What is a couloir?

What is a couloir? I have heard it used when talking about mountains, but I am unsure about what they are?

Thanks for the help in advance!

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  • 1 decade ago
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    A couloir is a formation of snow or ice, often only defined in winter, forming a breach in a cliff-face. Though often hemmed-in by sheer cliff walls, they may also be formed by the course of a stream or by trees.

    The physical features are popular with both skiers and climbers, requiring both stamina and skill, and are possibly fatal if either is lacking.

    A couloir is typically considered an off-piste trail and as such are not marked on ski piste maps. Some exceptions include the Grand Couloir in Courchevel, France which has historically variable classifications, but is now graded as a black run under French piste difficulty grading and Corbet's Couloir in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Another exception is the double black diamond run on Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada "Couloir Extreme" which is located inside the Whistler-Blackcomb resort boundaries and can be accessed via chairlift.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A steep, relatively narrow groove in a rock wall. Typically, couloirs are wider than "cracks" and smaller than "gullies," and are important as routes up the mountainside. They are either filled with snow or ice!

  • 1 decade ago

    Here's what my dictionary gave me:

    mountain gully: a broad mountain gully, especially one prone to avalanches

    Microsoft® Encarta® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

    My good ol' trusty dictionary.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A deep mountainside gorge or gully, especially in the Swiss Alps.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think of it as a narrow fissure or crevasse in a rock face that can fill with snow and is just about passable for the more adventurous skier. Its french for 'corridor'.

  • 1 decade ago

    its a formation of snow or ice, often only defined in winter, forming a breach in a cliff-face

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