The Joel Canale was the first coulior I choose to ski based mainly on it’s easy access from the Passo Pardi tram. The coulior directly faces you from the dock, so you can totally see what you are getting into. We Americans stick out like sore thumbs with out high-tech clothing and packs, and the ski guides approach with interest on our intentions. Interestingly enough, one of them is Francesco Tremolada, who wrote the guidebook Freeride in Dolomiti, a neccesity for ski alpinism in the Dolomites. We chat for a bit, I offer my hospitality and Francesco vows to visit Jackson because he read about a descent of the Grand Teton in Couloir Magazine.
We quickly click into our Dynafits and ski down wind scoured snow to a small building that sits above the main line back down to the tram. A quick side-step up and right, lend to a short boot pack to the first rise that indicates the entrance to the Joel. After a quick discussion about the shot, I hop in with excitement. I test the snow with a ski cut and a small pocket releases. It makes me think twice for only a second, cuz I know it is from isolated windloading.
We take turns skiing the Joel and the snow turns out to be pretty good, hidden from most of the wind further down. The snow pack is unfortunately thin, from a light season, many shark-fin rocks liter the open slopes below and we are forced to ‘think light’, tentatively gliding our way back towards towards the tram. I get my first ‘natural’ Dolomiti stonegrind, but I don’t have time to care…psyched to ski more of the same.