Published on 03/03/2021
The Couloir Jaeger is the "smallest" of the legendary snow couloirs that characterize the east side of the Mont Blanc du Tacul, but despite being a few hundred meters shorter of its "bigger brothers" Diable and Gervasutti, Jaeger does not look bad for slopes and technical difficulties. A proof of that is the fact that its first ascent dates only 12th June 1964, many years after the first ascents of the other couloirs mentioned above.
Even its first descent in skis was the last in order of time and dates back to 1977, made by Jacky Bessat.
On the other hand, access to the canal is very comfortable: from Punta Helbronner, you pass the Flambeau col to ski down the first part of the mythical Vallée Blanche. At the Jonction, you go back with the skins for a few hundred meters towards its obvious bergschrund, located immediately to the right of the gigantic Couloir Gervasutti.
With good ski conditions, the ascent does not present particular technical difficulties, if not a narrow and a more steeper wall in the first part. Another narrow part is at the exit and often some small rocks block the passage, marking the point of arrival for the “pretenders” to the ski descent.
Last week Davide Capozzi and I have benefited from excellent snow conditions, managing to easily climb up to 4080 meters of the top of the Tacul's shoulder, from where once shovelled the entrance blocked by a cornice, we could start our descent.
After the first 80 meters, we opted to not take any risks in the bottleneck, rappelling down the few meters of little snow-covered rocks that despite the conditions, made the key passing delicate.
Even the first meters after this passage were rather complicated, as the sun works on the snow since early morning, compromising the skiing, but not to the point of having to remove the skis or use the rope again.
Once you use the due caution these sections, the rest of the canal has proved very pleasant to ski, also thanks to the fact that this winter can be exploited to enjoy both sides of the couloir, making the most of the quality of snow.
For technical data lovers, the channel is 650m long, with 50 ° constant slopes, with some short sections a little steeper.
a) Condor Poles: ideal compromise for snow slopes. During the ascent, it allows you to have a second tool to go with the Ghost ice axe, while during the descent you always have a balde available for difficult situations like traverses, skids and dry skiing.
b) Imbrago Mistral: light, comfortable and high-performance.
c) Duetto helmet: the lightest double certification helmet. With very little weight it protects your head both during climbing and skiing.
d) Raid Pro 25 backpack: great comfort and volume with very little weight. Veryo good for both skiing and carrying the skis.
f) Rappel kit: ideal solution also thanks to the Scream plate, the only one certified for 6-mm ropes, which are now commonly used in skiing.
- Skis: Movement Alp Track 85
- Bindings: ATK Trofeo
- Boots: Scarpa F1 LT
- Skins: Pomoca Race Pro
- Sunglasses: Salice 023
- Karpos clothing
- Shovel and probe: ATK Race
Denis Trento, born in 1982 in Aosta.He has been part of the Grivel Team since 2009. Alpine Guide passionate about mountain skiing, with a recent past in high level competitive ski mountaineering. Favorite products: Mistral harness, ice axe Ghost, ski tour, Scream kit.