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Chamonix Snow & Ski Resorts Report | Chamonix Mountain Conditions - 16 Dec 2023

Chamonix Snow & Ski Resorts Report | Chamonix Mountain Conditions - 15 Dec 2023

Hello everyone, a bit of info on the coming days which promise to be sunny!


Ski Areas and Ski Resorts in the Chamonix Valley

After the partial openings of Argentière-Lognan and La Flégère, it is the turn of the Domaine du Brévent to open tomorrow, Saturday 16 December. We have to wait on the Balme domain (works on the access to the car park at Le Tour and low snow cover on the Vallorcine side) or Les Houches (low snow cover). The Aiguille du Midi  will open on Saturday 23 December but this does not mean the Valley Blanche is open as the arrete is not yet protected.


Courmayeur, Italy and Mont Blanc Tunnel

The Mont Blanc tunnel re-opened on 15 December. Pizzas and hikes in the Aosta Valley are ours! The Skyway Monte Bianco is open, as is the whole Courmayeur ski area.


Mer de Glace and the Montenvers Train

The Montenvers train is open. IMPORTANT INFO: the new gondola to and from the glacier is not yet open (opening scheduled for January) which implies no access to the glacier for non-mountaineers,

The old gondola, the old stairs and the old ladders have been dismantled/closed/forbidden by municipal decree.

The only access between the Mer de Glace and the Montenvers is the new route (in yellow on the attached map). A kind of via ferrata, it requires mountaineering equipment and techniques.


Ski Touring

The marked ski touring routes are closed for the time being due to a lack of snow. La Trapette on the Argentière side is just passable (be careful, the return track from La Pierre à Ric is closed for the moment). We put on and take off our shoes at Maison Neuve near Les Houches. With the partial reopening of the road for the Tour, you can also put on shoes in the car park!

The best solution is therefore to take the lifts to find better snow cover. 

For departures in the valley (hamlets of Le Buet, etc.), you should probably plan to dis-mount and walk (portage), especially on the way down.

On the Argentière basin, the classic routes were travelled on the 14 December. They are in good condition: Passon in A-R, Col du Tour Noir, Col d'Argentière. 
On the way back, it is better to go to the right bank or to the centre of the Argentière glacier because the passage on the left bank is quite disrupted.

The Aiguilles Rouges should be good but we have no first hand info on the popular Index/Lac Blanc sector at the moment.

Beware, it has snowed a lot in the high mountains (above 2200m) and the wind from the N picked up today (snow transport).



As far as snowshoeing is concerned, there is not enough snow at the bottom of the valley, so the marked routes in question can be covered with good shoes and poles. 
As for the high-altitude itineraries, they are being prepared.