Jonathan Griffith Photography Blog
Bailed on our plan for the Fourche area as the temps at the Midi when we arrived were through the roof. It has been so hot up high since then that it has felt like a hot summers day at times- no kidding. Plan B came into action and we dumped our kit in the Abri Simond to see what things would be like in the Tacul/ Lachenal area. Having just climbed M6 Solar last week we nipped up Pellisier yesterday which was in good nick (have seen and done it in worse!). Three parties were on the Gabarrou and one on the Modica. It doesnt look like you can finish the Modica but never chatted to those on it so thats just speculation. Those on the Gabarrou all arrived back very late to the hut reporting rather thin crumbly conditions.
It has also been very windy for the last 24 hours and coupled with fresh snow falling today will mean there will be some interesting approach conditions too. North faces are suffering enormously from all this heat as its not actually getting that cold at night even at 3800.
There was another serac fall on the Tacul- the same serac that killed 8 only last month- 2 days ago. Thankfully no-one was killed but 3 Poles were caught and helicoptered to hospital…nothing too serious I think.
Chose your routes carefully as stuff is falling down for the moment. Its alot like Spring for the moment up high
Unfortunately after a period of fantastic cold weather and stable thick nevee up high we seem to be dropping back into summer temps which is all a bit odd as it was snowing in town only 10 days ago. Unfortunately thats the way the inter-season goes and both Gavin Pike and James Clapham turned back from the shrund of the Colton-Macintyre (Jorasses) this morning reporting 5 degrees temps. Not ideal or safe then for the moment. Andrew Lanham reported very odd conditions on the Nant Blanc face yesterday finding lots of snow en-route and big cornices to get to the Whymper. He also found very warm temps at the Couvercle this morning….
So all in all not great news for the moment but ideal news for fat winter conditions come Nov. The weather is not set to get any colder either as the Foehn is in town for a while now. As for me, we are heading up to the Fourche with our eye on a couple of high lines or the Dom…..
Headed up to do Pinnochio but due to a late lift opening we skied over to M6 Solar instead. Gavin Pike and James Clapham had already beaten us to it and so we joined them on it. Fantastic day and a fantastic route. A bit thin as you would expect from this time of year, especially the lower section but very manageable.
Heading off for Pinnochio tomorrow so will report back then
Otherwise the Modica and Gabarrou are looking good. Pellissier is also looking very white so there is bound to be some ice in there somewhere.
Ok so we’ve been away up high for a long time now. Until the recent 70cm snowfall up at 3600m last night conditions have been awesome. Lots of bomber nevee on the north faces meant that the Jorasses and Droites N faces were seeing regular ascents. As condition reports trickled back to town more and more people arrived and now that the ice runnels are starting to thicken up things are getting really interesting. The Ginat and Colton-Brooks on the Droites are in fantastic nick. The descent off the glacier down to the Couvercle though is a nightmare for the moment. Courtes was also in great nick.
On the Jorasses Es Tressider and Tony Stone reported good conditions on the Colton-Mac ( photo report )
Otherwise now that there is all this new snow around its time to put on the skis and head off the Midi for the next few days….
Trip report here of a new Grand Montets route and the Ginat: here