Aiguille du Midi- West couloir direct start from the North face (TD 50°-55°)

Posted: May 22, 2010 in extreme, Ski
Tags: , , ,

The day after Eugster Brendan and I headed for west direct. You start on the top of the North face as for Mallory and Eugster but cut left straight away. Looking down from here you can see an obious although narrow couloir which is not often filled. The decent is about twice as long as the normal entrance from the bottom of the rond and it looked good so we rapped the 45m into the couloir.

However once down we found that the snow had been baked in the afternoon sun the day before and had a unskiable thick  icy crust. The top of the couloir is directly West facing and does not get the sun untill late in the afternoon. As it was only 9am we decided to rappel untill the couloir turns more NW and the snow became skiable. unfortunately this was only a short was above where I had skied from on several other occasions from the normal entrance. I will have to go back to this couloir in better conditions as the sking looks great here. In the pics below you can see Brendan rapping in and looking down the couloir from the rap point, from here where you  ski from the Rond entrance is out of sight below.

  1. […] is the cover photo, by Christian Pondella.  Quick googling reveals that this is exactly what it looks like: a gnarly ski descent with at least one rap to get […]

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