Posts Tagged ‘Aiguille du Chardonnet’

So I think pretty much everyone knows the Alps have had a pretty terrible season for snow so far….. But we have still managed to get out for some fun days and good skiing, it’s just been harder to find. Back at the very beginning of December I headed up the tour Ronde  first to ski the Gervasutti with Tom Grant and Ben Tibbits, then to ski the North face with Brendan O’Sullivan. Even though we had no snow in the valley, a rainy summer and autumn meant there was a lot of snow up high and we found some good conditions.

Unfortunately this wasn’t to last long as high winds stripped all but the most protected snow. This made things difficult for Ben Tibbits and I who had a photo shoot for Mountain Equipment’s fantastic new ski products  to shoot. We set out for two days in the Argentiere Basin and struggled on the first day but luckily managed to find a hidden stash of snow in the Aiguille du Chardonnets South East couloir on the second.

More recently  i have had a couple of good runs from the Aiguille du Midi with Jesper Petersson and Brendan O’Sullivan, however the glaciers have been more complicated than usual du to the lack of snow. There has been a lack of good lift served free riding with just a handful of good days at Grands Montets and the Helbronner but hopefully things will pick up now before the steep season begins.

On the way up the Tour Ronde Normal route. © Ben Tibbits

On the way up the Tour Ronde Normal route. © Ben Tibbits

Skiing the Gervasutti.

Skiing the Gervasutti. © Ben Tibbits



Aiguille du Chardonnet East couloir. © Luca Pandolfi

After our adventure on Mont Blanc du Tacul I was psyched for more big lines but unfortunately conditions were not favorable. Being stuck in the valley was becoming increasingly frustrating, so I headed up with Brendan O’Sullivan and Tom Coney for the smaller but very aesthetic East couloir of the Aiguille du Chardonnet. (more…)

Our route up the Migot spur in red and downthe West couloir in yellow.

Our route up the Migot spur in red and down the West couloir in yellow.

After recent good steep skiing conditions and some cool descents from other teams myself and Tom Grant were keen to ski something ourselves. However we had just had a week of bad weather and a lot of fresh snow and so we questioned the safety of skiing a big line. We decided to head up to the Albert 1ier refuge with the  Migot spur  in the back of our minds (which saw its first descent just the weekend before,) but happy just to do some mellow skiing on the glacier. (more…)

After the great late season powder skiing, the steeps were finally starting to fill with snow and we had seen the west couloir on the Aiguille du Chardonnet looked in great condition. So myself, Tom Grant, Brendan O’sullivan and visiting American Blaine Horner headed up to the Argentiere hut with the idea of climbing the South couloir and traversing the summit ridge to drop into the west couloir.

original line in red and our variant in yellow


A friend of mine climbed this couloir recently and told me it was in good condition for sking so as soon as a good weather day came we set off to do it. We were planning to get a first bin up Grand Montet but after some hold ups we got to the car park at about 9am. We set off thinking we would probably not have time but decided to skin up to the bottom of the couloir and see. We climbed up the col du Chardonnet very quickly and decided to go for it. The conditions where great for climbing and sking and we made it back down to the car park for 4pm. unfortunately Ed got ill so didn’t ski the couloir but sat on the col and took some great pictures. This is a really aesthetic couloir and a great tour, I would highly recommend it.