Monthly Archives: February 2010

Chamonix Guiding Snow Report – 24 February

Our buddy Seb Montaz from ChamonixGuiding.com deserted us this week to go powder hunting down south near Briançon. But that didn’t keep him from giving a great evaluation of the snow pack here in Chamonix as conditions slowly begin to change from winter to spring.

ChamonixInsider.com Snow Forecast Compendium

Racers Ready: The North Face Ski Challenge and Flying Kilometre

One of those new-school freestyley maneuvers that will sure to be on display this weekend at The North Face Ski Challenge

For those of you whose competitive juices have been set to overflow by the nightly Olympics events, The North Face Ski Challenge will be in Chamonix with a qualifying stage. The TNF Ski Challenge is a freeride qualifying tour for rippers born between 1989 and 1997. Contestants compete in big mountain freeride, park and pipe. (Halfpipe?! In Chamonix???). Qualifiers will compete in the finals in Val Thorens on March 26-28 where a grand prize sponsorship scholarship will be awarded to the best of the best by The North Face and Atomic.

Qualifying events are free to enter and prospective competitors should go to http://www.thenorthfaceskichallenge.com to download the application. Competitors will need to have their parents or coach sign the form and bring it to the event site at Grands Montets along with proof of ski insurance and their own lift pass. Each event is limited to 75 competitors so be sure to get there early.

The Flying Kilometre Ski Race

Pull your racing socks on. It's time for the Flying Kilometre.

Also of note for those wishing to match their skills against the clock is the Flying Kilometre ski race being organized by the Chamonix Angels women’s hockey team (who we all know would thoroughly kick the Candian team’s booty if given the chance). The race will be held this Saturday and Sunday on the Chavanne piste at La Flégère between 10:00 and 15:00.

Entry is a mere €2, can be bought at the event and is open to all skiers and snowboarders regardless of age or choice of ski wear. Prizes include skis, ski holidays, tandem parapente jumps, restaurant vouchers and sports gear.

My Work Is Better Than Your Vacation by Dan Milner

Clear  your calendars ladies and gents because the winter edition of the bi-annual Dan Milner heckle-fest is coming to Le Vert Hotel on Sunday night, February 28 at 8pm.

This edition will feature what are sure to be some amazing images from Dan’s recent Alaska splitboard mission with a crew of young, up-and-coming riders hoping to make it big and one day be able to afford heli time.

And as if that’s not enough to get you off the couch of a Sunday evening, Le Vert will be serving up one of their grandioso, three-course Sunday roasts starting at 18:00, which is sure to pack the house. It’s all sounding like quite the night out with dinner and the show and all so if you want to ensure your place at a very popular dinner table you best make reservation early (tel. 04 50 53 13 58).

The slide show is gratuit and the three-course Sunday roast is a real bargain at only €19. No word yet on how Dan is going to work in a photo of perennial crowd-favorite Angie Wardle, but if he wants to keep things civil he better figure out a way.

Chamonix Guiding Snow Report – 18 February

Chamonix ski guide Seb Montaz is back with his weekly report and a bunch of images that make me really wish I’d been with him on this particular day. Does this guy ever ride anything but powder? Well done, Seb!

ChamonixInsider.com Snow Forecast Compendium

Pico’s Pics – Glacier Rond Avy

all photos: Pico

Went up the Midi after that last big dump and had waist-deep first tracks down the Grands Enver du Plan. Dangerous Dave and a couple of the boys were in the same bin and turned right towards the Cosmiques. Round about the same time, back on the valley floor Pico was out shoveling snow, heard a huge roar, and turned to snap these images of a massive chunk of the Glacier Rond calving off and obliterating the exit traverse of the Cosmiques and Rond.

I saw Dangerous in the supermarket a few days later so to answer your question, no, he and the crew are not buried beneath tons of snow and ice somewhere below the Rond. That 1000 watt smile of his seemed to have increased a watt or two.

So Not the Men’s Olympic Halfpipe Competition: Yes. Now Board 2010

Embarrassed to admit it but I missed the boardercross and because I don’t want to wait up until three in the morning it looks like I’m gonna miss the men’s Olympic stunt ditch as well. Darn the luck.

But hey, speaking of snowboarding, here’s a little video of the real deal – no uniforms, no clocks, no judges and no rules. All this and the first video I’ve seen in a long time without a single handrail in it. YES!

And thanks to alert reader, Fredrik Ericsson, here’s where you can catch the replay of the Olympic Men’s U-flume final including Shawn’s now famous final double McTomahawk. Holy smokes, that kid rips. As a special bonus you get brilliant ‘expert’ commentary to the tune of, “Is Shaun really wearing jeans?!”

Lovin’ it.

And for commentary that’s even better than the video check out Tom Copsey’s blow-by-blow description from the wee hours of the European morning at the Onboard media center. Nice one, boys. Keep it coming.

Olympic Athlete Outrage!

Being a guy who’s not all that into contests I was kinda thinking I’d avoid an Olympics posting altogether. Unless of course one of the hometown heros was able to bring home a medal. ChamonixInsider is all about bigging up the homies, right?

Lindsey Vonn photographed by Warwick Saint in Whistler Blackcomb, BC, Canada. Skiwear by Ralph Lauren Global Warming collection.

Y’see I really prefer to think that sports like snowboarding – like surfing, skateboarding and climbing – are more about individual expression and personal growth than who can meet some panel of judges’ criteria of what’s good and what’s not. Of course, there are exceptions. Downhill skiing, for instance. In my mind that is without question the most amazing event at the Winter Olympics. But I mean really, how can you call a guy a loser because he was 2/100ths of a second slower than the next dude? I know, I know, the clock is the ultimate judge but seriously, 2/100s of a second? Whatever. I realize that with an attitude like this I’d be a lot better off taking my Birkenstocks and patchouli oil and posting a few telemark stories instead.

But for some reason that I’m going to find difficult to explain to my incredibly amazing and wonderful girlfriend, I found myself on the Sports Illustrated website, doing some … ahem … journalistic-type research on Olympic athletes and noticed a, shall we say, revealing exposé on Olympic skier, Lindsay Vonn. Of course I was shocked by this misogynistic objectification of women athletes. As we all know, these sports professionals should never be portrayed as beautiful or in the least bit sexy and I’m outraged to think that anyone (other than a semi-professional journalist working on a scathing denunciation of such chauvinist malfeasance) would admire the athletic feminine physique displayed in all 45 of Lindsey’s images and the video. Or the images of Olympic snowboarder Clair Bidez, for that matter. And the same goes for the shots of Brooklyn Decker who might not even ski at all for all we know and even if she does she’d probably wear those sporty sexy Gore-Tex Pro stretch pants and a slim silhouette softshell top that would cause all sorts of distractions, and we couldn’t have that now could we? Why, the Baptists will be up in arms! As we well know, all female athletes should adhere to the rules of Islam and cover themselves in loose clothing from head to toe at all times. If not … anarchy is sure to reign down upon our fully-clothed and God-fearing empire.

Clair Bidez photographed by Randall Grant in Whistler Blackcomb, BC, Canada. Lightweight, non-restrictive snowshredding attire by Swim Systems.

So let the record stand that ChamonixInsider.com does not buy into any kind of post-feminist BS whatsoever and heartily encourages all readers to NOT go to SportsIllustrated.com to see the rather fetching … ahem … I mean, scandalous photos of great athletes like Lindsey Vonn and Clair Bidez. And no Bar Rafaeli, either. Trust me, whatever you do, don’t go there.