FATMAP difficulty grade
The Cairn Couloir is one of the more popular lines on the main Bellecôte North Face.
It is steep and serious, with a narrow section near the top, and particular care required to pick a safe line through the small cliffs that criss-cross the bottom of the face.
Start at a large cairn just above a flattish point on the ridge, before the La Combe piste zigzags back left into the bowl.
Follow the couloir steeply (40-45°) for the first 300 metres, until the couloir widens and the slope eases a little.
Either continue straight down, avoiding numerous small cliffs, or traverse carefully left to join the wide lower part of the Canadian Couloir to the bottom of the steep part of the face.
Bear rightwards in the bowl below to outflank the steep ground below, and then join the main gully bed for the ski out to the road - often over avalanche debris.