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Y-couloir and Aiguille d'Argentiere

Spring ski mountaineering in Chamonix

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Greg van der Donk | Chamonix Contributor | Published: 27 Apr 2018


Y-couloir and Aiguille d'Argentiere

We've been experiencing a nice freeze thaw cycle in Chamonix, so we decided to tackle a well known and sunny couloir on off the Aiguille d'Argentiere, the y-couloir. 

It's right at the end of the season, so crowds were minimal, we got on the second lift of the day and quickly got down onto the glacier to start skinning. We made quick work of the still frozen couloir, but it was runneled and bumpy so we decided instead to traverse over the summit and down a mellow route. It doesn't always go to plan, but it is always being up in the high mountains. 

Tuesday, May 1st is the last chance to get the lift up to the Argentiere basin, Grand Montets is also hosting it's famous 'Freeride day' closing party. The weather looks fairly mixed and a bit snowy, so we might be skiing powder on the last day of the season.

Exploring beyond the ski resort boundaries is an amazing experience for anyone who's physically fit and has mastered the pistes well enough. There are, however, risks associated with venturing outside the safety of the marked/patrolled ski area, including awareness of your actions on those below you on the slopes. Mountain guides are professionally qualified and have extensive knowledge of the local terrain, to provide you with the safest and most enjoyable possible experience in the mountains; as a visitor here we highly recommend you hiring one. Many ski schools and also mountain guides provide instruction in off-piste skiing, avalanche safety and mountaineering techniques. Make your time in the mountains unforgettable for the right reasons, ski safe!