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Coveting Couloirs

February 17th, 2011

© Kim Havell

by Kim Havell

Wikipedia defines Couloir (from the French word meaning “passage” or “corridor,”) as a narrow gully with a steep gradient in mountainous terrain. A couloir may be a seam, scar, or fissure, or vertical crevasse in an otherwise solid mountain mass… Often hemmed-in by sheer cliff walls.

There is something really special about skiing a couloir.

It’s the general nature of these formations that seems to appeal to backcountry skiers. Like the perfect barrel is to a big wave surfer, so is the pure, aesthetic line of a couloir to the backcountry skier.

Due to their location in bigger mountains, couloirs often require travel into more remote areas, with less people, surrounded by stunning views. Then, there’s the skiing itself. Couloirs often hold more snow and are more protected from the wind and other elements thereby making them ideal options for fresh, untracked powder conditions.

Read the rest of Kim’s post over on Outside TV’s blog

A blog in conjunction with Outside TV.

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