited from a little new snow and some fresh tracks in places before finding an improved route through the crevasses across the famous Salle à Manger section.  The lower section of the run on to the Mer de Glace is getting icy and will certainly benefit from some fresh snow – which is hopefully coming next week!?

Places available on our next Ski Vallee Blanche Guided Group descent on the 15th March.

Vallee Blanche team enjoying the amazing scenery and a little fresh snow on the last day of Feb 2023

Snow conditions remain very lean around the Mont Blanc Massif with very little fresh snow over the last 6 weeks since the big storm in mid Jan.  The avalanche hazard has been at category 1 for weeks with wall to wall sunshine, although the recent retour de l’est did give some significant fresh snow in nearby Italian Val d’Aosta.

Ski touring in the beautiful Val Feret, just above the Rifugio Bonatti with Mont Dolent beyond.

This fresh snow in Italy came just after our fine weekend ski touring course in the Val Feret with base camp at the remarkably nice Rifugio Bonatti.  Snow conditions needed a bit of work, but we got there in the end for some really enjoyable touring around the hut and plenty of enjoyable café and cuisine inside the hut!

Ski Touring In The Val Feret on our Chamonix Intro+ Ski Touring Course

As the skiing conditions slowly deteriorated during the big high pressure period, the ice was steadily building and the constantly cold nights saw many cascades, even at lower altitudes, fattening up nicely.  There were great conditions for our intro ice climbing day at The Cremerie with excellent fat ice on all the main lines and lots of interesting variations possible in-between.

Fine fat ice conditions for Cecilia and Rami at the Cremerie, Argentière, Chamonix Valley

Higher in the mountains, the stable weather had given loads of opportunities for winter ice & mixed climbing plus classic alpinism with some famous fast ascents of the North Face of Les Grandes Jorasses plus various other north faces being done like the Tour Ronde, Mallory on the Midi, Fil à Plomb as well as the Chere Couloir, Mini Blast on the Aiguille de Blaitière, Directe des Cristalliers on the Marbrees and lots of classic easier  accessible routes like the Cosmiques Arete which are relatively easily accessed at the moment compared to more traditional mid winter snow conditions.

Fil à Plomb – Photo from 2006

The current stable weather looks set to continue for at least another week or so but there is currently plenty of fresh snow on the way on the more long term forecast and plenty will be hoping for a bit more winter yet before the arrival of spring!

We do have a few remaining Chamonix course places available on this seasons off piste and ski touring courses, so please check those out below or give us a shout if we can help with private guiding for ski touring – mountaineering – rock climbing.

Thanks & good training, Rob

Ski Courses

Velvet Powder Snow Ski Touring In The Upper Vallee Blanche

Mountaineering & Training Courses

Mont Blanc Training Course
Steve & team enjoying the super scrambling and views from high on Crib Goch, Snowdon Horseshoe, as part of our Mont Blanc Training weekend in Snowdonia. Photo Andy Teasdale.

Alpine Summer 2023 Mountaineering & Training Courses

Becoming An Alpinist…Or Being An Alpinist, Chris High On The Aiguille Verte with Mont Blanc beyond