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Cairn Couloir

La Plagne

Vanoise Massif

Fantastic but serious big mountain line on a majestic, wild north face

Freeride Skiing Severe

4.4 km
12 m
1.6 km
Low Point
1.5 km
High Point
3.1 km
Cairn Couloir Map

The Cairn Couloir is one of the more popular lines on the main Bellecôte North Face. It is steep and serious, with a narrow section near the top, and particular care required to pick a safe line through the small cliffs that criss-cross the bottom of the face. Start at a large cairn just above a flattish point on the ridge, before the La Combe piste zigzags back left into the bowl. Follow the couloir steeply (40-45°) for the first 300 metres, until the couloir widens and the slope eases a little. Either continue straight down, avoiding numerous small cliffs, or traverse carefully left to join the wide lower part of the Canadian Couloir to the bottom of the steep part of the face. Bear rightwards in the bowl below to outflank the steep ground below, and then join the main gully bed for the ski out to the road - often over avalanche debris.



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


4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

between January and April


  • Cliffs

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area