North Couloir p2766

Headed out to Ceillac again (it is getting to be my favourite spot) with Matt to ski a nice looking north facing couloir off an unnamed peak with a hight of 2766m marked on it. The weather was a bit variable with clouds and snow drifiting in an out all day.

In theory it should have been quite a quick and easy climb to get to the couloir. Rather than go straight up it, we went round the other side of the peak to skin up the south facing slopes where the snow would be a bit more compacted after a few days in the sun.

This might not have been the best idea as it turns out. We skinned up to 80m below the summit without any issue. Then it got a bit too steep for skinning so we started boot packing. This 80m took an hour an a half to get up. It started out ok, but a bit deep. But then as we got near the top and the snow got thinner, it became really weak sugary snow and we were up to our armpits in it. It really felt like swimming uphil through treacle. It was definitely worth it in the end, but we almost turned back. It was just the fact that by this point we could see the top about 20m away that stopped us giving up.

The summit ridge was quite spectactular in a steep corniced kind of way. It made the start of the couloir feel a bit intimidating, but once we had done a couple of turns it just became a great descent down a perfect couloir.

At the bottom as it opened out, the lack of rock around us meant that the light got very flat but the snow was just perfect so it didnt matter that much, just had to hope there wasnt a nasty bump hiding in the flat light ahead.

For only 350m of climbing this is a very good ‘easy access’ couloir (under normal cirumstances!)