March 2009- Petit Aiguille Verte 3512m Chevalier Couloir (D 45°-50°)

Posted: January 24, 2010 in Ski, tour

We had been waiting for a break in the weather to set off on the Haute Route as there had been a lot of snow during the previous weeks. When it finally cleared we decided to ski some awesome powder on Grand Montet, and leave the following day. After a few laps of the top bin on Grand Montet, Brendan and I decided to ski the Chevalier guessing it would be in good condition.

The Chevalier couloir seen from across the Argentier glacier

It is possible to access this couloir without climbing it, via a shorter route up the North face of the Petit Aiguille Verte. As it had been cold the snow had not bonded very well to the this face, and there was just a dusting of snow over the glacier ice. This made things dificult for Brendan in his snowboard boots as the ice was very hard. His crampons were threatening to flex off of the boot so we climbed up some mixed ground to our left using a rope for safety. Once at the top we found our instinct to be right, the couloir was perfect. There was no need for a rappel and we skied straight in from above the entrance to the couloir. The snow was perfect for the length of the couloir and we jumped the Burgshrund with some speed at the bottom. These were probably the best conditions I have ever skied on a steep slope. As we exited, another group started to climb the couloir, seeing our tracks as being proof of the great conditions.


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