Friday, 11 December 2009


I better confess that having just started a conditions blog I am now going to Nepal for 3 weeks, leading a trip up Mera Peak, so I won't be here to update. Sorry! Last crimbo day they had minus 40 celsius up there - can't wait. Joyeux Noel!

Contamines Ski Touring

Had an awesome ski touring day above Les Contamines yesterday, and found a little gem of a tour. With no climbing in sight and Grand Montets skiied out we headed up to a tiny village called Bionnassay, between St Gervais and Les Contamines, and went up to the Col De Tricot.

It was a "proper" early season tour in that we had to walk quite a way at the beginning and the end of the day, but once clear of the tress the skinning was easy, and the views of the Dome Du Gouter were incredible. Once on the Col the views got even better, and the ski down was superb - a firm layer of snow with a couple of inches of fresh powder. It was such good fun I took 46 photos!!!!

The skiing is very easy, nothing steeper than a blue run, but with the slope being north facing the snow quality should remain good, and the tour should be possible quite late in the season, so a great option anytime you're short of ideas. Highly recommended.

No photos as my camera now deltes all my shots when I put it into the computer. grrrr.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Midi Reconnaisance (spelling?)

Headed up the midi with Damien today equipped with no firm plan, tehcnical ice axes and optimisim. Our first port of call was the goulottes on the midi NW face, but there was no ice just as we expected.

Undeterred we headed down a pretty powdery arete and pot holed over to the abri simond hut where we decided on a stroll up the cosmiques arete, but we were stopped in our tracks by deep, unconsolidated and scary snow. Neither of us was keen on dying on an A.D. route (imagine the slagging!) so we turned round early on and walked back.

All in all, a long and tiring walk and there doesn't appear to be anything in condition, although someone with skis might beg to differ if they have been further down the vallee blanche.

Despite all this the sun was shining and we had the entire place to ourselves so I got some beautiful photos which I've just accidentally deleted. Oops.

It is stunning up the midi right now but there's nothing to climb that I could see, and this coupled with a lack of waterfall ice means you are either skiing, dry tooling or drinking. Have fun

Tuesday, 8 December 2009


Epic day of skiing at Grand Montets today. Rushed out of bed to make it for 11 o'clock but we still got fresh tracks at some stage on every run - very rare indeed up at GM. You need to be careful for the odd hidden rock but the cover is much better than it was a few days ago.

There's still plenty of snow left and the sun is shining tomorrow! Enjoy.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Rain rain go away

So, here goes, my first ever conditions update -

I arrived last sunday and it looked like winter had truly arrived, but it is now raining all the way up to 1800m and high winds have shut the midi so things don't look great. I had a look at the Cremerie for some ice but there is absolutely nothing yet. Climbing wise, we have settled for getting pumped at the dry tooling crag at le fayet, and are off for on a powder hunt at Grand Montets tomorrow. Here's hoping!


I was sat in my friend's flat in Cham and we were ranting about the lack of decent blogs with regular conditions updates for Chamonix despite the huge number of people here, and I decided to do something about it.

I'm going to post whenever I get any info about conditions which is of use. I go mad about people blogging useless and boring information so I will try and avoid doing so, but I want to keep regular and good info coming for people in the valley or about to arrive.

Hope it's of use,