14 August 2017, Matterhorn, Eiger, Mt Blanc & General Alpine Conditions Update

The trend of hot summer weather was significantly interrupted at the end of last week as nearly 70cms of fresh snow fell at high altitudes in the northern Alps. The Mittelleggi Hut on the Eiger is currently closed due to heavy snow and poor conditions on the route. Likewise the Matterhorn appeared well snowy today and will need some hot & sunny storm free weather to bring it back in to normal summer conditions. With some more cool snowy weather forecast towards the end of the week this may not happen overnight!

Before the storm both the traverse of the Matterhorn via the Italian Lion Ridge and Eiger traverse were in good summer conditions, as was the Dent Blanche South Ridge. It was quite a major dump of snow so things will take a while to clear with the latter route probably coming in to enjoyable conditions first.

Dent Blanche South Ridge. Climbed as a brilliant alternative to a snowy Eiger & Matterhorn. Photo Thanks to Gav Pike.

At the Jungfraujoch, whilst plenty of teams have been climbing the Monch, no one has been back high on the Jungfrau yet and the hut thought there were significant accumulations of fresh snow high on the mountain with warm and sunny day temperatures it was necessary to wait a few days before climbing again.

High on the ascent of the Jungfrau normal route from the Monchjoch Hutte

The Weissmies was climbed by lots of teams today with somewhat improved snowy conditions on the glacial northern side and enjoyable if busy climbing on the South side.

The Gouter Ridge Provides The Most Technical Part of The Ascent of the Mont Blanc Normal Route and links the Tete Rousse & Gouter Huts and is accessed by the crossing of the infamous Grand Couloir. Seen here in well snowy summer conditions.

Chamonix also got a good dump of fresh snow high up and the Gouter Route on Mont Blanc was well plastered but with the track up to the summit from the Gouter hut going back in again quickly. Excellent weather today and lots team enjoying good summit conditions and we had teams climbing the Tour Ronde via Freshfield Arete, Les Perrons traverse, Cosmiques Arete and Rock climbing in the Aiguilles Rouges.

Over on the Tour glacier things were getting icy and the glacier is heavily crevassed with a tricky bergschrund to cross on the Aiguille du Tour normal route. The dump of snow may have improved the conditions on the icy sections but could actually make glacier travel more tricky with fresh snow obscuring old tracks and the view of fragile snow bridge, and big holes.