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Thursday, 20 January 2011

La Grave and Alpe d'Huez ice conditions report!

The classic cascade ice routes are now very hard, glassy and brittle due to over a week of thaw due to unseasonably high temperatures and a big the big drop in temps since Wednesday!!
Dinner plating and weird horrible cracking and shattering of the ice at Alpe d'Huez on Wednesday compared to the previous day's first time placements on plastic ice on the the D'Apostrophe in La Grave.
Most of the La Grave ice routes in the UPPER valley north facing aspects are still complete but well hacked and thin on the approaches and are now very brittle due to the temperature drop.
Popular routes being climbed on include the busy Pylon, Valseuses, Goullote and Doigt d'Astorothe, La Croupe de la Pouffiasse and Colere du Ciel though they are all likely to be very busy due to limited choice and suffer from ice fall from parties above!
The LOWER valley routes have either collapsed or are very thin and rotten although it may be worth looking at Cagade and Chacal.. We've left the guidebooks in Scotland and working from memory so apologies for the spelling!!
Most of the La Grave valley south facing routes are now very rotten or history and although some fresh ice will develop on the water courses - with sun now hitting this aspect quite low down, they unlikely to reform or fatten well for this season...

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