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The incredible couloirs of la Grave involve exhilarating, committing, and technical skiing
The high mountain ski area of la Grave-la Meije is a huge playground with endless options, some of which include epic descents of 2400 meters (7,800ft). These routes start from the Dôme de la Lauze at an elevation of nearly 3600 meters (11,500ft), at the top of the Girose glacier. These legendary couloirs are quite committing, and require a good level of skiing. Some of the lines require a rappel, but your guide will take care of that for you. The Fréaux couloir is the most easily accessible: it can be reached skiing down from the Chancel mountain hut below the Puy Vachier lake. The first part is steep and narrow, and then we are able to enjoy a long vertical descent in a beautiful couloir, eventually reaching a larch forest, ending in the village of Les Fréaux by the Romanche river. Another famous route is the descent of la Voûte, starting from the Girose glacier. The first part is the gentle open slope of the glacier, then it becomes steeper and shares the same upper route as Orcière de Droite. We turn left to exit Orcière to reach a rappel which is the entrance of the couloir, in a stunning environment of huge cliffs. Located next to la Voûte are the Chirouze couloirs, there are three of them: Chirouze left, center and right. All of which are a skier's dream, with close to 2400 meters (7800ft) of vertical descent. The first part is common to the three: the slope is first moderate on the upper part of the glacier, then it becomes steeper and we eventually ski down through a maze of rocks and cliffs, making these routes relatively difficult to find. All these couloirs are north-oriented, which helps maintain excellent snow quality. A ski experience of a lifetime!