Couloir 3500

Espace Killy

Tignes and Val d'Isère

Vanoise Massif

1000 metres of steep spring couloir skiing

Freeride Skiing Severe

Distance
4.6 km
Ascent
228 m
Descent
869 m
Low Point
2.6 km
High Point
3.3 km
Gradient
52˚
Couloir 3500 Map

This might be the best and most challenging spring descent you can reach anywhere in the Alps for so little effort. That said, this is a huge and steep descent which should be reserved for the extremely competent and confident skier in the most reliable of conditions as the consequences of mistiming the descent or falling could be catastrophic. The southerly aspect and sustained steep pitch means the couloir should only be skied after several solid melt-freeze cycles has transformed the snow into bombproof spring snow.

Description

From the Grande Motte cable-car station, descend the Glacier piste before traversing to the right above the top of the 3500 drag lift where you will find the entrance to the couloir. The entry can be tricky and almost always requires a down-climb or, at times, a rope (20m max), to the top section of the couloir. The top section of the couloir is steep and the thighs will get a thorough workout from hundreds of short turns!

The slope eventually opens and flattens, at which point head skiers' left to locate a second narrow couloir leading to another long, open, steep slope to the valley floor.

Difficulty

Severe

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

High Exposure (E3)

3 out of 4

In case of a fall, death is highly likely.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

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

Best time to visit

March, April, May

Features

  • Cliffs
  • Couloir
  • Walk Required

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

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