Aiguilles Rouges Skitour
Aiguille de Praz Torrent : Brèche de Praz Torrent, north-east couloir
AD, 4.3, E2, (45° 200m, 35-40° 500m)
A beautiful yet rather unpopular couloir in the Aiguilles Rouges range. A perfect option if everything else is already tracked and snow/weather is too bad on the other side of the valley. Caution: There is a more difficult couloir (Col de Mesure) right above this one, which requires several rappels without any in-situ anchors!
It is a good idea to bring extra equipment (rope, harness, slings etc.) also on this tour, as the exit to the Bérard Valley can be tricky (as it was in our case: icy slopes, rock ledge). Using bushes / trees as anchor. The icy 35° were much more difficult to ski than the powder filled 45° botttleneck. According to literature also the first 50m can be very difficult to ski (rocky, narrow) or even require a rappel (which wasn’t a problem when we skied it)
The plan for the day was to ski the fast accessible N- couloir of the Aiguille de l’Encrenaz, but when we neared the Lac Blanc area, we could see that there were already tracks going up to the entry. Andi, who had to work in the afternoon, then came up with the idea of doing this alternative route. Normally it is more likely to get struck by lightning on a bluebird day than to find this couloir already tracked. When we saw 3 people in front of us climbing up the south couloir, we couldn’t do anything about it but to accept it. With more time and motivation everything else on Aiguille de Mesure would have looked really inviting too.