Monthly Archives: January 2011

Andreas Fransson Claims Last Powder Line in Chamonix – Col de l’Aiguille Vert

Desperation drives Andreas Fransson to the last untracked powder line in the valley. Andreas is the tiny speck in the upper right hand corner. Photo: Bjarn Sahlén

Not content to take advantage of this seemingly endless low tide to hang out in the bars and drink himself into a stupor, local hellman Andreas Fransson thought he might stroll up the Col de l’Aiguille Verte for what is most definitely the last untracked line in the valley. On his understated yet adrenaline-fueled blog Andreas tells us,

…Col de l’Aiguille Verte is famous for being steep, but I was amazed at how much steeper the direct line was. Small, thin snow patches quickly led me to the top of the run, but I had a hard time understanding if it was going to be possible to ski slopes as steep as that. …

Man, what some people will do for a powder turn or two. Well played, Andreas. Read the full story at Andreas Fransson: Life From a Different Angle. And check out the video that Bjarn Sahlén shot.

1300 meters top to bottom with difficulties of 800 meters. Photo: Bjarn Sahlén

Powder Magazine Video Awards: Best Way to Make Skiers in Chamonix Burst Into Tears

Anybody in this valley remember what powder looks like? No? Well, the good folks over at Powder Magazine do and they’re here to rub your face in it with a little highlights reel from the 2011 Powder Video Awards. Thanks guys. Thanks a lot.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Check out to see more PVA highlight reels including Best POV and Most Manly Man Performance.

And if you haven’t already packed your ski bag, peed on the fire and pulled stakes to North America then for crying out loud keep doing that snow dance. Anybody got skis for a bonfire?

Snowboard Porn Smackdown: Klaustrophobiatch-erific

You wanna know what Klaustrophobiatch means? I’ll tell you what it means. It’s how you feel when one o’ them hoity-toity foreigners with their tight pants and perfectly casual hairdos comes up with a word you wished you’d have thought of and English ain’t even their first language!

And Carlos, I know you consider English to be a second language for me too (especially after reading the sentence above. Maybe I need to slow down on the Sarah Palin fail vids for awhile) but don’t change the subject.

Anyway, here’s the full download of the second and last video from Ducksjen. Yep, you read that right. Second and last. Alas, Ducksjen, we hardly knew ya but what we saw was truly inspiring. Here’s hoping this isn’t … oops, I mean ‘ain’t’ …  the last we’ll be seeing of the wildly talented Kasper Häggstrøm.

We love the PGHM. Yes we do.

Photo by David Rastouil / Climbing

If you’ve ever wondered about the heli traffic around Chamonix you absolutely must read this outstanding article about Chamonix’s PGHM written by Neil Brodie for Climbing Magazine.

In the fourteen years I’ve been in Chamonix I’ve only been pulled off once when my partner broke her leg on the East Face of the Aiguille du Moine. The crew that helped us out were so professional and efficient yet personable it made my head spin. These guys rock.

Shout out to Tom at for the heads up on this article.

Photo by Alexandre Buisse / Climbing

Seb Montaz’s Chamonix Snow Guide: Brévent Backcountry and Ludovic Genes Has Talent

Seb’s video report a little Brevent backcountry mission on 10 January. Seb reports 30cm of ‘perfectly light’ freshies at 2500m in the 48 hours leading up to this vid.Along for the ride were Mélanie Martinod and Clem Iribarnes. Lucky devils.

So is it just me sitting in front of this computer too long or is this edition particularly beautiful. Well done, Seb.

And since I’ve been a bit behind lately I’m going to take this opportunity to post  another of Seb’s I’ve Got Talent vids of Chamonix telemarker Ludovic Genes.

A friend of mine who shall remain anonymous just sent me sales figures from the past season showing that all categories of skiing and snowboarding are showing massive growth. The only category in decline? Telemark.

Well, my friends, there are some things that just can’t be reduced to numbers on a spread sheet and one of those things is the unparalleled grace and beauty of a well-executed telemark turn. I’m not saying its better or worse than skiing or snowboarding or monoskiing or snowlerblading. What I am saying is that it’s unique and it’s extraordinary and there will always be people out there who will forsake ease of use in pursuit of style and beauty. Go figure.