May 16th 2009- Aiguille du Midi 3842m Mallory Route (TD+ 50°-55°)

Posted: January 26, 2010 in extreme, Ski

The Mallory Porter route is a steep sking classic as it can been seen from town and runs directly under the Aguille du Midi lift cables. Originally a a climbing route named after the first assentionists, it was first skied in the 70’s during a boom in extreme sking. It had been an ambition of mine to ski this route since coming to chamonix in 2006. It had been in good condition this year so it was hard to pass up the opportunity.

A photo of the route taken from Brendans balcony after sking it.

 We started sking straight out of the Aiguille du Midi lift station and the snow on the top was perfect, soft but well bonded. We skied big freeride turns in the great snow before slowing down to navigate through the rocks to the demi lune. From here the Euster and Mallory split and we went right down a small couloir where the snow was hard and it was extremely steep. We mixed a few turns in with side slipping and stepping down past rocks.

 At the end of the couloir just before the Pan de Rideau we put a 5m handrail in to pass a rocky section. Disaster then struck when I attached my self to the rock and took my bag off to put the rope away, a snow slide came over the top of the rocks i was stasnding under and swept my bag away along with my crampons. If only I had clipped the bag on as well, lesson learned!

 After this set back and some unsuccesful messing around to try and retrieve it we set off on the Pan de Rideau where the snow was deep powder and it was time to open it up again. Reaching the end of this the snow became very hard and it felt very exposted traversing across a rock band to gain the short ski to the manditory rappell. We made the rappell luckily not needing my crampons and from there it got easier as the snow in the exit couloir was transformed. Below some pics from the route when it was nice and easy going the camera got put away when we were concentrating!

Brendan on the top section under the Midi lift station.

Brendan on the soft snow of the top section.

Rolling away with Chamonix down below.

Me navigating through the rocks before the Demi-Lune.

Me pointing the skis down hill where the snow was good.

Me just above the Demi-Lune.

Me stepping through a rocky section in the couloir after the Mallory and Euster split, just before the Pan de Rideau seen behind me.

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