Select Region

Shop in CAD & ship to Canada
Shop in USD & ship to US
Worldwide. No Shipping.

Sorry, no online shopping internationally. Find a local shop near you.

Trip Report : Y Couloir, Aiguille Argentiere by Liz Daley

Trip Reports / Seth Lightcap
4
Feb

No one I had talked to had been in the Argentiere Basin yet this winter so we didn’t know what conditions would be like. Dave Searle (local Chamonix bad-ass: www.davesearle.me, CHECK HIM OUT!) and I decided we’d go have a look in the Argentiere and check out the Y Couloir on the Aiguille d’Argentiere. If the Y looked good we’d shred it, if not we’d ride back down the Milieu Glacier that we planned to climb up. We had no idea it was about to be one of the most epic descents either of us had ever had!

JPEG - 242.3 kb

This is our route up the Milieu. It’s a bigger climb than I remembered, from the Argentiere Glacier to the top of the Aiguille d’Argentiere at 3877m.

JPEG - 360.9 kb

I took this picture from Luca Pandolfi’s website from when he shredded it two years ago. This ain’t no LCC Y…

JPEG - 202.7 kb

The view from down here never gets old.

JPEG - 218.4 kb

Dave Searle getting to the top of the headwall. “It feels like we’re climbing a 8000 m peak!” -Dave. Indeed, it did.

JPEG - 149 kb

Climbing down from the summit to get a look into the Y.

JPEG - 189.3 kb

After some hesitant, thoughtful banter about conditions and whatnot, we threw a couple boulders into the Y, and seeing nothing but powder explosions, we decided to drop in. It looked really steep, I was kind of scared.

JPEG - 262.4 kb

I carefully made my way down the steepest part at the top, making turns here and there.

JPEG - 164.1 kb

The pitch mellowed out a bit and got really enjoyable.

JPEG - 299.7 kb

Photo By Dave Searle.

JPEG - 223.1 kb

Photo By Dave Searle.

JPEG - 199.4 kb

Photo By Dave Searle.

JPEG - 174.2 kb

We thought the snow in the sun might be sun crusted as we approached it… but no. It was rip-able blower! But we keep in mind there is a 30m rappel at the bottom.

JPEG - 134 kb

After the rappel we shredded down the Amethyst Glacier and the mountains lit up in the sunset. The day didn’t come to an end until I skated across a slightly uphill, rolling glacier for an hour and a half. Dave Searle waited patiently giving nice words of encouragement. We finally got through the broken glacier to the Grandes Montets piste and shredded down 2,500 ft of soft piste in a total white-out fog, in the dark… Could’ve done without the fog fo sho.

Share Story

Author
Seth Lightcap
Category
Trip Reports
Published on
4 February 2013

More news about Trip Reports

18
May
Trip Reports - Videos
Until you’ve seen the Mont Blanc massif with your own eyes it is tough to comprehend either the scale or the sheer ridiculousness of the terrain. The towering summits above Chamonix are not only of near Himalayan proportions, but they look...
Julien ’Pica’ Herry - Luca Pandolfi
5
Apr
Trip Reports
The Aiguille de Tricot towers over one of the wildest and most beautiful corners of the Mont Blanc Massif in Chamonix. My friend Ben Briggs spotted an unridden 900m line on the SW face of the Aiguille de Tricot a couple years ago but at that...
Luca Pandolfi
20
Mar
Trip Reports
On March 11th Julien ’Pica’ Herry, Davide Capozzi, Lambert Galli and Denis Trento descended a new line on the Grande Rocheuse in the Mont Blanc massif. Read on for a report from Pica on this pioneering adventure including video footage from the...
Julien ’Pica’ Herry
4
Feb
Trip Reports
Snowed in at the Refugi Saboredo. Photo - Seth Lightcap Teeming with playfully textured terrain and home to some of the friendliest people on earth, the Spanish Pyrenees are an amazing destination for splitboarding. One of the crown jewels of...
Seth Lightcap
14
Dec
Trip Reports
You’d be hard pressed to meet a shredder who hasn’t seen the cult classic Hollywood surf flick Point Break. Released in 1991, the original Point Break told the story of a group of surfers turned masked bank robbers that were infiltrated by an...
28
Oct
Trip Reports
Enroute to paradise… Photo - Oleg Gritskevich The winter of 2014-15 started very dry in the Alps. It was the kind of situation that pushes you to book a flight and go searching for the white gold in the wildest location you can find. It helps...
Luca Pandolfi
14
Oct
Trip Reports
Jones ambassador Yuta Watanabe is no stranger to deep pow and big lines. He splits his winters between Whistler and Japan. Last May, Yuta visited Alaska for the first time. He and a small crew including Jundai Nakashio and Tempei Takeuchi, set...
Seth Lightcap
20
Aug
Trip Reports
The Zagros Mountains of Southern Iran Story and Photos by Luca Pandolfi The inspiration to go snowboarding in Iran came from my friend Matteo Calcamuggi. Matteo had been skiing in Northern Iran in 2014 and he asked me to go back with him the...
Seth Lightcap