Eeee-van, Kenny and Billy getting organized on the glacier as dawn emerges over The Chardonnet. Unfortunately, the glacier had receded about half a mile since we were last here, leaving us awkward weaving to regain the current approach to the upper Glacier du Tour. Two parties retreating from our intended route on the Aiguille Purtscheller should have been a clue, but after horrible loose scrambling up what should have been solid neve we (gnarly Scots) concurred with our continental friends (wimps) assessment that it was too damn cold for rock climbing and retreated. An attempt to cross the Col Superior du Tour thwarted by, you’ve guessed, more glacial recession- delayed an attempt on the consolation target of the Petit Fourche. So, temptingly close, we stuck to our turnaround time and thus managed to avoid falling in the bottomless crevasse the guardienne had warned of the previous night. The new, easy, non-weaving route to the refuge was now obvious whence we repaired to find a manic Billy and Bob disgracing themselves, as usual.