Saturday 11th May, Sébastien Montaz and I skied the well known alpine route, the Kuffner ridge on Mont Maudit.
Starting from the brêche de l'Androsace (not possible from the summit as it would have required a 50 metre rappel) 100 metres of skiing down the south-east couloir on the Brenva side, then a climb up in crampons to the snowy ridge that forms the cornice on the Kuffner ridge. Descent via the normal climbing route, with one 60 metre rappel.
We believe that Jean Marc Boivin an Eric Bellin skied the south east couloir on the Brenva side, starting from the brêche de l'Androsace with a rappel.
The ski descent of the Kuffner climbing route is one of the most airy, exposed and committing routes I have skied - an aesthetic and technical route requiring ski and alpine skills.
Even without starting from the actual summit, 600 metres of ski descent on this mythical route normally ascended with crampons and ice axe, it's a breathtaking line between the maudit comb and the east face of Mont Blanc.
We left the Cosmiques refuge at 2am, climbing three quarters of the route at night. Not too easy to find your way in the dark! We got to the breche de l'Androsace with the first rays of sunshine at 6.30am. We started skiing at 7am and were back in Chamonix at 12. A beautiful day in the mountains.
It's hard to know if this constitutes a first descent if not, so if you have heard of anyone having skied the route before, let us know!