20 August 2017, Matterhorn, Dent du Geant & Weissmies

Conditions remain snowy on the Matterhorn despite the lovely sunny and warm late summer alpine weather. The nights have been fresh and the snow fall last week was significant. Teams were trying to summit yesterday but turning around in snowy conditions below the shoulder with crampons on from below, or well below, the Solvay Hut. Better weather to start this week and more teams trying should help conditions.

The snow benefitted the conditions on the Weissmies and our teams yesterday traversed the mountain from Almageller to Hohsaas in reasonable conditions and much improved from earlier in the summer.

Robin Beadle and our visiting American guests enjoying a successful traverse of the Weissmies from Almageller to Hohsaas

The Dent du Geant was ok today, lean / patchy snow cover on the approach with loose rock in places but pleasant dry rock on the route. Likewise for the Aiguille d’Entreves which one of our teams also did today as part of Matterhorn preparation. Another team climbed the E. Ridge of the Grands Montets which gave an enjoyable accessible but not too busy scramble. The very first section is quite loose and the crevasses on the approach are significant, with a fixed rope and plenty of in-situ straw in place at the col!

Reasonable conditions & lots of teams on the Dent du Geant today. The loose rubble approach was at least mainly still snowy with crampons on all the way to the Salle a Manger. Gav & James made good progress on this and will be transferring towards the next Dent – Blanche tomorrow. Plan A which was the Eiger which currently has well snowy conditions as Tim found out on the South Ridge today. He traversed the Monch which is a solid AD outing and much harder than the standard SE ridge from near the hut. The Jungfrau now has a track at least to the col.

The Matterhorn remains well snowy with no teams climbing in the last few days and more good sunny weather required. It looks like a couple more days of this or so before more snow on Saturday. Glacier conditions on the Italian side of the Monte Rosa are ‘late summer’ with plenty of crevasses which are avoided by a good track at the moment but would become serious and complicated if caught out in bad / snowy weather.