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Aiguille de l’Amone NorthEast Face 01.05.2011

3584 m ; 100 m 50°, 600 m 45° ; NorthEast ; TD ; 5.2/ E4

The North East face of Aiguille de l’Amone is one of the most aesthetic lines I have ever seen.
It stands at the far left corner of the Argentiere basin in France and dominates the La Fouly valley in Switzerland, with its most famous neighbour being the Mont Dolent.
I had already attempted to ski it a month ago with my friend Cedric. We arrived from the Col Superieure de la Tour Noir but upon reaching the l’A Neuve hut we were quickly forced to change our plans once we had seen the really bad snow conditions on the face.
The dry winter in Chamonix was pushing us to search for lines further afield and so I was really motivated to give it another try before the Grands Montets lifts closed.
Most of the people skiing this line start from La Fouly village then hike and climb the 2000m of vertical difference or split it over two days sleeping at the refuge of l’ A Neuve.
We were looking for a shorter, faster and more original way to do it.
From the Argentiere basin there is a south west facing couloir that leads up to a saddle on the ridge and then onto the summit and we were wondering if it was doable that way

Here we are…again

Climbing the SW couloir of l’Amone

We went to have a look and quickly arrived at the col of the south west couloir.
Given the fact we didn’t know what was awaiting us, we pitched up the all ridge losing a bit of time; a running belay would have been much faster and I think this is definitely the way to do it in future

On the ridge, shortcut to the north face


The upper face of the line is exposed on 400m drop giving you a great feeling and completely focusing your mind, especially during the first turns at the top.
On the first fifty meters the snow was pretty hard then soon the face became less steep and we started to find better snow.
From the middle part of the upper face till the bergshrund the snow was great!

Upper part of the line

Ben Briggs scratching the surface

I rode diagonally to avoid the sluff catching me, I was feeling it, seeing it passing me on the side and dropping into void few meters below…what a feeling!

Playing with the sluff

The 400m drop is not so far…

Cedric Bernardini

After traversing left into the lower face (steep at the start) the tension quickly released allowing us to ride faster and much more relaxed

Second face

Making zigzags between the crevasses at the feet of the mountain, we rode down the valley on the slushy spring snow, taking off the skis and board 500m above the La Fouly village

Game Over

We walked down on the summer path and then through those magical forests that surround the lovely swiss village of La Fouly. Thankfully we had our well deserved beer waiting for us and our good friend Tom coming to pick us up

La Fouly’s Magic Forest

I really recommend this itinerary; thanks to the airy ridge it is much faster and less boring to reach

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