Rectiligne Couloir, Pas de Chevre

First bin up Grands Montets. The mercury reads -20C. We’ve queued for an hour and the cold has crept insidiously up through the soles of ours boots and numbed our toes. The snow in the Pas de Chevre is untouched and it will be a race to there first. Running down the stairs creates some warmth but as I ski into shady Pas de Chevre the wind chill is impressive and I feel my cheeks and nose freezing and I have to stop to rewarm my hands. As we drop into the 400 m straight chute of Rectiligne Couloir its like showering in -20C with overhead blower stripping any remaining heat from my body… but its also subliminal and it would be sacrilege to stop.

Photos from Dave Searle

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Rectiligne – Grand Envers – Rond. Great to ski with Bjarne and John for first time. And it was blower. Rectiligne GE Rond-9Dave Searle on the Rond exit couloirScreen Shot 2014-01-28 at 18.57.10

Me opening Rectiligne Couloir in perfect -20C blower.Rectiligne GE Rond

John and Bjarne Salen is in there somewhere!Rectiligne GE Rond-2BjarneRectiligne GE Rond-3

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A Rond, a Grand and a Petit

My first outing on the Midi this season felt great to be back in the big mountains and away from the frantic ski resorts which are hooching right now. No ropes on the arrete so we were able to ski it quickly. Following the westerly wind event, some caution was required so we went to Grand Envers which was blower and effortless.

A quick reset back to the Midi and I wanted to ski the Rond to get some training. The pow was so consistent and the bottom couloir was non stop to the Glacier. After tracking round to the Gare des Glaciers, we didn’t fancy traversing the para face, and the moraine facets would have been a wallow fest to the bench under the North Face. So we took the shot down the para face to the old station which was lush. Skiing in the woods below on refrozen crud was not my favourite.

After sprinting thru the gypsy camp and avoiding getting mauled by their rapid dogs it was back to the lift for one more. This time we went for deep pow in Moyen Envers which was a fine end to the day. Down at 4 Roger even hinted at one more – next week now the legs are returning!

Roger Knox at top of the Rond


The Rond, Aiguille du Midi
The Rond, Aiguille du Midi

Rond exit couloir

Rond exit couloir - Roger Knox

Heli at Gare des Glaciers