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East couloir of the Petit Puy


A epic couloir in a remote setting.

Ski Touring Severe

16 km
1.4 km
1.4 km
7-8 hrs
Low Point
1.3 km
High Point
2.6 km
East couloir of the Petit Puy Map

A classic couloir that gives stunning view and an amazing ski, it is a long skin to get this route but worth the effort.


From the parking cross some fields to get to a road that is closed in winter. It is normally skin-able from the bottom so just follow the road to the Chalets des Ayes, which is a nice village but shut off from the rest of the World in the winter. From there continue towards the Lac de l’Orceyrete. Normally there is a path that follows the torrent at the first bridge and if no track is in there then you just follow the torrents as best you can - it's quite wooded so just pick the best line you can find. If not you can follow the road - it is a lot longer but easy going. Before the lac at 1889m you should be able to turn off the road west. When you see the big couloir head up the higher ground to the start of it. Climb the couloir (normally you have to boot up from just above halfway) you arrive at the ridge at the top.


Ski the couloir and then across the flat to the road. From here you have two options - the first and (I think the best) is to just follow the road back down, its long and not that interesting but an easy ski. The second is to go down in the trees near the stream. There needs to be a very good level on snow to do this and the trees are tight together.



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.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between January and March


  • Couloir
  • Single Descent

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

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