Steeps expert Davide Capozzi, makes an incredible descent in the french Alpes, the Domenech Couloire at Aiguille Aigle in the Mont Blanc area. Here he is giving some insides about his passion and this beautiful line.
How did you get into riding steeps?
I started in 2002. After one month in Alaska, I felt like trying steep lines also in the Alps. My first descent was the Cervasutti Couloir of Tour Ronde at the Mont Blanc Massive, near Chamonix.
entry of the Domenech Couloire
What do you like most at steep descents?
I love to ride the beautiful lines of the mountains around me. It doesn´t matter if they are difficult or not. The important thing for me, is the natural beauty. The steepness of a descent is the consequence of a choosen “beauty”. A fast and steep line is a fascination, it`s like surfing a big wave.
What do you normally think while you ride a challenging steep line?
I am always very concentrated in what I am doing, even when everything goes smoothly and seems easy I try to keep as much concentration as possible. Mistakes are not allowed. Being concentrated helps me to avoid the fear.
About the Domenech descent:
Last year me and Julien Herry rode the wonderful main couloir next to Domenech. Back then I promised that I would return to ride the Domenech, which was skied for the first time by Pierre Tardivel and Tim Dobbins in June 2000.
This line is really narrow, and often not sufficiently covered by snow at the top. As far as we know there had not been a splitboard descent before.
overview Domenech Couloire
Me, Laurent Dupré and Christophe Marteau (all snowboarders) never thought that we would find this line in such incredible condition, and especially not as early as 24th of February. Only at the top, in the steepest part, we found some hidden ice, covered by a few centimeters of snow. The rest of the run was pure pleasure.
How was the climb?
The climb was physically and mentally very hard because there was a lot of snow, it has been important, very important choosing the safest line to avoid the risk of triggering an avalanche or slip down with the big amounts of snow. So we did choose the safest ascent possible!
What was the biggest challenge regarding the whole line?
I think it was the ascent and also to choose the right line at the right time. The amount of snow was really challenging and we had to climb really carefully not to crack the snowlayers or make the whole mass of snow going down with us. This I think was the most difficult thing riding the Domenech Culoire. Usually these descents are done with less snow or with spring snow.
pure pleasure at Domenech
Did you have any special feelings during the descent?
Hmm, when I`am lucky to find such deep powder in a challenging descents like the Domenech Couloire. I just think, "thank you" this is the best thing what can happen for a mission like that and at the same time it is the best you can wish for snowboarding.
What about the whole experience?
Actually it was a beautiful day spent with friends in the complete solitude that the basin Miage offers. I would also like to mention Pierre Morand and his son Arhur (16 years) who accompanied us, and then later also went down the same line with skis. For this descent I used the Furberg splitboard 162, a very unique board that under these conditions proved to be the perfect weapon for easy handling in the narrowest parts of the couloir, and still stable at speed. It’s amazing how versatile this board is in all types of snow conditions.We are not aware of previous snowboard descents of this line. Usually the few who have addressed the descent rode the main couloir, which is wider and more obvious.
the Furberg 162 Split
If you want to know more about Davide Capozzi, check out his blog, info and great pics. Blog Davide Capozzi
Pics: G. Azzalea / Capozzi
You can find our review about the Furberg Split right here.