The Alps: Who Said It Was Dry?

Remember the heat during the second half of August? The rock slides and the blocked trails? Well, forget about that, if you are traveling to the Alps this weekend, don’t forget winter equipment and warm clothes. But that’s not necessarily bad news.

“It’s all very confusing,” Chamonix safety patrols wrote on La Chamoniarde. A snowstorm covered the Chamonix area with nearly a meter of snow, causing a complete change in conditions. The snow fell with strong winds, meaning the new layer varies from place to place. Also, there were some dangerous wind slabs and weak snow bridges covering (and hiding) crevasses in the glacial areas.

A pice of a tin roof and a grey sky with absolutely no visible features.

You cannot see it, but Mont Blanc is right there. The view from Vallot cabin. Photo from Vallot’s webcam today.


The only way is up

Luckily, the situation should soon stabilize. Apart from some clouds after noon and snow showers at higher altitudes through the weekend, temperatures will turn warm and dry, according to forecasts today.

This is a rather common pattern at the end of the summer, where stormy and cold spells alternate with periods of still-warm weather. The good news is that the recent snowfall will stabilize the rocky areas, preventing further rockslides and providing better snow/ice conditions for progression with crampons and ice-axes.

Conditions are also improving for slab avalanches and potentially weak cornices. For hikers, the snow should be gone from lower areas.

You can check weather reports and webcams here.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.