The forecast good weather window for this morning never really materialised and, at setting off time from the Tete Rousse Hut on Mont Blanc, it was raining with plenty of uninspiring cloud and wind swirling above meaning teams at the Gouter Hut had a pretty similar response. Back in the hut for a brew…then down to catch the Tramway to trundle back to the valley. Can’t win them all, but it was worth a try as early summer snow conditions are still reported as being pretty good higher up despite the very warm weather last week.
Lots of snow on the lower slopes has been stripped, and it’s possible to walk from Bionassay to Nid d’Aigle without any snow, or take the tramway! Numerous teams made the ascent to Tete Rousse via the normal summer route which is still pretty snowy and exposed in places and not like the high summer rocky path yet. The snowy Bionassay Glacier descent route down towards the Nid d’Aigle Hut from the Tete Rousse Hut was fine this morning and whilst the snow was not re-frozen it was firm enough to give a pleasant rapid descent. The solo ski alpinist at the foot of the North Face of the Aiguille du Bionassay early this morning did a ‘demi-tour’ due to the relatively warm snow conditions and uninspiring clouds higher on the face.
Thanks again for the help and advice for James and I’s trip this weekend. It was a different experience to do it on our own, but of course we had good conditions on a relatively easy climb which helped!
We were also really pleased to hear that Cath & Russ were inspired to also make a 1 day ascent of the Gran Paradiso and did it in fine style, completing a tough round from the valley in good conditions over a sustained and tiring, but highly satisfying 10 hours of climbing.