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Francesca

I have been thinking about this couloir for months, often annoying Federico, trying to talk him into joining me to descend it. The first attempt, one month ago, went bad because of the weather; then i tried again yesterday, alone, but it was really warm and I had problems with my new boots so I had to abandon...

Today, finally, with the full BdD Crew we completed this super descent.

Skinning up to Francesca was quite a journey: we reached the Quintino Sella refuge after 3 hours, climbing an aesthetic ridge facing Lyskamm’s massive and its glacier.

At the refuge we waited few minutes for the sky to clear and to eat something too, then we started skiing towards the couloir.

I studied the line well, so I was sure about where catching the small traverse to enter the couloir without having too much troubles rappelling. The very first part was really steep (50°), narrow and dry... Not much snow covered the rocks, and there was an old rotten layer of ice and sand which was really slippery and dangerous with this steepness.

Thanks to some clouds, in the morning the couloir didn’t take too much heat so the snow was still great, a little bit too wet only at the bottom.

The first curves were pretty amazing; without fear, turning above the first big cliff, knee drifting the snow and edges biting the ice.

First section done, the couloir became wider and less steep; the snow was still great so it was natural signing superG turns till the bottom where ought to a gigantic avalanche we had to ski on a little sheet not destroyed by the big serac that came down.

The traverse to Gressoney was the “dry skiing” part. Not much snow resisted south exposed so we had to ski some grass and cross few creeks to earn our way back; but it was totally worth it.

Couloir Francesca

Descent difficulty: 4.1 E3

Steepness 50° then 45*

Vertical drop: 900m the couloir then 1000m to Stafal

Top: 3600m

Snow conditions: firn then wet snow

The ridge to Quintino Sella

Falling is not allowed

Traversing the glacier

Time to ski! The tiny little entrance

Federico the “blond warrior” goin’ steep!

Fil better than AF

Almost too easy for Cami

Spring time!! Matt docet

Fil teaching dry ski lessons

BdP

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