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Big First Ski Descent of Pouzenc’s West Face in France

Watch Paul Bonhomme's epic and technical first descent down icy slopes and rock steps

French climber and guide Paul Bonhomme has made the first ski descent of the west face of Mont Pouzenc in France. Conditions for big mountain lines have improved in the area thanks to recent overnight freezings.

On May 4, Bonhomme climbed the 2,898-mmetre peak in the Embrunais Range of the Hautes-Alpes, and then skied a line near his ascent. He started at 5:30 a.m. at Les Gendres at 1,573 metres, and reached the summit four hours later. He then spent over an hour making his way down by skiing and down-climbing some sections.

The mighty wall has a number of steep cliff bands that required careful route finding. Bonhomme said, “The snow and the face were complex and needed some really strong steep-skiing skills. Thinking about every turn, finding the way meters after meters was fascinating. This descent is the eighth of 10 in my project.”

Bonhomme named it La traversée des Anges (The Angels Traverse) and graded it 5.14 E4. He named it after the victims of a number of avalanches in the area over the past few weeks.

First Descent