Gervasutti Couloir – Mont Blanc du Tacul

People say that skiing steep descents, or ‘extreme skiing’ is a reckless sport. It says something for the calculated precision of the actors in this game that on the same afternoon there were four groups of two of us who headed up the Aiguille du Midi cable car planning on doing this one line the following day. Having carefully watched the conditions, assessed the danger, tested out similar aspect slopes, we all pegged the conditions as perfect on exactly the same day.

Paul and Ewan decided that 8 in the Gervasutti was too many so they headed off down to do something else. So that left 6 of us. It was a good atmosphere sitting on the terraces of the Aiguille du Midi lift station cooking up our nosh, and knocking back some wine and beer while watching the sun set over Geneva in the distance.

We all got up early in the morning and rather than head up the north face of the Tacul which is notorious for serac falls we all headed up the left hand side of the triangle, up the Contamine-Negri route. Which is itself a good ski at 350m of 50°.

The snow in the Gervasutti was perfect. There was a slight windlip which made the first few meters very steep, but then it was a pretty constant 50 all the way down. We all took it in turns leading sections and waiting in safe spots for the others to pass. It was a great feeling to tick off one of the great classics in the area.