skiers ready to ski couloir

Skiing The Bec Rouge Couloir

I have spent the last eight years wanting to ski the Bec Rouge couloir, and could hardly contain my excitement when we set off at 6am! The
conditions were epic with blue skies as far as you can see, a foot of fresh snow and temperatures set to stay at -10°C all morning.

Halfway through the two hour climb we had the privilege of meeting Marcel Gaidet; who ended up joining us for the remainder of the tour. Marcel’s son Manu was a three times World Freeride Champion. The wealth of knowledge that Marcel has of these mountains was phenomenal and I learnt so much in the remainder of the day.

two skiers
Marcel Gaidet (left) a true inspiration.

Marcel is 67 this year and has had a hip replacement; however he still put in the first track near enough all the way to the top – his level of fitness was truly awe inspiring. To put it in to perspective he averages 50,000 vertical metres of climbing a winter compared to my usual of 10,000. To be around Marcel for the day was amazing. He is just out there doing it and enjoying himself; I can only hope that I am still skiing lines like this when I am in my sixties.

“You have waited so long for all the elements to come together there is so much that goes into it.”

After eight years of waiting the couloir couldn’t of had better snow conditions. It is hard to put into words what it feels like on days like this; you have waited so long for all the elements to come together there is so much that goes into it. It is probably the one side
of the sport that I feel as a whole people don’t appreciate. You have to be so patient, nature dictates the small windows of opportunity you have to ski these lines.

So when you get the chance, you are almost over whelmed. It is just incredible that so many variables can fall into place and that is what makes it so special, I just hope I don’t have to wait another eight years to do it gain!

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