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Bel Oiseu NE Couloir

An introduction to the steeper terrain around Chamonix with a spicy approach

Ski Touring Difficult

8.8 km
1.4 km
1.4 km
5-6 hrs
Low Point
1.3 km
High Point
2.6 km
Bel Oiseu NE Couloir Map

Drive your car as far up Route d'Émosson as you can and find somewhere to park.


Begin to climb up the road until you choose one of many different skin tracks to the Fenestral bowl.

Depending on the conditions you may have to do a mix of skinning and bootpacking at the lower altitudes and this may require some quite technical touring skills.

When you've successfully navigated your way out of the forest, you can begin the climb up through the bowl. This will eventually lead you to a high and often steep traverse.

It's recommended to boot across the first section of the ridge as the terrain can be quite steep. Crampons are advised but not absolutely essential.

After the steep section you can step back into your skis and skin the final section before another bootpack to the entry point.

The line offers a flat platform to transition and a good view of the descent.

The couloir starts steep, gets steeper but then rounds off and widens where you can make some great turns.

Ski the natural line of descent until you meet the road where you can cruise to the finish line.



Serious gradient of 30-38 degrees where a real risk of slipping exists.

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 April


  • Bowl
  • Alpine
  • Couloir

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area