It was steeper, but not otherworldly steeper. Just a smidge more than the steepest shot on the fronnt of Challenger. It was steep enough that you got a little of that weightless feeling in the middle, evenn without an up move to start the turn.So did it feel steep, Mike? How did it compare to some of the other stuff we did?
The skiing wasn't really technically challenging. The snow was soft and grippy, but not deep enough to make it hard to start the next turn. There were no abrupt changes in pitch, narrow spots, or ledges.
(Ironically, the apron at the bottom where it started to level out was more difficult to ski... lumpier and less uniform.)
My problems were fear and uncertainty. Fear because, well, it was scary. The low-contrast view as we came around the corner to the entrance looked steep as hell.
Uncertainty because I literally could not see the snow where the next turn would end. I could not tell if the next turn was going to wind up 3, 5 or 10 feet lower than the last. But I had seen enough videos online that I had a general idea how the run went.
Most of the way was one run (edit: one turn) and stop, but I did get brave and link several turns in a row a few times.
To enter, you go through a gate and down a surprisingly long, steep, and firm traverse around the corner. At the end, there was a small sheet of ice at the corner and I'm thinking "Uh-oh"... But it was just that one spot. Once we got around the snow was very nice.
The entrance from the approach to the Couloir itself is just a typical side-entrance traverse into a gulley. The problem was I couldn't see it. I think I side stepped down a few more feet beyond the spot in the "contemplating" photo before dropping in. It looked to me like the drop might be bigger at the bottom of that range of options.
I tapped my pole over the edge and confirmed the entrance started vertical. But I couldn't tell if it was 1, 3, or more feet. (I think it was only about 2 feet, based on how quickly it was over.) You traverse across to the belly of the gulley. After that, the first turn was a bear.
Again, I was very glad I had watched several descents on video.
By the way, @Unpiste and I skied the rest of the day after the Big (till last chair, of course) with @KingGrump, a reduced-size posse, and @SkiDB on Challenger, repeatedly doing the face to skier's right of the chair to a tree chute (with a debris-filled choke). (I never did manage to get through the choke elegantly.)