Spring season seems to be in full swing out here in the alps and Chamonix. The fresh snow that fell in May has not only topped up the glaciers again but has provided some great skiing conditions at altitude on the north facing slopes.

We’ve been busy guiding, and trying to make the most of the varied conditions. A couple of great days climbing the granite on the south side of the Aiguille du Midi and then climbing snow and ice on the north facing slopes of the Tour Ronde and Mont Blanc du Tacul.

Climbing with Mike, Aoife and Tom (and fellow guide Jon) on the Contaminé route on the Tacul was a highlight. First lift to last lift and despite being slowed a little by a group in front we made the summit too. A long day, but great and varied climbing on what was the first route of it’s type climbed by everybody.

Meanwhile Andrew was back for another crack at Mont Blanc, and after a few days getting acclimatised and climbing some technical routes around the Aiguille du Midi and SkyWay lifts with guide David, they had a good go at the Gouter route on Mont Blanc.

The snow at mid altitudes is still pretty deep this year so it sounded like quite a long day just to get to the Tete Rousse hut. The deep snow took it’s toll the following day, and the trail breaking and altitude stopped them at the Dome du Gouter. So very close – but a top effort in difficult conditions.

Over the next few weeks we have a couple of Mont Blanc groups, and hopefully the conditions settle a bit more before then. We have some availability for guiding over the summer including private and group trips, so give us a shout if you want to organise a trip.

2/3 of the way up the Gervasutti couloir on the Tour Ronde. Good conditions on this one, despite an awkward crossing of the bergschrund

Mike leading the crux pitch of the Rebuffat Route on the south face of the Aiguille du Midi. Always a pleasure swinging leads with clients and sharing their adventure.

Mont Blanc disapearing into the afternoon clouds. Top ski conditions on the Grand Mulet route, and the Gouter hut and route now open.

David and Andrew gearing up for an early start on Mont Blanc.

Mike posing on the crux overhang on another Rebuffat Route, this time on the Eperon Cosmiques.

Mike leading a nice pitch of “Fred Va Se Taire” on the Eperon des Cosmiques. A bonus pitch of climbing spotted during the abseil descent.

Hard ice on the upper slopes of the Contamine-Grisolle route, triangle du Tacul.

Looking down that same pitch. Aoife, Tom seconding and Jon Holiday waiting his turn.

Jon just below the summit of the Tacul. A long day, from first lift to last lift.

Mont Maudit, photo taken from upper slopes of Mont Blanc du Tacul. A bit of a mess this year, and definitly no easy way through to the top. The Trois Mont route is going to be quiet this season.