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Les Drus observing Les Drus and the Triple Couloir he descended with Laurent Bibollet
Photo by Julien Herry, Laurent Bibollet
Laurent Bibollet snowboarding down the Triple Couloir on Les Drus
Photo by Julien Herry, Laurent Bibollet
Julien Herry snowboarding down the Triple Couloir on Les Drus
Photo by Julien Herry, Laurent Bibollet
Les Drus and the line of Triple Couloir descended by Julien Herry and Laurent Bibollet on 22/01/2019
Photo by Julien Herry, Laurent Bibollet

Les Drus: Triple Couloir tracked by Julien Herry, Laurent Bibollet

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French alpinists Julien Herry and Laurent Bibollet have scored the first descent of the Triple couloir on the West Face of Les Drus in the Mont Blanc massif. The two descended on snowboard.

Last week French alpinists Julien Herry and Laurent Bibollet discovered a new line down the west face of their backyard mountain, Aiguille du Dru above Chamonix in the Mont Blanc massif. 32-year-old mountain guide Herry is one of the leading snowboarders of his generation and he had identified the line a few years back but never attempted it due to its west-west-facing exposure and the fact that linking the couloirs represented stepping into the unknown.

Last Tuesday the two set off for a reccie and discovered excellent snow conditions. During the ascent the exiting ramp of the first couloir was two dry and forced them to climb two 30 meter pitches across "mellow but a bit exposed mixed terrain." The second couloir proved more simple and the third, directly below the imposing West Face, provide easier than expected.

Herry explained "Our little pass/summit around 3100m offered the best view I ever had on that huge West face! Sun was too long to come out so we rode the top couloir in the shade on firm snow and then enjoyed the rest of the run with sun and pow! An hour later we were switching headlamps on for the last powder turns in the forest on our way back to my home... Definitely one the most beautiful lines I had the chance to ride in my backyard!"

The line has been dubbed Triple Couloir, starts at 3100m, finishes at 2500m and consequently provides a 600m descent in the heart of the Drus, 40° average, 50° max, two M2/M3 mixed pitches during the climb and two 30m abseils during the descent. The first 100m in the lowest couloir are shared with L'allumette (Vivian Bruchez), while Couloir à Jess is located slightly to the right.

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22/01/2019 Flammes de Pierre «Triple couloir» 600m 2x30m rappel First descent with Laurent Bibollet I first saw this line a few years ago but never gave it a try, too scared to find icy snow due to its West orientation. The 2 parts linking the 3 couloirs together were still full of unknown as well! On Tuesday we decided to go and have a look, at least to understand the line better. Snow was much better than expected but the exit ramp of the 1st couloir was too dry so we had to climb 2x30m of mellow but a bit exposed mixte terrain... The second couloir was ours then, we just had to climb in between snow accumulations. Luckily the access to the 3rd couloir was much easier than hoped and climbing that last bit toward Les Drus was amazing. Our little pass/summit around 3100m offered the best view I ever had on that huge West face! Sun was too long to come out so we rode the top couloir in the shade on firm snow and then enjoyed the rest of the run with sun and pow! An hour later we were switching headlamps on for the last powder turns in the forest on our way back to my home... Definitely one the most beautiful lines I had the chance to ride in my backyard! @powfrance #protectourwinters #protectourplayground #becreative

A post shared by Julien Herry (@picaherry) on

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