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Punta Giordani - Canale Occidentale

Descent difficulty: 5.1 E3

Steepness 50/55°

Vertical drop: 800m

Top: 4046m

Snow conditions: Wet snow - Firn

After few days spent wondering what to do we decided to try this couloir on the South side of Punta Giordani. The first attempt was disastrous due to high wind, freezing temperatures and cloudy weather. Although we had fun skiing the black ice of the glacier on our way back to Indren.

Second attempt, two days after, weather was better: sunny, spring tempratures, zero wind. With David (the Boss) and Federico (the blond warrior, who followed us even if he was totally sick and feverish) we rushed to the top of Punta Giordani (4046m) before high temperature could become a problem to ski the couloir. Almost at the top Håkon and Mathias reached us willing to see the conditions of the couloir.

In order to enter this line we had to rappel down 20meters, we built an anchorage over some rocks, that due to the thermic excursion where starting to crumble. When it was my turn to do the rappel, the rock cracked and started to fall down. Luckily Håkon and Mathias realized what was happening and they throw themselves over the rock, trying to stop it. I heard them screaming and I just let myself off jumping the last 4 meters into the couloir, to cut off my weight from the rock, preventing it to crash on our heads... I had a lot of luck, if it was not for the two guys at the top I won’t be there now... And maybe neither Federico and David.


After this stunt Håkon and Mathias decided not to follow us and they went back.

Apart from this situation then the skiing part was great: nice snow, firn and a little bit of wet snow inside a 55 degrees couloir. We skied fast to avoid the heat and also to put the most space possible between the unstable rocks of the top. I had all my energies drained after the crazy rappel so i didn’t skied that good, but anyway it was another amazing day on Monte Rosa   

The infamous rappel

Fast light and steep

The second couloir at the bottom of the face


4000 meters over the Valsesia valley

Federico, sick but focused


Skiing as I was on the baby slope