A sort after and popular steep ski down the North West face of the Aiguille Du Midi. Be aware of blue glacier ice on the top half as often this is not sufficiently covered in snow. From the bottom of the snow arete from the snow tunnel head down the steep face facing down toward the Vallee Blanche (a good place to make some warm up turns). From the bottom of this face head around the cliffs to the right until you can see the Cosmiques refuge. Side step or hike up to the col between this refuge and the Simond Refuge (smaller building on the right). This is also the same same starting point for the Cosmiques Couloir. Some years it is possible to keep your ski’s on and make a traverse onto the top of the face (exposed on the left) from a point 40m or so down and left of the Simond Refuge. The first steep section is the most exposed and a fall here could have serious consequences. After 400m of skiing traverse left to a shoulder which is the start of the exit couloir. If snow cover is good then you should be able to ski directly in but an abseil is often required. This exit couloir provides great skiing down to the glacier where you need to traverse rightward next to the cliffs until you are off the glacier. From here you have have several options. If snow cover it is possible to ski down to the Tunnel entrance and hitch a ride back to town. Its worth having a look at this face from Brevent and scoping out your descent if you haven’t been before. Alternatively you can make a long (and tedious) traverse back to the mid station of the Aiguille Du Midi lift passing the old lift station and staying as high as you can all the way around. Be very careful of avalanches here as you are very exposed above cliffs for a large part of the traverse.
Best conditions found: February to May
Aspect: North West
Grade: D, 4.2
Gradient: 45°- 50° for 800m
Height of Aiguille Du Midi: 3842M
Height Gain: 70M
Topo for Aiguille Du Midi west face ski descents.
Ross Hewitt | Skiing, Climbing, Adventure.
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