Our first two guided groups headed out on the trail this week. Alex Langon set of from Chamonix on Tuesday and Tom Greenall on Tuesday. Microspikes & Poles are still essential.

Day 1 from Chamonix to Les Houches.

Alex with our first group took a lower path through the woods on the Petit Balcon. There is a path closed just before Park Merot so it is necessary to descend to the valley at that point & follow the trail by the river to Les Houches. See below.

Tom took the cable car to the very top of the Brevent (2525m), he hiked from the top to Bellachat and then descended to Les Houches. The Brevent summit to Bellachat was very snowy but passable with car. The Bellachat refufe is currently closed due to the snow & we are not sure when it is due to open. Bellow refuge Bellachat there is no snow. DO NOT go via Col du Brevent & around the back, this section of the route is still too dangerous, on two occasions dutring this week hikers were helicoptered off this section as they got into dificulty.

View from just below the summit of the Brevent towards Bellachat

Day 2 Les Houches to Les Contamines: Via the Col du Tricot is snow free & passable as normal.

Day 3: Les Contamines to Chapieux & Refuge Mottets

There is still a lot of snow on this section & we expect snow to be around for the next few weeks. Our advise is exactly the same as last week. Microspikes & Poles are essential. DO NOT go over the Col des Fours this route is not passable & is dangerous. If staying at the Refuge Mottets descend to Chapieux & take the road to Ville des Glaciers & on to the refuge. We do not expect the Col des Fours to be passable for a further 4 weeks. Descent from the Bonhomme to Chapiex is muddy, snow bridges & crossing the rivers need care.

View from the Plan des Dames to the Col du Bonhomme 20th June
Traverse between the 2 Bonhomme Cols
At the Col du Bonhomme, well equipt for the snow & wet weather!

Day 4 Chapieux & Refuge Mottets to Courmayeur via the Col du Seigne

Our advise is the same as last week, persisent snow on the trail above 2000m. Microspikes and poles essential. As on the previous day care needs to be taken on the snow bridges when crossing the rivers. In the next few weeks this will be more problematic as the snow melts and the snow bridges weaken. From the Col du Seigne it is currently better to take the direct route from the col rather than going via Casameta.

The bus stop at La Visialle (& also the stop after) is currently closed, it is necessary to continue down the road for a further 40mins to stop number 51.

Snow bridges over the river crossings need care
Descent from the Col du Seigne
Well equiped at the Col du Seigne

Group 1 with Alex are now safely in Courmayeur.

Tom heads over the Col du Seigne to Courmayeur tomorrow.

Another of our guides Odei Vivas Perez is currently at La Fouly and has trekked over the Grand Col Ferret, he has reported the following:

Cormayeur-Bonatti/ Val Ferret by Bertone no snow at all.

It is still advisable to go via the vehicle track to the Refuge Elena.
Grand Col du Ferret yesterday (20th June): Snow fields start after Elena. Continuous snow 2200m before the col. On the way down to la Peule there are some snow bridges which might feel tricky for some people.

More next week when Alex & Tom's groups do the second half of the TMB.