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.
** Disclaimer - Unfortunately, the exit of the classic Pas de Chèvre has become increasingly dangerous in recent years.
As climate change has caused an accelerating loss of ice in the Mer de Glace, the moraine walls surrounding the Pas de Chèvre exit couloir have become steeper and more lethal.
The moraine here is now inherently unstable and prone to collapses of potentially large volumes of material.
While it is still possible to find short windows in winter where cold temperatures and sufficient snow cover can allow skiers to pass through the moraine without excessive risk, these windows are increasingly fleeting and difficult to judge.
It is therefore largely no longer advisable to use this exit. An alternative option is to locate an abseil line leading to the Mer de Glace from just below the Flame de Pierre ridge.
After skiing the Pas de Chèvre, skin up a short way until on top of the Dru moraine.
From here ski down heading south east towards the bottom of the Flame de Pierre ridge and locate the summer trail.
Walk down the summer trail (it's not usually possible to ski it), taking care to safely downclimb a couple small steps and using crampons if needed.
After dropping around 200 metres elevation, there is the first anchor to skier’s left side off of the path.
It may be difficult to locate at first and consists of two bolts on a rock slab.
Gaining the anchor is exposed, so take care.
From here, make a series of 3 abseils; 50 meters, 55 and finally 30.
Two 60 meter ropes are needed to get down.** Route - Coming off the Bochard lift in the Grands Monetes ski area, the fence 20 metres down the piste which keeps people from falling down to the Pas de Chevre often appears to be THE social hang-around spot up there.
Why? It is of course a scenic spot, but the party certainly starts whenever a skier climbs over the fence, clicks into their bindings and waves goodbye to the crowds by dropping into this line.
The Poubelle couloir is a crowd catcher as well as a pretty rad line to choose to enter the Pas de Chevre.
The narrow couloir makes for an impressive ski descent but is unfortunately often in bad condition when tracked out due to its southerly aspect that allows the sun to work the snow.
However, in good snow, the Poubelle couloir can be a real treat and makes us wish that it was a bit longer than its length of 250-300 vertical meters. An abseil is often needed ( roughly 30 metres) to enter the Poubelle due to exposed rocks or ice at the top.
Because most people abseil in from the fence regardless of snow condition in the top, ski conditions can often be bad near the top of the line.
If you are going for the abseil, please go backwards, down the fall line and with skis on and save the snow for stronger riders who want to enjoy the steep turns from the top! With a steep angle up to 45 degrees in a narrow setting between the rock walls, the Poubelle couloir makes for descent that needs to be taken seriously.
A fall in the couloir can have very serious consequences, hitting the sidewalls and skiers need to take good care and master their jump turns.
There is an adjacent couloir that connects with the Poubelle skiers left side and falling snow/rock from here and above is possible.
Depending on the snow cover, there can sometimes be a rocky step to manage midway down the couloir and caution is required for hidden rocks or unexpected hard snow/ice. The Poubelle couloir skis best after snowfall and in the early winter when the daytime temperature stays low.
Watch out for avalanche risk.
At about 2400 meters, you exit the Poubelle couloir and join the normal descent of the Pas de Chevre.