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Decent Exposure: The Ferdenrothorn

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If Chamonix guide and mountaineer Rémy Lécluse lost an edge on the Ferdenrothorn, he could have slid over a 170-foot cliff. The French would describe…

If Chamonix guide and mountaineer Rémy Lécluse lost an edge on the Ferdenrothorn, he could have slid over a 170-foot cliff. The French would describe this as “la merde hitting le fan.”
PHOTO: John Norris

“My first instinct was to jump in,” says Lécluse, seen here just below the 10,433-foot summit. “But I noticed a slab, so I sideslipped into the couloir entrance.”
PHOTO: John Norris

Lécluse's ski cut a slab of snow, setting off this avalanche, which ran down for the entire face. For the rest of the descent, he enjoyed wind-blown…

Lécluse’s ski cut a slab of snow, setting off this avalanche, which ran down for the entire face. For the rest of the descent, he enjoyed wind-blown powder to his right and creamy corn snow to his left.
PHOTO: John Norris

Three quarters of the way into the run, Lécluse had to rappel down this 115-foot cliff. He set three pistons as protection, but the semi-brittle…

Three quarters of the way into the run, Lécluse had to rappel down this 115-foot cliff. He set three pistons as protection, but the semi-brittle limestone threatened to break loose at any second.
PHOTO: John Norris

The melting snow loosened rocks, which tumbled around the ski mountaineer. Two weeks after his descent, Lécluse returned to the scene. There was no…

The melting snow loosened rocks, which tumbled around the ski mountaineer. Two weeks after his descent, Lécluse returned to the scene. There was no snow on the bottom of the mountain, and the line was unskiable.
PHOTO: John Norris