March 2009- Les Courtes 3856m Couloir Angelique (D+ 45°-50°)

Posted: January 24, 2010 in Ski, tour

The Talefre Basin is an amazing area with loads of good decents. Brendan and I had stayed the night at the Couvercle winter hut which we accessed by heading up the Leschaux and Talefre glaciers the previous afternoon. Luckily the hut has a wood burning stove and had just been stocked up with wood so we got a good, warm nights sleep. There had been a lot a fresh snow and everything in the area looked in condition. We checked out the Whymper couloir and made it a future objective. It is a long way to the bottom of Les Courtes from the hut so we set off early just before the sun came up and dug in for the slog of breaking trail.

The Angelique is the red line going from just below the summit of Les Courtes which is to the left, and the line to the right of it is the south couloir of the Aiguille Croulante.

The snow in the couloir was very soft and chest deep in places making for a very tiring climb. If you know it is in condition I would reccomend climbing up the other side and repelling into it. To ski the direct route on the South face, climbing up the the North East slope is definatly the way to go but I would take 60m ropes as there is a big cliff drop at the bottom! We didn’t reach the top as it hit our turn around time, and we didnt want to return in the dark so we stopped about 75m from the top, thoroughly exhausted. The ski down was perfect in the deep snow and on reaching the glacier below we were able to let rip and ski extremely fast. I took off over a roller enjoying the great conditions but disaster struck when on landing the toe piece of my binding exploded! This left me with the less fun task of getting back to Chamonix on one ski. We made it down OK, but didn’t get back to town untill 8pm, so it was dark any way

  1. […] March 2009- Les Courtes 3856m Couloir Angelique (D+ 45°-50°) « Ben Briggs. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s