We’d planned a traverse of the Brèche Puisieux in the Mont-Blanc range on Sunday. I was doubtful about the project due to the late start of the Aiguille du Midi lift. The first lift is at 8h10 with 15 spots that can be reserved and the rest allocated to guided trips. We got onto the 8h20 lift but had to queue from just after 7am to get this. We finally got skis on our feet at 9am and skied down a sketchy vallee blanche by the normal route (snow was very hard and unpleasant to just above the Requin at the point where crevasse zone starts - here the snow turned to slush in about 100 vertical meters, not a great sign.
Col du Tacul and Brèche Puisieux
We climbed up to the couloir which leads to the Breche de Pusieux - the snow was hard but there was a good grip so no need for ski crampons. However arriving at the foot of the couloir we realized it was 11h40 with another 300 meters of boot packing head. Tibo was not feeling well either. Given that we would arrive on top around 1pm with a 30 meter abseil onto a slope that had been warmed by the sun since 9am we decided to abandon and ski down. There was certainly a lot of activity on the east facing slopes below the Aiguille d’Argentiere
There were a couple of accidents on Saturday in the Mont Blanc massif. One in the couloir barbey under the aiguilles d’Argentière with one injured. It appears two climbers lost their footing on ice - there were reports of a cornice fall.
Tour Ronde on Sunday morning
More serious was on the north face of the Tour Ronde. A 24 year old British woman was killed after a fall of some 300 meters late on Saturday. Her companion, a French man, aged 26, but resident in the UK suffered leg injuries but was able to call for help. The two were ski mountaineering.