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Cairn colouir

About Run
  • La Plagne, France
  • By Lift + Hiking
  • 2h 0min

  • From the chair you can follow the contour of the slope to the North West ridge of the Bellecôte, there is normally a cornice, from here you can descend the ridge to ski the North Face of the Bellecôte. The slope is around 35 degrees at the top. Higher up is the Canadiens couloir, used in freeride competitions, the angle is a steep 45 degrees at the entry. Finally there is the Couloir du Cairn, about 30 minutes scramble up the ridge (crampons are strongly recommended) this couloir exits onto cliffs and skiers usually traverse left to the Canadiens.

  • The Cairn Couloir is one of more popular lines on the main Bellecôte North Face. It is steep and serious, with a narrow section near the top, and particular care required to pick a safe line through the small cliffs that criss-cross the bottom of the face. Start at a large cairn just above a flattish point on the ridge, before the La Combe piste zigzags back left into the bowl. Follow the couloir steeply (40-45°) for the first 300 metres, until the couloir widens and the slope eases a little. Either continue straight down, avoiding numerous small cliffs, or traverse carefully left to join the wide lower part of the Canadian Couloir to the bottom of the steep part of the face. Bear rightwards in the bowl below to outflank the steep ground below, and then join the main gully bed Down.

  • This is serious skiing so act likewise
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