Trappier Couloir

Chamonix

Les Houches

Saint-Gervais-les-Bains

A large and very attractive couloir in plain view from Chamonix

Ski Touring Severe

Distance
10 km
Ascent
1.4 km
Descent
2.1 km
Duration
6-7 hrs
Low Point
1.1 km
High Point
3.1 km
Gradient
56˚
VIEW ON MAP
Trappier Couloir Map

Description

The Trappier is a stunning and broad couloir of moderate steepness, highly visible from the Chamonix town center. With 800 meter slopes averaging 38 degrees (maximum 45 for a short section) and a predominantly shady aspect, this line simply calls out to be skied. However, a word of caution; both the approach and descent are in serious avalanche terrain with significant terrain trap hazards. A good understanding of the snowpack and thorough assessment of the conditions are needed before venturing out on this route.

From the Bellevue cable car, skin along the Tramway du Mont Blanc railway tracks heading west and passing under Mont Lachat. Skin up a steep bowl, leaving the line of the railway and passing through a rock band to the left. From here there is a steep and exposed boot pack to gain flatter ground above just to the east of a small hut. Skin across what remains of the small Glacier de la Griaz and locate the entrance to the couloir at 3000 meters elevation.

Ski this magnificent couloir fall line until it is possible to trend left at the bottom and out towards the summer trail. Head into the dense forest staying above and to the west of the Bourgeat stream. Pick your way down some tight trees, eventually locating the 4x4 track leading back into Les Houches. If there is good snow cover on the opposite side of the Bourgeat stream, it is also possible to follow the summer trail on is west facing flank back down into Les Houches.

Difficulty

Severe

Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

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

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April

Features

  • Alpine
  • Couloir
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area