Aiguille Verte- Whymper Couloir

Posted: March 13, 2013 in Alpine, Climb, extreme, Ski
Tags: , ,
Whymper Couloir © Tom Grant

Whymper Couloir © Tom Grant

Back at the end of Feburary I headed up the Aiguille Verte again, this time with Tom Grant to ski the Whymper. The afternoons were still cold and we decided to climb up the Courturier from first lift. It was fast going until we reached the Calotte, where we found pockets of dangerous wind slab and some very open crevasses. We had to get the rope out and set up a few belays to pass safely and lost a lot of time trying to find the best way through. In hind sight it would have been better to carry on up the direct exit moving together over the grey ice.  Determined not to get shut down so near the top we pushed on and finally arrived on the summit at about 2pm both feeling the altitude.

The snow on the ridge down to the start of the couloir was unstable so we walked down to the col, being battered by harsh winds. The effort had been worth it, the couloir looked in great condition. We found some nice soft snow at the top and then some crust lower down. The exit couloir was well filled and we skied through without a rappel and even found some cold powder on its right bank. The only thing baring the way now was the bergshrund, which looked huge. I didn’t feel like jumping it but also couldn’t be bothered to get the rope out so I managed to find a way through on the left.

Thanks to Tom for another great day in the mountains, the photos and my second Verte summit and ski  in as many months 🙂

Me blasting up the lower section of the Courturier. © Tom Grant

Blasting up the lower section of the Courturier. © Tom Grant

Me Approaching the summit. © Tom Grant

Approaching the summit. © Tom Grant

Tom on the summit.

Tom on the summit.

Me traversing to the start of the couloir. © Tom Grant

Traversing to the start of the couloir. © Tom Grant

Me skiing near the top. © Tom Grant

Skiing near the top. © Tom Grant

Tom in good snow.

Tom in good snow.

Skiing down to the exit couloir. © Tom Grant

Skiing down to the exit couloir. © Tom Grant

Entering the exit couloir. © Tom Grant

Entering the exit couloir. © Tom Grant

P1040578

Passing a rocky step. © Tom Grant

Tom in the exit couloir powder.

Tom in the exit couloir powder.

Skiing down the glacier to town. © Tom Grant

Skiing down the glacier to town. © Tom Grant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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