Fredi, the guardian of the refuge Promontoire was somewhat surprised to see a couple of guys hauling snowboards last Wednesday. We’re going to do the Carré under la Meije, one of the guys told him with an accent with distinct American twang.
The Carré is an apron of snow, tilted at 45 degrees, that sits under la Meije in the Ecrins Massif. The only problem, to get to it you have some serious climbing.
Which is probably why it has only been attempted once before, back on the 31 July 2004, this time on skis, by one Colin Samuels, an American freerider based out of la Grave. In the snowboarder was the same Colin Samuels, back for another pop, this time in the company of Michel Monvoisin.
The summit of the Grand Pic reached, the pair bivouaced traversed the Arêtes next day for the descent.
It has been a cool, damp summer in the Alps which means lots of snow at altitude.
All that remained was to not miss the end of the glacier (you fall, you die) and abseil back down.
Thanks to Colin for the photos and report.