Alpine Climbing Conditions – 02/08/08

Ok, a bit more news on alpine climbing conditions in Switzerland and Chamonix:

The Matterhorn N Face is still in excellent condition and seeing rare summer ascents.  Jon and Matt made a full on ascent of the Zinalrothorn with Norman Jones and Alvyn Bywater yesterday, in very difficult conds after an unforecast early morning storm. Jane and Lewis Grundy and I were on the Dent D’Herens at the same time, but decided to retreat down the West Ridge rather than face the verglas coated upper slabs…

Lewis and I were out on the Tacul Triangle today, which continues to be in excellent condition – there were teams on the Frontier Ridge on Mt Maudit and the Frendo Spur on the Midi today too.  Many high alpine rock routes are nicely dried out now and in good condition (albeit with more snow around than usual) – but with good access conditions on glaciers etc at the moment.

The biggest feature of this past week has been overnight cloud and unforecast early morning storms – which lead to poor snow conditions and rapid retreats back to huts for several parties.  Tuesday morning in particular brought a fast moving storm front across the western Alps – so as always, it’s wise to look out of the hut door before setting off and keep a close eye out on the weather!

Morning storm engulfing the Matterhorn this Tuesday.