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.
This is the most straightforward of the multitude of different routes accessible from the summit of the Cucumelle and is a suitable reward for the effort of the 20-30 minute hike up the Cucumelle ridge.
The majority of the run is not steep – it’s steepest right at the start and then in the trees near the bottom, and as such can suffer if the powder is too deep (a nice problem to have) as after a certain point you just have to go straight to keep the speed up.
Ideal conditions are 20-30 cm of fresh snow, at least for the section above the trees.
The exact route you take will depend on snow conditions and the avalanche risk and while the east facing slopes to the far left can be fun, they are avalanche prone and funnel down into a serious terrain trap in the form of a steep sided gulley.
The classic line is to stay on the central ridge and transition straight into the trees.
The trees suddenly get significantly steeper and as a result can hold very deep snow.
In deep powder this section of the run is about as good as tree skiing can get – truly world class.
Like all good things it has to come to an end some time and you need to look for a left traverse at about 1900 metres altitude to take you back to the piste.
A short scramble/walk/sidestep will see you safely back on the Rochamout piste in Monêtier.
Job done now back round to do it all again.