Monday, March 21, 2016

Couloir Forteresse @Dents du Midi

Skiing the North Couloir of Forteresse on Dents du Midi has been on my radar a for long time. It's the longest and probably the most aesthetic line on Dents du Midi. The couloir is just over 1000 meters long with several narrow and steep passages. Through these passages you can link up several couloirs making it a complete ski line. The line is quite a puzzle and route finding is not obvious when dropping in from the top.

Finally 19th of March everything worked out and with the Swiss-Finnish team we managed to ski this beautiful line in good conditions without any rappels. Skiing the line as South-North loop definitely added some extra spice to the adventure. We had a fresh picture of the whole line taken by Nico the day before, but still route finding wasn't always that obvious. What a cool adventure! Merci Niko, Ilir and Mikko!

Puzzle of the day - Forteresse N-Couloir ©Nico Trombert

Spending the night @ Refuge Salanfe
Cosy evening with Mikko
After good night of sleep slow starts towards Dents du Midi

Climbing up the Couloir Delez between Forteresse and Cath├ędrale

@Couloir Delez

Mikko warming up on Couloir Delez

Warming up while waiting the Swiss team to arrive

Ilir and Nico completed the team

Ilir on the top section with some really nice snow

First gentle turns by Mikko

First traverse after the top section

Linking one couloir after another

I would call this the "Demi-Lune of the Forteresse.  

Nico finding the way

Ilir on the "big" snow field
Couloir after the snow field

Last delicate section
I think our line went something like this.. 

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