An imposing line down the small glacier at the top of the front face of the Grands Montets

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Analysing terrain data

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Exposure

Exposure

The exposure grade does not take into account objective hazards (stone fall, seracs, etc) but only the consequences of the skier falling.

Low Exposure (E1): Exposure is limited to that of the slope itself. Getting hurt is still likely if the slope is steep and/or the snow is hard.

Medium Exposure (E2): As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.

High Exposure (E3): In case of a fall, death is highly likely.

Extreme Exposure (E4): In case of a fall, the skier faces certain death.

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.

Description

After an exciting and condition-dependent entry pitch you have a choice of lines below.

You are on a crevassed glacier so make sure you are equipped, prepared and have practised crevasse rescue, however unlikely you think falling in a crevasse is- it is possible! A minimum would be each person to have harness, axe, crampons, an ice screw, 3 prussiks, several screwgates, a pulley/DMM Revolver karabiner, a couple of slings and 2 30m ropes in the group.

A more modern simple solution substituting for many of the above might be 2 Petzl RAD systems in the group.

If you have any doubts about this ski with an IFMGA Mountain Guide.

From the foot of the iron steps below the top station of the Grands Montets pass under the barrier and descend for a short distance in the direction of the Pas de Chevre.

Very soon you need to branch off R and negotiate the steep and sometimes icy pitch close to the rocks on the right, directly parallel to the lift cables on your R.

Very occasionally you can access the top of this run further L and drop in much more steeply.

There is a real risk of crevasses here so you will want to carefully scope out the line from the lift on the way up.

Once you are down this initial steep section the glacier opens up and you can go almost anywhere, keeping a beady eye out for crevasses.

Broadly there are two lines.

Either you can go straight down in the direction of and eventually meeting the Herse lift, or you can go down and L heading through more complex but arguably more beautiful glacial terrain, in the direction of the Bochard piste.

All these freeride lines are much shorter than the runs on the Rognons Glacier side of the mountain, due to meeting the Herse/Bochard and all the skied-out terrain in between the two.