S as in Secret garden

The brothers Vivian and Kevin Gex, accompanied by their friend Alex Chabod, have unearthed a very beautiful gully in the Perris Blancs which is their back garden in Switzerland. Kevin gives us an account, illustrated by the two brothers’ photos.

A droite, les Perris Blancs, au centre gauche, le S distinctif.
On the right, the Perris Blancs with, left of the center, the distinctive S.
Kevin Gex

All mountain dwellers have a place in the mountains where they feel good, or where they can escape to when they are lacking ideas. Each winter, at the rhythm of their outings they can estimate the conditions in these mountains which they know almost as well as their own pockets.

For us, this place, is a spot called La Tourche, the name of a hut which is placed proudly like a throne, overlooking the Rhone valley, perched between the cantons of Valais and Vaud. To the south, are the Dents de Morcles, to the east the trio of Grand Muveran, Petit Muveran and Dent Favre, to the west, on the other side of the valley, the Dents du Midi and to the north there is a clear view of Lac Léman.

That Sunday, I found myself, almost as usual, with my brother Vivian the indefatigable Alex. The plan was to go and recce one of the gullies situated on the western face of the Perris Blancs. We hadn’t found any information, but from what we could see it looked good. This gully, we call the S.

Ambiance magique sur la vire aux bœufs
Magical ambiance on the vire aux bœufs.
Kevin Gex

We stuck on our skins at les Martinaux, beside a small ski lift which lazier mortals would use. Following, a good hour maintaining a steady pace we arrived at la Tourche where we decided to continue along the ridge to pass by the Vire aux Bœufs. It is not the most direct route, but it is certainly the most beautiful itinerary leading to the summits of the Perris Blanc. Skins were removed and we were able to glide to the summit of the gully. We were guided by a photograph taken from the hut, and bingo, directly, we tumbled on the gully.

The snow was excellent. The 15 centimetres of old snow which had fallen a month previously held really well. The conditions in the gully were optimal. Once inside, it was impossible to make a mistake. It is not too steep, it skis easily and the surroundings are grandiose. The slope must be around 40 – 45 degrees, maybe a little more on the counterscarps.

Kevin au début du couloir.
Kevin at the start of the couloir.
Vivian Gex We arrived 600 metres lower down, smiles on our faces, and everyone was in agreement, it was a good find. We couldn’t have wished for better conditions that day.

We put the skins back on to return to the La Tourche hut, then we plunged down to les Martinaux.

At a time where everything is available in one simple click, it is worth leaving the marked itineraries so as to have one’s own opinion about the conditions and inherent dangers of this sort of itinerary. The only limit is one’s own experience.

Articles associés

Gexnuflexions: pleasure report