Yesterday saw an abortive attempt on the classic NW Couloir on the Aiguille du Fruit. This classic 500m couloir is on the hidden West face of this peak but gives (apparently) 500m of 45-50 degree couloir action, with the snow almost permanently in the shade.
Myself and Al dropped over the South side of the Col du Fruit and traversed across to the base of the couloir and started booting up. We very quickly ran into 2 major problems, 1. the snow was almost waist deep, and only the best swim/crawl technique allowed any upward progress... 2. 10 'steps' up the slope there was a big 'wooomf' and a small crack appeared about 10 feet above me...
Never being ones to ignore a sign we promptly decided to put skis back on and get the h*ll out of there. The ski down gave some nice (if slightly nervous) turns down to the river.
The couloir is mostly hidden from view, trending rightwards below the main peak: