Alpine Climbing Conditions Update – 09/07/07

Rich + Olly both did the Chere Couloir this weekend, reporting in excellent condition.  The Cascade des Cosmiques has even come in, with teams climbing that too (the last time I can remember this happening in the summer was back in 2000, after a similar v sustained cold spell of weather). 

We’re all off to Machabe down the Aosta valley today, to escape the weather in Cham.

The weather down in the Ecrins has been less extreme, allowing teams to climb several of the classic ice routes in this  region: the Couloir Davin, Couloir Chaud, Coup de Sabre, Mettrier Couloir on the Pelvoux, NW Couloir on the Pic Sans N om, NE Face of the Ailfroide and Couloir en Z on the Meije have all seen ascents in the last week.  Rich is heading down tomorrow, so we’ll keep you posted…

Down in the same area the Queyras was clear + dry yesterday, being in the rain shadow of the Ecrins.  For harder rock stuff – you could try Verdon!

From Wednesday onwards, the wind is swinging round to the North, so southern Switzerland (Tessin, Bregaglia/Bernina) could be a good bet for a couple of days drier action. It’s due to start clearing out in Cham on Wed/Thur – so be very careful for a couple of days when it does, as there is going to be a very high avalanche risk when all this fresh snow meets lots of hot sunshine. 

With that in mind - one of our teams is heading over to the Paradiso where ice conds are also good, but there has been less snow so it’s likely to be safe to start climbing a bit sooner.

Postscript – 10/07/07 Dave Hollinger just arrived back from guiding the Gran Paradiso today – apparently there’s been only a little fresh snow over there, so a few patches of soft stuff but mostly solid neve ie good for cramponing on.