La Grivola 3969 m, Gran Paradiso range, Italy
1st ski descent of SE Face by Boris Dufour & Rémy Lécluse le 14/05/2012.
570m, 45 to 50°, 5.3 E4
Boris is a writer & photographer. He is a surfer & a skier.
Past winter, we were in touch for an article about my « extreme skiing ski school ».
He came along to watch & make some photographs.
Another part of his article will be about my passion: looking for some new skiing routes.
Most of April, I spent evenings on web weather forecast looking at rain, clouds or heat!...
At least, this mid May a window seems to occur.
12 & 13 are bad but 14 looks pretty good: good weather with a zero level quite low altitude with unfortunately quite a strong North wind.
Due to bad weather, I had to cancel my job for the weekend. I phoned Boris to offer him to do my project on la Grivola. Faces NW & NE have been skied by Stefano De Benedetti 1979 & 1980. SE face is still unskied.
I really like Gran Paradiso range & I never been on top of La Grivola, it’s a good way to do it.
Sunday afternoon, we are walking up to Vittorio Sella hut, seeing many ibex & mountain goats.
Two am, wake far too early after a long skiing season, it’s really hard to get out from bed!
Four hours skinning up on hard pack snow lead us to the rimaye.
Not so much snow on the face but it looks like it will be OK with may be a bit of “dry skiing”.
The ascent line cross the central spur between two main couloirs: it could be a problem skiing down.
About nine am, we are on skiing mode!
Boris & I, are taking pictures of each other; more Boris than me!
He’s got the hard, very hard duty of steep skiing & on same time making good pictures : not easy at all. He is brilliant at that.
Weather forecast was right, NE wind keep the snow hard & fortunately, half an inch of fresh snow from last night give us reasonable grip.
Skiing down, I am looking for an easier way to cross the central spur.
Quite quickly, I find a kind of snowy ledge higher on the spur & we traverse to the second couloir quite easily.
Unfortunately, we have to do a short abseil (five meters) to get down a rocky “bottle neck”.
A short skinning up lead us to a pass & then more than one thousand vertical on perferct corn snow down to the hut. Just fabulous!
Thanks to: Adidas Eyewear, Arc’teryx, Dynastar, Grivel et Scarpa