Alaskan Couloir

Espace Killy

Tignes and Val d'Isère

A challenging ski-mountaineering challenge

Ski Touring Extreme

Distance
2 km
Ascent
214 m
Descent
514 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
2.4 km
High Point
2.8 km
Gradient
45˚
VIEW ON MAP
Alaskan Couloir Map

Description

Traverse along the ridge to the west of the pisteurs hut at the top of the Aiguille Percée chair, as for the Sachette variant of the Vallon de la Sache. Drop down to a col, before taking your skis off and climbing the shoulder of the peak in front of you, until you can climb no further. At this point, put your skis back on and traverse across the north facing slope above the Sachette valley, aiming for a narrow, steep couloir. Skis off again to climb this couloir, which can be a very difficult climb in deep snow and has tricky rocky parts to negotiate. Once past the couloir, there's a snowfield to climb through to the jagged summit. The couloir has a few different entries of varying technicality, some may be protected by a cornice depending on conditions.

The couloir itself is a real cracker, plunging straight down and expelling its riders onto a wide open slope (that is likely to be tracked by skiers traversing from the Aiguille Percée chair.

Facing due south, this is a tough line to get in condition and requires specialist skills (possibly equipment too) and strong motivation to access and ski safely. It's for hardcore montagnards only!

The east face (known by Tignes locals as the "Glory Line" as it's in such plain view of the lift and pistes) is a slightly shorter if equally steep and challenging variant, accessible from the shoulder to skier's left of the Alaskan Couloir's entrance, which may hold better snow.

Crampons and a 20m rope might be necessary for the climb and entry into the couloir.

Difficulty

Extreme

Extreme skiing terrain above 45 degrees. These routes are reserved for experienced experts.

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

  • Cliffs
  • Walk Required

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area