St Pères couloirs

3 Valleys

Val Thorens

Stunning steep couloir(s) with a short access.

Ski Touring Extreme

Distance
3 km
Ascent
244 m
Descent
842 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
2.5 km
High Point
3.3 km
Gradient
54˚
VIEW ON MAP
St Pères couloirs Map

Description

A super-aesthetic line which catches the eye from the ‘Moraine’ area of Val Thorens this is easy-access steep skiing at its best! - A half hour approach gets you 500m of steep, tight couloir gradually easing into a wider face. The line described is the steeper of the lines here - when viewed from below it is the right-most, pencil-thin couloir descending from between two pinnacles. There are other options further looker’s left which are slightly less steep - access these by skinning / boot-packing to the cols to the right of the access described here.

From the top of the Col chairlift slide 50m on the piste then down and right onto the Chaviere glacier. Follow the skin-track ‘motorway’ heading for the Col de Gébroulaz but branch off this early, before it makes a big right turn, and head for the back of the Aiguille des St Pères - you are heading for a small notch between two rocky horns. The last 50m is generally a boot-pack.

Depending on snow cover you may be able to ski straight from the col, otherwise a short down-climb or abseil may be necessary (there is a bolt in a block if you look closely). For most experienced steep skiers, a 30 metre abseil (using either 2 x 30 metre ropes or a single 60m rope) will suffice to get you to a sensible point from which to start skiing. The first 100m are steep - approaching 50º, then the couloir backs off to 45º for 200m or so, and gradually eases back as you join the other branches descending from your right.

On the big face at the bottom you can pull right to prolong the fun in the gully behind the moraine ridge before eventually rejoining the pistes. Now give yourself a pat on the back, award yourself extra bragging points and then remember that this couloir has been straight lined from the very top!

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

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, December

Features

  • Couloir
  • Single Descent

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area