Just like trustworthy Tories, first descents in Chamonix are becoming increasingly hard to come by. With what is probably the highest concentration of steep skiers and mountaineers all squashed into the pokey mountain town, it’s a real surprise when a new descent is skied in the valley, especially one just an hour ski tour away from the mid-station of the Aiguille du Midi.
Roll up snowboarder Julien Herry (the man with the cleanest ambidextrous snowboard style out there) and steep skier Yannick Boissenot, who just a few weeks ago skied a new line – Couloir Beuf-Sara – found on the Aiguille du Peigne in the Mont Blanc massif.
“Just like trustworthy Tories, first descents in Chamonix are becoming increasingly hard to come by”
In a winter season that’ll be one to forget in terms of minuscule snow depth accumulations and neck-deep powder days, this lack of snow has actually been a blessing for steep skiing, where long periods of high pressure has led to an extremely stable snowpack – allowing lines like the Sara to be considered, even at the start of February.
And it goes without saying that there’s good reason that many of these couloirs and faces haven’t seen a descent for all these years – they’re steep as – the couloir in question involves a consistent 40 – 50 degree gradient for around 350 metres. Yikes.
Julien and Yannick completed the descent with two rappels in total; one 15 metre at the top and another 40 metre one at the bottom, to reach the exit couloir. Anyway, give the video a watch to feel the squeaky-bum-time exposure on this line for yourself.