For this fourth episode of the season, Aurélien has set his sights on a trail spotted last year in an outing with Stéphane Dan (alias Fanfan). A magnificent trail, but a tough terrain with many upward slopes converging around the end of the couloir. This complex itinerary calls for conditions that are rarely all met at once: snow present, but not too much, atop hard, stable ground. And because good things come to those who wait, on Sunday, February 22, all the pieces were in place, with the sun shining to boot, along with 10 cm of fresh snow!
The lucky companion for this trip was Léo Slemett, who had just returned from Andorra where he took part in two competitions as part of the Freeride World Tour and secured a spot in its coveted Alaska stop.
To resume the day…
"After an hour and 45 minutes of climbing to the Passon mountain pass in warm clothes and 15 minutes of crossing, we reached the starting point. Once the top of the couloir had been cleared out (it had snowed the night before!) and the ground proved hard and stable as planned, we proceeded down this 1500m couloir overhanging the Argentière glacier. A pure delight for both the eyes and the legs! And it only got better the further we descended.
In a funnel-shaped area, we came across a boulder (5 to 6m tall) in the middle of our path that forced us to tie a rope to proceed. A little lower (after 1000 meters of descent no less!) a second boulder blocked our way. As it was less imposing than the first, no rappelling was needed; we only had to jump!
After exiting the main couloir, we took the moraine for 100 meters before entering another couloir 400m long. Light snowpack at a low altitude forced us to rappel again in order to overcome the moraine. All that was left was to follow the glacier bed to Argentière.”
To sum it up: A beautiful mountain-style trail, ideal conditions, and a few obstacles to overcome. Overall, a magical day that brought together 3 generations of local freeriders!
The southern couloir of Becs Rouges
Starting altitude: 3000 meters
Finishing altitude: 1250 meters
Descent of couloir: 1500 meters
Next episode of Cham’Lines: Tuesday, March 17
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