The first crew released a big slab near the top which provided a clear indication of snow (in)stability. Julien Regnier, Bruno Compagnet and Camille Jaccoux – founders of Black Crows skis – along with guide Fanfan Thevenet were next.
At over 25 minutes long, Julien’s video is one of the most complete portrayals of this Chamonix testpiece you’ll find. As such, it’s the closest to skiing it that those of us who lack the massive brass cojones to drop in will ever find.
In the text that accompanies the vid, Julien explains, “This video is not intended to be watched in one go. You can if you want to but don’t feel bad about scrubbing through it and starting and stopping wherever your heart tells you.”
But thanks to Julien’s edit and outstanding soundtrack I strongly recommend that you refrain from clicking this link unless you have a solid hour on your hands to watch the full tamale. Twice. It’s that good.
Voie Mallory, Aiguille du Midi (TD+, 5.3, 50-55˚ pass. 58˚, 500m). First descent 22 May 1977 – Anselme Baud, Daniel Chauchefoin and Yves Détry.
Snowboarder Luca Pandolfi was also there that day and was caught in an avalanche in the Pain de Rideau section. Fortunately he began to tomahawk [it’s not often you get to use the words ‘fortunately’ and ‘tomahawk’ in the same sentence] which released his board from the slab enabling him to stop a few meters short of the abyss. Read his account of the day and watch the POV here.