Analysing terrain data
The exposure grade does not take into account objective hazards (stone fall, seracs, etc) but only the consequences of the skier falling.
Low Exposure (E1): Exposure is limited to that of the slope itself. Getting hurt is still likely if the slope is steep and/or the snow is hard.
Medium Exposure (E2): As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.
High Exposure (E3): In case of a fall, death is highly likely.
Extreme Exposure (E4): In case of a fall, the skier faces certain death.
The Neyzets face and it’s assortment of chutes and rock ridges can be a dream in the right snow conditions, namely deep powder.
However, in hardpacked conditions things can go wrong very quickly and there are a number of serious no fall zones on this slope.
Even the most straightforward line, the wide open face to the skier’s right, demands respect as getting to it involves a sometimes bumpy and rutted traverse above some not insignificant cliffs.
The various lines to the skier’s left change dramatically in terms of exposure and general skiability depending on the depth of the snowpack and the surface conditions.
You’ll have plenty of time to scope out your line from the chairlift on the ride up.
To get to the start of the face, ski the start of the Col du Vent black run but stay high and aim for the wide col directly under the chairlift.
Duck under the ropes/nets and if you’re aiming for the wide face turn right and traverse just under the big cliff.
There’s also a narrow couloir just before the main face that requires a rock-jump part way down in all but the biggest snow years.
If you’re looking for the chutes and ridges to the skier’s left, stay high and look for the best entry point to the traverse.
From there, pick your way carefully across, making sure hidden rocks don’t trip you up, and drop in wherever you’ve determined looks best.
You’ll also notice triangular barriers uphill of the chairlift’s pylons.
These were put in following a huge avalanche a few years ago that seriously damaged the lift by destroying one of the pylons further down the mountain.
This is a slope that demands respect.