Cosmiques Couloir

Entering my 3rd month of skiing I thought it was about time to raise the stakes, so when ‘Cautious Tom’ Grant offered to take me down the Cosmiques Couloir  off the Aiguille Du Midi I jumped at the opportunity.

Having done a couple of Plan D’aiguille laps with Tom the day before I felt safe entering the high mountains with Cautious Tom of UK Climbing mag fame!

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Toms lunch break was the only time we had so 12-4pm, so after some careful queue jumping at the midi station we were on our way by 12:10.

After a short traverse  and a 5 min bootpack we were at the start of the couloir. The rappel start was some 15m down and with the risk of a fall being almost certain death I opted to down climb to Tom who was setting up the rap.

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I am not yet confident enough on skis to side slip 50′ slopes so Tom opted to save time by lowering me down the full 60m of the rope. Being lowered backwards down a seemingly endless couloir was one of the most intimidating things that I have ever done! But then when you get somewhere where you still don’t feel confident skiing freely and hearing “thats the end of the rope” was allot worse!

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As Tom rapped the 30m down to the skiable slope I slowly but steadily side slipped down a further 10m before putting in my first turn on a 45-50′ slope. Which went well and boosted my confidence.

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The snow on the top 400m was nice to ski and felt good under foot, then the second half was a little less tracked out and we found some nice patches of powder.

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When the Bossons Glacier came close and into view I knew I was safe and I was chuffed I had skied the couloir with out having fallen.

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Some traversing later and we had arrived at the top of the Para face with only a dozen tracks going down it, A nice Powder reward after an Epic afternoon.

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A bit of bushwacking, skis on/ skis off and we were being chased out of the pikey camp by a bunch of dogs finding ourselves parting ways at the Grepon car park, Tom to go back to work for the evening and me to go and get a well deserved beer and to let that ski decent sink in. All together my best ski decent to date and an Epic afternoon.

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