A steep, dynamic face, full of chutes and rocky ridges, that changes dramatically depending on snow levels.

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Exposure

Exposure

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.

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.

Description

The west facing slopes of the Cucumelle and Rocher du Grand Pré can be straightforward, if steep, in big snow years or rocky technical nightmares best avoided in low snow years.

The access is fairly straightforward although it does require a careful scoping from below (Eychauda piste or chairlift) or opposite (Catex freeride run).

There are numerous options depending on how filled in the slope is and all are shorter than nearly every other option from the top of the Cucumelle.

So you need to weigh up how long you expect the pay off to be following the 20-30 minute hike up the Cucumelle.

One of these runs, skied fast, can last less than a minute.

That said they are exciting, technical and rarely ridden.

The access is to the left from the ridge that continues due north from the summit of the Cucumelle.

The further you get, the sketchier, rockier and more exposed the lines become.

Be careful not to get caught out by one in particular that looks straightforward from above but has a large icefall in the middle half way down.

Again, a careful scoping out from below will pay off.