Les Courtes- South face direct

Posted: January 28, 2012 in extreme, Ski, tour
Tags: , ,
Les-Courtes-face-sud-linea-763x1024

Les Courtes S Face. © Luca Pandolfi

On Wednesday afternoon myself and Luca Pandolfi caught the last bin up Grandes Montes with the aim of climbing up the N side of Les Courtes and skiing the south face. We headed for the swiss route early in the morning but soon after crossing the Burgshrund we realised there was a lot of hard ice on the route and Lucas snowboard boots would be too soft to climb the route safely. We quickly came up with a new plan to rappel off and walk round to the NE face so all was not lost.

We made quick progress up the start thanks to our new Spanish friends we had met the night before, who had already started putting a boot pack up the face. Unfortunately one of them wasnt feeling good and they turned around, so we carried on alone.

For any one interested in the general conditions in the Argentiere basin, the North faces are icy although the NE face is just about skiable at the moment with good snow low on the face and a small strip of skiable snow in the large ice patches in the top section. However the south-facing couloirs such as the Y on the Aiguille D’Argentiere and the S couloir on the Aiguille du Chardonnet look very good.

Once we arrived at the top of the NE face a short ridge traverse took us to the summit, where I down climbed a little to check out the two entrances. We decided the couloir was filled enough to ski  from the summit using the direct entrance. The snow was deep powder on the top half and just a bit heavy lower down where it had been warmer in the sun. As there was so much snow and it hadn’t undergone any freeze thaw cycles the hardest part of the descent was controling our slough!

Luca climbing the NE face.

Luca climbing the NE face.

Luca climbing the start of the summit ridge.

Luca climbing the start of the summit ridge.

Me on the summit ridge © Luca Pandolfi

Me on the summit ridge © Luca Pandolfi

View from the top.

View from the top.

Checking out the line. © Luca Pandolfi

Checking out the line. © Luca Pandolfi

Deep! © Luca Pandolfi

Deep! © Luca Pandolfi

ben-3-wm-767x1024

© Luca Pandolfi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Comments
  1. […] Les Courtes- South face direct « Ben-briggs[…]

  2. Excellent, vivement l’hiver !!

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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