Posts Tagged ‘Steep ski’

The North face of the Aiguille du Plan and Contamine couloir. © Brendan O'Sullivan

The North face of the Aiguille du Plan and Contamine couloir. © Brendan O’Sullivan

At the start of June, just before the current heat wave Brendan O’Sullivan, Mikko Heimonen and I managed to sneak one last powder snow descent. The Aiguille du Plan’s north face is impressive and I always thought it would be a cool place to ski but was put off by the large amounts of rappelling for relatively little skiing.

Things changed when in the spring of 2011 Vivian Bruchez and Jonathan Charlet made the first link up this route with the Contamine Couloir. They skied the North face until the point where the skiing finishes and  you would normally make several long rappels. From there they climbed up the West couloir of the Aiguille du Blaitière to reach the top of the Contamine couloir. A descent of this and then the Nantillons glacier takes you all the way back to the Lift. The Idea was ingenious, take two great descents and link them together to eliminate most of the rappels. 

Our plan was to make the first repetition of this route and so after catching the first lift in the morning we set of on the classic alpine route, the Midi Plan traverse. (more…)

The Y couloir, can you spot us in the photo? Cedric Bernardini

The upper part of the Y couloir, we skied the lookers left hand branch. Can you spot us in the photo? © Cedric Bernardini

Last year I made several failed attempts on the Y couloir due to weather or snow conditions so as soon as it was filled with snow I was keen to go. It has always been a dream of mine to ski off all four sides of the aiguille Verte, and this was the third part of the puzzle. (more…)

Driving back up from Sallanches to Chamonix a few times recently I had noticed that the Dome de Miage North face was looking pretty white so I managed to persuade Brendan O’Sullivan and Tom Grant to join me for an early season ski mission. The plan was to ski the North face direct, but although it looked white from a distance strong North winds had stripped any skiable snow. The couloirs and slopes on the sides of the Mettrier ridge were a little more protected so we instead set our sights on this, however once joining the top of the spur we found only neve and rocks above us so were forced to start skiing still quite some way from the summit.

Although we didn’t succeed on our objective it was great to get on such a big line this early in the season and we had some great skiing from where we turned around, it was also great to spend some time in a beautiful basin we hadn’t visited before.


Our Route, starting on the skiers left of the ridge then crossing it to join the couloirs on the skiers right. © Ben Briggs