Chamonix: First snowboard descent of the Brèche des Droites


Saturday 7th April 2018, Manu Gross (35) and Olivier Favre (37), and the Chamoniard freerider Jean-Baptiste Charlet (40) crossed for the first time in snowboarding the Brèche des Droite, a couloir located in the Mont-Blanc massif.

La Brèche des Droite, couloir located in the Mont-Blanc massif. Photo source:
Chamonix: First snowboard descent of the Brèche des Droites. Photo source:

According to 24heures the photos made by those three adventurers are startling! Manu Gross, Olivier Favre alias "Milon" and Jean-Baptiste Charlet alias "Bab’s" have enjoyed a view that few have had the opportunity to admire.

The two freeriders and their chamoniard friend are not the first to climb the steep slopes of Les Droites, in the Mont-Blanc massif. Opened in 1876 already, they are rarely skied downhill.

La Brèche des Droites

La Brèche des Droite, impressive couloir whose inclination varies between 45 degrees and 55 degrees.

"We are a priori the first, corrects Manu Gross, because it is always difficult to be categorical in Chamonix. This region is a vast mountain laboratory, and the level is very high. "

A "great opportunity" to ride the Brèche des Droites

Friday 6th April 2018, the trio left the station in "splitboard" (separable board designed for the climbing with seal skins) to engage in the Talèfre basin. A night of rest at the Couvercle Refuge, at 2,700m above sea level, and the trip was resumed on Saturday morning, at 4am.

"A difficult start of the day," said Manu Gross: "Moving during night on a glacier takes time and attention."

Around 7am, the team took out ropes, ice axes and crampons to do the ascent (4,000m altitude).

Milon told "On the last section, we encountered a brittle snow, difficult to climb. We arrived a few meters from the top of la brèche, but, given the time, we preferred to go down, not to take risks.

«Nous ne sommes pas des têtes brûlées! Nous avons une longue expérience, nous nous entraînons. Et sur le terrain nous réfléchissons, discutons... Et nous renonçons en cas de doute. Dans nos sacs, nous emportons du matériel qui nous permet de faire face à de nombreux scénarios. Si nous avions dû redescendre à pied, nous l’aurions fait» a-t-il ajouté.

"We are not burned heads! We have a long experience, we train. And in the field we reflect, discuss... And we give up in case of doubt. In our bags, we carry equipment that allows us to cope with many scenarios. If we had to go down walking, we would have done it," he added.

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