Wednesday 9 March 2011

Couloir Angelique, Les Courtes – Perfect spring skiing in one of the most beautiful couloirs in the massif

Two days ago I went over to the Argentière basin, with my friend Magnus Karstengren, to climb the northeast face of Les Courtes with the objective to hopefully get some good spring skiing on the other side.
Couloir Angelique 

Everything went easy and according to plans and we got to the top of the face at around 13 pm. The weather was stellar and it was warm making the snow on the south side perfect for skiing. We did two short rappels and a few meters of down climbing to get in to the couloir and then the race was on. We where there in perfect time for the good skiing, but that also meant that if we would hang around for too long it would become dangerous with higher risks for stone fall and avalanches.

But the couloir was easily skied and it didn’t take long before we had passed the bergschrund and stood at the bottom looking back up this beautiful line.

Pierre Tardivel opened it up in 1999 and apparently named it after his daughter, proving that this couloir is something special. I would say that according to me it’s the best ski in the Talèfre basin. 

And the day is by no means over when one is out of the couloir. No, from here awaits a long, seldom tracked, ski all the way down to Montenvers.

Thanks Magnus for a great ski!

To get more info of Pierre Tardivel, probably the man with most first descents in the world, check out his blog at: (French only)

Magnus waiting for the bus

Skins on

The approach

Check out the north east face of Les Courtes, not really in good ski conditions. Note the bootpack...

Almost at the top

The view

Me about to start skiing

Magnus skiing some corn

And then even more... 

Its crazy how little snow there are on some places...

Guides working hard... 

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