Puy Redon Couloirs

Ski-Areas > Massif Central > Puy de Dôme (63) > Monts d'Auvergne > Le Mont-Dore > Off Piste > Pur Redon Couloirs

After taking the cable car we skied down to the pas de l'âne drag, rode it to the top then climbed some 50 meters up to the ridge. From here we could look directly down the steep Mule Pass couloir before tracking along a narrow path towards the top of the val d'Enfer. We crossed some climbers, kitted out with hard hats, crampons, ice axes and all roped together. They were quite surprised to see a pair of skiers on their path. From the pass at the val d'Enfer we climbed on foot to the Puy Redon. The val d'Enfer is skiable from the col, you can also continue along the path to reach a large back bowl down to the val de Courre. Here there are slopes to suit every taste, from 35° upwards. You can ski almost round to the Capucin, taking one run after another on the east facing slopes. This is often where the best powder is to be found, but is also threatened by large cornices and the risk of slab avalanches. It is possible to ski down to the village of le Mont-Dore if the snow is there.

Couloir 'Y' on the face of the Puy Redon

Couloir 'Y' on the face of the Puy Redon

The Puy Redon is quite a pleasant little mountain, the classic route is the couloir 'Y', entered either from half way up the pass or from the summit itself. The entrance is probably around 45° and it funnels down to a narrower neck before opening out into the val d'Enfer. It is slightly easier than the Mule Pass but still requires a steady nerve. We tested the north-west Envers du Redon couloir on Sunday. The final route of the summit is an 'L' shaped couloir to the west. There is also the 50-55° couloir Collangettes, named after climber Denis Collangettes. It is reached from the north ridge of the Redon after an airy traverse.

overview of the puy redon couloirs

Overview of the Puy Redon couloirs

Back on the cable car our tracks, a series of '8's, were clearly visible. Some other skiers were grumbling about the 'loonies' they'd seen on this slope. I must admit I was quite pleased with the effect. I've often marvelled at some of the slopes that get skied in resort and wondered who the skiers were. And here were my tracks, like a giant bit of graffiti on the snow, being pondered by the other skiers.

David in the couloir 'Y'

David in the couloir 'Y'

Being somewhat superstitious we'd both decided to do only one more run. We were feeling good and felt tempted to go on but I'd sooner finish the day with a few skis down some blue slopes under the setting sun rather than pushing it on some epic. So we ended an excellent day on the câble. At the top I'd spoken to a couple of French skiers. They declined to follow us but on Monday I got an email message from one asking if it was me he'd seen in Mont-Dore. He'd remembered seeing a photo of me somewhere and recognised my skis and boots. I always consider myself an 'advanced intermediate' skier and was pleased to be described as the good skier we saw in the cabines by one of the locals.

It's over!  At the bottom of the couloir 'Y'

It's over! At the bottom of the couloir 'Y'

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