13-15 June 2021, Le Tour Trient Glaciers, Excellent Early Summer Alpine Conditions

Whilst summer weather and temperatures have finally arrived in the Alps, early season snow volume on the glaciers around the Mont Blanc Massif & Northern Alps in general, remains excellent, for this moment!

Leaving the Trient Hut at dawn en route to the Aiguille du Tour, with excellent snow cover on the Trient & Tour Glaciers.

Early summer snow fields around the range are not just odd patches and old couloir lines. There is more extensive and continuous  cover at lower altitudes than many recent years and the higher altitude glaciers like Tour and Trient have impressively high snow volume, look superb and have some great conditions for mountaineering in general.

Extensive snow fields to cross on the approach to Albert Premier Hut from the Col de Balme, with Mont Blanc at the other end of the Chamonix Valley beyond.

From early on the Col de Balme path approaching the Refuge Albert Premier, there is plenty of snow burying the summer path in more places than normal and, whilst the snow is disappearing fast in the hot weather, some of these are pretty exposed with a serious run out.  Thus this is still far from being the high summer trail to the hut and mountaineering gear and skills are recommended to safely negotiate this approach in current conditions.

Mountaineering training as part of the approach to the Albert Premier Hut.

But whilst this extra snow adds an extra dimension to the Albert premier hut approach, it also means great travel conditions higher up with very nice easy rapid access to the glacier en route to the Aiguille du Tour and likewise relatively good conditions for crossing both the Col Sup du Tour and Col du Tour, see topo photos from the Trient Hut below for the Col du Tour crossing:

From the Swiss Trient Side

Topo shots from the Trient Hut of the Col du Tour from both Swiss and French sides.  Note that whilst the Swiss side is pretty steady and easy, the final section to the Col on the French side is steep and loose with some bolts on the more solid bits of rock!

From the French Tour Glacier side

The Tete Blanche ascent was in fine conditions and teams were also climbing both the little North Face and short mixed east ridge.

Fine snowy conditions on the Trient Glacier, Tete Blanche & Petite Fourche

Likewise both the ascent of the Petite Fourche and descent of the Col Blanc were in excellent conditions. 

Summit of the Tete Blanche

There is barely a crevasse to be seen on the Trient Glacier and whilst this could change rapidly it’s good for now to use the winter approach to the Cabanne de Trient, in summer!

Summit of the Petite Fourche with the Aiguilles Dorées behind on the left and Matterhorn just visible in far distance.

The approach to the Aiguille du Tour is also in very good condition and it made a change to keep crampons on for the fun rock and mixed scramble to the summit.

The Aiguille du Tour and Trient Glacier from the good Rösti Base Camp at the Cabane de Trient…

Various teams went various different ways but the guided team who had done the Couloir du Table reported conditions to be “dégueulasse…il faut pas y aller”.  So, despite the apparently decent snow volume in the couloir, that’s pretty clear!

Good mixed conditions on the Aiguille du Tour normal route with the north face of the Aiguille d’Argentiere beyond.

The South Ridge of the Aiguille Purtscheller had various tracks on the snowy approach and decent and one team on the lovely orange sun kissed granite.  So that looked pretty good!

Aiguille Purtscheller, arête sud classique

Good conditions also and quite a few teams on the Éperon Migot on the Aiguille du Chardonnet north face as well as the descent route.  However there was mixed info about the Arête Forbes and less favourable info on the the mixed routes on the Chardonnet.

Dawn departure on to the snow right out the back of the Albert Premier Hut with the Aiguille du Chardonnet North Face above the Tour Glacier beyond.

Good snowy conditions for early summer mountaineering exist around the Mont Blanc Massif with teams climbing Mont Blanc, Dent du Géant, Aiguille Verte.  This current snow situation could evolve rapidly with the ongoing hot and then stormy weather forecast for later in this week but there is lots to do and please get in touch if we can help with any guiding, climbing & mountaineering training.

Lovely evening light and the classic Albert Premier sundowner…

Summer 2021 Courses & Guiding Availability

For group courses, we have spaces available on the following courses plus many more on our Full list of courses here and please get in touch if you would like to arrange some private guiding & mountain adventures this summer either in the UK or the Alps.

Viper seen on the sunny not snowy section of the path up to the Albert Premier Hut.