Snowy Paradiso Summit

It is still very snowy at altitude in the Alps, as shown by this picture of one of our groups descending from the summit of Gran Paradiso 4061m at the end of last week. There was fresh snow above the Victor Emmanuel refuge all the way to the Col Moncorve, and the summit ridge which is usually a mixed scramble, was plastered with snow making it a winter style ascent. The same conditions are encountered all over the Alps at the moment, so if you are travelling soon, make sure you have good waterproof boots and gaiters! Many of the north face routes are so snow laden as to make them unclimbable, such as the Walker Spur on the Grandes Jorasses, Frendo Spur, or the North Face of the Tour Ronde. The south faces are clearing of fresh snow quickly, though we did have a group on the Rebuffat route on the Midi, who had to place ice screws in a crack in the rock, that is normally protected by cams or nuts!

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