Analysing terrain data
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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.
It has many names locally.
When looking towards the Aiguille de Fruit the long Couloir bending up left to the peak on the North side is un missable.
A few rocks dotted in the middle on the way up.
Its north facing and hardly gets the sun so the snow often stays good for some time after the snow.
But it is not for the faint hearted.
The route climbing up and skiing down is all avalanche terrain and as the snow pack changes slowly can so it can remain dangerous for a long time.
Having said that the views, its sheer size and the shape make it an appealing goal if you have the time to wait for the right conditions.
If your personal knowledge and understanding of snow pack and avalanche risk is not high only ski with a guide, but even if you possess good knowledge always ask the pisteurs what they think.
Their office at the top of Saulire has a view of the couloir and usually they are forthcoming with free advice.
To access take either the Roc Merlet or the Chanrossa chair- from the top traverse as high as you can into the Aiguille de Fruit bowl until you are as close to the bottom of the Couloir as you can get without losing height put on then start skinning.
Using correct kick turn technique you can easily tour all the way to the top in good conditions.
Some people prefer in the steeper section to boot pack to the top.
This run ends in the Chanrossa bowl taking you back to the Marmotte and Chanrossa lifts.
Additional info: - a very fit person should reach the top in 1:30h but average fitness allow at least 2:30h for your ascent.
- The couloir is about 450m vertical to go up and ski down followed by another 350m descent into the Chanrossa bowl - There are other chutes and variations you will notice when accessing the Couloir for the very adventurous. - Almost the whole couloir is in the 40 degree to 45 degree range - Only highly experienced off piste skiers with touring experience should consider this route