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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Chamonix
    Posts
    1,019

    TR: Couloir des Cosmiques 06.03.14

    This one has been on my to-do list for a long time. Finally the conditions were right, for the first time all season, and while it wasn't pow, it was a true Chamonix-style adventure!

    Cosmiques34.jpg
    Topo

    The statistics:

    The Cosmiques is probably the second most famous couloir in Chamonix after the Couloir des Poubelles. The Cosmiques drops 800m = 2600ft and stays a sustained 45-50 degree from start to finish. It's on the Northwest face of the Aiguille du Midi.

    From the summit at 3842m we skiied all the way down to Chamonix Sud for a total vertical drop of 2800m = 9200ft. Unlike the Vallee Blanche, this route drops straight down from the Midi covering only around 4km = 2.5 miles distance.

    Attachment 11282
    The Midi Arete

    The queues coming down the Midi Arete were pretty horrendous - the secret is to wear crampons so you can walk right past everybody. Why more don't do it astounds me.

    Attachment 11284
    Peje sideslipping down to the rappel point

    Attachment 11285
    Setting up the rappel - The first around 30m = 100ft aren't really skiable, or at least weren't today. A single 30m rappel got us to a point where the couloir is wide enough to ski.

    Attachment 11286
    Off rappel, onto skis - The conditions weren't ideal... thick wind-affected snow and here at the top, very icy. Unfortunately we had to side-slip the very steep top bit for maybe 50ft or so before we could start putting in very careful turns.

    (Continued...)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Chamonix
    Posts
    1,019
    I forgot to mention - after three years of active duty, my good camera died completely after I took the first few pics of today. I wasn't going to let a life-threatening ski decent go without some footage, so I switched to my crappy camera phone...

    Attachment 11300
    Looking back to the couloir enterance (That's Maria)

    I'm not going to lie to you, I was fucking shitting myself. The couloir goes straight down to the bottom with plenty of little rockbands to break your fall, and your head. Peje says "OK back on skis. And hey, there is no falling here. No falling at all. OK?"

    Attachment 11302
    Peje, making it look easy

    Attachment 11303
    More couloir action

    Attachment 11304
    More couloir action

    Attachment 11305
    More couloir action

    (Continued...)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    WYO
    Posts
    9,751
    "Look who's in the starting gate..."

    NIIIIIIIICE!!!!!!
    "Have fun, get a flyrod, and give the worm dunkers the finger when you start double hauling." ~Lumpy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    ...gone.
    Posts
    6,601


    Man, I've just shit myself in the office.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Chamonix
    Posts
    1,019
    Attachment 11310
    More couloir action...

    Attachment 11311
    Maria, about halfway down

    Attachment 11312
    In the Shadow of Mont Blanc...

    The black dot on the ridgeline is Maria. The couloir faces Mont Blanc and the high mountain ambiance is unreal...

    Attachment 11314
    Peje, nearing the bottom

    The couloir splits near the bottom and you can swing a right to end up in the exit couloir of the Glaciar Rounde. The Glaciar Rounde is another 800m sustained 45-50 degree decent with a ton of exposure, almost all of it a "no fall zone". I made a poor choice in partners two years back and skiied that route and watched my partner tumble around 200ft down the couloir, over an impressive cliff, and into a crevass. He somehow landed upright and his snowboard magically wedged into the crevass, preventing him from falling deeper. After a crevass rescue, we called a helicopter since he was worried about internal bleeding and so forth... luckily he ended up with just some serious bruises.

    Attachment 11315
    Towards the Bottom - POW!

    Towards the bottom it finally started getting less steep and the snow improved, and we could get the best turns of the day here.


    (Continued...)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Jackson Hole
    Posts
    2,527
    Having never been to Chamonix...where is everbody else going...that's alot of people. surely they didn't ski your route???
    Custom Boots - Hand Tunes - Daily Wax
    Basement of the Hostel, Teton Village




    Do not tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish.

    Mark Twain

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    HELLsinki, Finland
    Posts
    3,708
    Quote Originally Posted by skiing-in-jackson
    Having never been to Chamonix...where is everbody else going...that's alot of people. surely they didn't ski your route???
    Valle Blance, the tourist route....

    Oh, and bbritle, I sort of figured your gonna do this when you mentioned that you had been eyeing a couloir and wsa gonna do it... Way to go man.
    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier
    You should post naked pictures of this godless heathen.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Chamonix
    Posts
    1,019
    Attachment 11325
    On the Glacier

    Finally down on the glacier, we had to thread through some messy seracs, but it wasn't too bad. This section changes from year to year and I've seen some really horrible pictures in this section...

    Attachment 11327
    Back in Town

    After all those bad quality camera phone shots, I figured I'd toss in one decent one. This is the Aiguille du Gouter from my balcany window, taken a couple days ago after the storm cleared.

    Thanks much to Peje and Maria for a fantastic day!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Norte del río
    Posts
    2,179
    Awesome Brian! From the bottom, I remember that fucker looks near vertical.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    LaLa Land
    Posts
    3,110
    Very cool. I like the pict where you write the line in. Never got to do the Cosmiques, just the Rond when I was there, but that area is certainly awesome.

    Like nothing we have here...
    He who has the most fun wins!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    591
    Now that is a fucking TR!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Hugh's Mom's House
    Posts
    11,553
    Mommy! Where's my Whippet?!?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,956
    *reaching for my blankey*

    That's some serious shit, man.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    ...gone.
    Posts
    6,601
    Quote Originally Posted by shmerham
    *reaching for maria's boobies*

    That's some serious shit, man.
    Damn straight.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Northumberland
    Posts
    265
    Looks insane

    Am off to Cham in a couple of weeks - seriously stoked now

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Camden, innit?
    Posts
    2,178

    Thumbs up

    congrats! i'd love to give that a go one of these days, although i expect that i would brick it the entire way too
    fur bearing, drunk, prancing eurosnob

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,956
    How'd you know what I was really thinking Roo?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Whistler, B.C. (almost)
    Posts
    1,275
    Could you just get your camera phone out again real quick? Just real quick man, seriously. I just need Maria's number, that's all.

    That pic looking down the rappel makes me want to soil myself (don't tell Maria).

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Eurozone
    Posts
    2,682
    Nicely done!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Chamonix
    Posts
    1,019
    Brian: "Hey Peje what's up man"
    Peje: "Yeah doin alright you?"
    Brian: "Man I'm like, completely destroyed..."
    Peje: "Yeah I'm in bed dude, it rocks. Just got done with a nap..."
    Brian: "Sweet. Hey your girlfriend, her name is Maria, right? Cause I posted this trip report to Teton Gravity and like half the comments are these guys wanting to get with her..."
    Peje: LOL
    Brian: "...so I just wanted to make sure I remembered her name right."
    ...

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Le Lavancher pour le weekend
    Posts
    3,343
    jesus titty f'in christ

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    2,923
    Damn. That reminds me, I haven't seen any philingle sightings in these parts in quite a while.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    P-tex, CA
    Posts
    8,126
    Nice...I remember our guide showing us that route down from the observatory deck. If we only had more snow!!!!!!

    Your TR =

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    SE Alaska
    Posts
    11,716
    Oh, the lines you have at your disposal. Nice work.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    CO
    Posts
    5,017

    Thumbs up

    I really want some of that. [drool] Good stuff.

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