We have had some unstable weather out here in the alps over the past few days, with some big clouds brewing in the afternoon with potential thunderstorms over the mountains.

I was a bit apprehensive about the amount of snow that might be on Mont Blanc, mainly worried about the amount of trail breaking I might have to do to get to the summit. It turned out to be some of the best conditions that I’ve climbed the mountain in! The snow was covering almost everything, and was solid enough to avoid much of the scrambling on the Gouter ridge (below the Gouter refuge) and there was a good track all the way to the summit.

The cable isn’t in place yet on the Grand Couloir, but there was a good track.

They are still digging out the railway line to clear the snow, and the lifts weren’t quite open yet so we walked up from the Bionassy carpark on the Saint Gervais side. We went up to the head of the valley and direct to the Nid d’Aigle, roping up for the steeper sections through the rock and the snow slopes above. Slower but more adventurous than walking up the train tracks.

It sounds like the train will open on the 18th June now, and the Les Houches lift on the 11th.

The huts were pretty quiet, although the mountain had a few teams on it, including quite a few coming up from the Grand Mulet refuge on foot.

One team had also climbed the Kuffner arete on Mont Maudit and then put in a track from there to the summit. That sounded like hard work! There’s also looks to be a track up to Mont Blanc du Tacul as well now, so perhaps the tois monts route will be getting climbed soon.

I couldn’t see anyone coming up from the Italian side, but over the next couple of weeks everything will be getting climbed a lot.

Looking down towards the Bosses

Looking down towards the Bosses

A large crevasse this year near the summit ridge.

A large crevasse this year near the summit ridge.

Some wind across the summit

Some wind across the summit

On the summit with Ken and Ray - guiding for High Mountain Guides.

On the summit with Ken and Ray – guiding for High Mountain Guides.

On the way down below the Vallot refuge

On the way down below the Vallot refuge