Aiguille des Pelerins Voie Normale
On 14/02/13 Julien Herry, Luca Rolli and Davide Capozzi ascended and then skied and snowboarded down the Voie Normale on Aiguille des Pelerins. A descent - the first recorded ski and snowboard descent - which is highly particular and unlikely to be repeated soon without exceptional snow conditions such as those found this year, as Capozzi explains in his report.
Voie Normale up the Aiguille des Pelerins... with skis and snowboard, this route certainly has nothing normal about it. Julien pointed this line out to me last year while descending down the Col des Pélerins SW couloir, a line normally used as a descent by alpinists when there is little snow. Our idea was to try and ski it, but finding the right conditions is not easy.
This year the abundant snowfalls resulted in excellent snowpack along the entire route. The line is steep and the exposure is impressive. Skiing it with all this snow was a risk, but these were also the ideal conditions for snowboarding.
The ascent turned out to be agonisingly tiring, with thigh-deep powder snow slowing progress. Luckily the weather held as promised, clouds rolled over in the early morning stopping the sun from warming the slopes. The descent is 500m long, angled 45°/50° with an even steeper start, plus two 20m abseils to overcome two short mixed sections. Today Julien Herry and I snowboarded it, while Luca Rolli skied it.
Davide Capozzi, Courmayeur, 14/02/2013