With the weather getting a lot warmer here in Tignes, Paul and I were thinking we had to go high and north facing, this left one face on our minds, the Face nord de Pramecou. After skiing the first rope-in couloir last week we knew that the snow was good and stable, after going out on Tuesday we knew that the next day we had to go for it again, so the plan was hatched. We would look at all the lines on the face and see if we could ski them all.
The first day we decided to go for the skiers right, the main face. There were two lines on here that we did the main face that basically follows the fall line, then second time round we went a bit further skiers right and skied a section a bit further over. Both are around the same steepness, the snow was soft and shin deep all the way down. There was a bit of slough but nothing that wasn’t manageable. Skinning up the first time round was tough putting in the skinning track with about 20-30cm of snow to plod through.
After two amazing runs with only our tracks on the face, we made the call to go for it again the next day. But opted for the lines further skiers left, the first rope-in couloir, which we had skied last week but then also the Y couloir, a line which I had never skied before and Paul had only skied 2 years ago.
Both lines for the next day required abseiling in, so skinning up with a rope/harness and all the other kit was tough even with the skinning track from the day before.
For the first line we decided to go for the first rope-in as this was more likely to get skied than the Y couloir and we wanted to try and get first tracks down both of them.
It was quick to get set up as we knew where the anchor was and we decided to leave the rope in place and collect it on the way to the Y couloir, this saved faffing around coiling it on the face and also skinning back up with it.
The snow was in good condition, slightly softer than the last time we had skied it and there was even less slough than the main face the day before. After getting to the bottom of the face it was a short boot pack to get back to our tracks from the day before.
Next up was the Y couloir, a line that doesn’t get skied too often, mainly because of the abseil entry and a small but mandatory air at the bottom. After having taken plenty of photos from the bottom, we were standing on top trying to find the entrance to the face, nearly all entry points are covered by big cornices that neither of us wanted to try and abseil over.
We found a good entry point but no anchor point, so while I was setting up a new anchor, Paul was clearing a section of cornice so we could get into the face.
Abseiling under the big cornice and then having to stay there to coil the rope was a little unnerving, I was quite relieved when it was all away and I was in a safe spot.
We decided to ski the line in 2 sections as opposed to charging down it, overall the snow was good, a little firm in places but still easily skiable. Airing over the small rocks at the bottom was much easier than I first thought as the slough had pretty much filled it in and it was just a small gap to straight line through.
Overall it was a great 2 days, skiing some good snow on an interesting mountain face, abseiling into the face makes the lines even more thrilling.
I have made a short movie but looking back I think I can ski the lines faster and more fluid, but felt I had to make something out of the footage after such a great adventure!