Couloir de Tourne and the Middle Finger

Amazing day yesterday with riding buddy and UK freeride legend Will Hughes. Managed to get 2 new lines that I have been eyeing up for a while. The first was the Couloir de Tourne (known locally as Alaska). It’s hard to hit this line with the right conditions as it has a southerly aspect and doesn’t always hold good snow. Everytime I’ve tried to ascend this peak I’ve always had to turn back as the hike up the chimney couloir round the back can cause problems. On Friday we managed to get up without too much trouble, although crampons would have made it a whole lot easier. The snow on the ride down was slightly wind affected but the lower you got and the further to the riders right, the more protected, softer and drier it became. I was so stoked to get a strong safe line down this couloir as it’s been my nemesis for several years and it stares me right in the face everytime I get off the palafour lift.

After Couloir du Tourne we stopped for a quick brew then decided to ride the middle finger. The “fingers” (Les Tuffs) are the imposing couloirs above the lake in Tignes. They’re are a number that are rideable but neither myself nor Will had descended the middle finger. This has a sketchy entrance as we found and a tight section in the middle. Was quite a technical descend for the first half of the couloir. Plenty of rock scratching at the top, Will got pushed down a bit on a big sluff slide which took the majority of the good snow and we had to slowly work our way down. As it started to open out towards the bottom, the snow and contours got really good – slash happy heaven. Below is a shot from the entrance and Will laying out his heels at the bottom. Man it was an epic friday morning – stoked!

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