An enjoyable ‘end of term’ atmosphere was felt around the Aiguille du Midi
today as the good snow conditions and last warm & sunny day for a while was enjoyed by many teams. Impressive foehn clouds rolled over the Italian frontier from the Val d’Aosta and those on the alpine border ridge must have had a tough, cloudy and windy day. The sunny conditions held on the Northern Chamonix side, but not for long as the weather forecasts seem pretty confident about the arrival of autumn tomorrow with cool, wet conditions and plenty of fresh snow above C. 2800m
We climbed an enjoyable short section of the Midi Plan ridge and found good snow conditions up to the Col du Plan.
Beyond that was totally dry but a track could be seen back on the snow towards the Rognon de Plan higher up.
Around the Col du Midi there was plenty of activity on the usual traverse of Pt Lachenal, Cosmiques Arete and traverse over to Punta Hellbroner. There were also several teams on the Mont Blanc du Tacul voie normale.
Teams rock climbing on the South face of the Midi had dry rock but a cool wind and the autumnal feeling for them was further heightened by fresh snow on some of the shady aspects. Likewise the Triangle du Tacul had a veneer of fresh and white over it but nothing substantial. Recent ascentionists of the Chere Couloir reported passable conditions but with steep solid ice and loose rocks exposed on the banks. The Contamine Mazuead has also had ascents in recent days.
Conditions may start to change steadily with the shift towards a cooler, wetter weather pattern which will hopefully start building some good icy mixed conditions for later in the autumn.