For the penultimate episode of ChamLines Aurelien Ducroz is joined by the legendary Italian skier Giulia Monego, winner of Verbier Xtreme in 2006. We profiled Guila a couple of years ago skiing some big lines at la Grave. This is the first Cham'Lines featuring a woman. Together with high mountain guide Brice Bouillanne they are heading for the south-west facing couloir off the Col du Diable.
The conditions on the day were spring like, hence the choise of south-west facing slope. Aurelien recounts the adventure:
"We left in the first cable car to reach the Aiguille du Midi peak, then went through the start of the Vallée Blanche before ascending beneath the Tour Ronde to reach Maudite valley. We got to the bottom of the couloir after an hour and a half of ascent. It took another hour and a half to reach the summit of the trail. Though we were anxious for the thrills promised by this gorgeous 500m couloir, we played it safe and waited more than an hour for the snow to soften up for optimal conditions. Unfortunately, the north wind blowing at the summit kept the sun from doing its thing at the top of the couloir. This didn't seem to trouble Giulia, who took off like it was nothing, down a 50 – 55° slope on hard snow! We continued our descent in this big, wide couloir, with a slope that held steady and snow that got softer along the way. At the end of the trail, we used the rope we had tied when climbing to bypass the schrund before reaching the Vallée Blanche. We'd made it back!"