Category Archives: Bikinis!

Out of Office Reply (aka Skiing) + Cute Girls in Bikinis

swimsuitLong time no post. Deepest apologies but I’ve been knee deep in work and then the lifts opened and I went skiing and then I was waist deep. If only they made 130mm rockered keyboards…

Anyway, while some of you no doubt see this break in the action as a huge relief it’s been rumored there are others out there who insist on checking back in from time to time. To all five of you (especially the two of you who aren’t related), thanks for your dedication and I hope you will accept this video as a token of my undying appreciation.



Movember in Chamonix – Extreme Toplipiary

Movemeber in Chamonix

Never underestimate the power of the mo'. En garde!

Chamonerds, start your scissors – it’s Movember Guest post (and the first reference to Scythian warriors on this blog) by facial-hair-ianado and wordsmith extraordinnaire, Carlos Schtang.

Movemeber in Chamonix

Start with a clean face. No cheating, Elling.

It’s that time of year chaps, time to dust off the cut throat, charge up the clippers or simply sharpen up the utility multi-tool – Movember is upon us and all good self-respecting Mo’ Bros are leading the way, joining hands around the world for the good of one and the betterment of all.

Billed as a ’30 day journey into moustachery’, Movember sets out to raise awareness of a certain men’s health issue that is more often than not swept under the proverbial carpet. And that, coupled with the opportunity to publicly flaunt a forgotten side of man’s, erm, manliness should be sufficient. What more encouragement do you need? What further pearls of wisdom need imparting?

Prostrates are highly carcinogenic. Keep them in full view to facilitate casual checkups.

Oft frowned upon by the fairer sex, as well as rejected in favour of its more popular full-faced hirsute bedfellow, the art of Moustache growing/grooming, or top lip topiary or even Toplipiary as I like to call it, is fast gaining momentum as not just an artform, but a way of life… some would say a life force in itself. In modern parlance, it’s a bit like riding a fixie, or wearing a trilby but way, way cooler.

Movember is not a competition. If it was, Scythian warrior reincarnate,, would crush us all.

Hyperbolic rhetoric maybe, but the time has come for the moustache (humble or otherwise) to finally claim its rightful place in the annals of time and the scrolls of history – from the first documented moustaches of the Scythian warriors of 300 BC to the many styles and guises we see today, through fiction and history the moustache has enthralled and (perhaps) appalled in equal measure.

Movember in Chamonix

Those not rallying around the cause will be ridiculed, then shot. In the prostate.

‘Tis true, shameful but true, that naysayers and dissenters persist in denouncing the moustache claiming it is the work of madmen, evil dictators and purveyors of dastardly devilment. But for every Adolf Hitler, there’s a Charlie Chaplin. For every Saddam Hussein, there’s a Salvador Dali. For every Fu Manchu, there’s a Hercule Poirot. For every Snidely Whiplash, there’s a Mario. For every Bruce Grobbelaar, there’s an Ian Rush. For every… oh sod it, you know what I mean.

So, brothers of the Chamonix tribe… cast aside your apprehensions; banish your cowardice to the dark forgotten room of your brain where it belongs and embrace the month of Movember and the art of Toplipiary.

Hair will grow; awareness will be raised. The world will be a better place… Honest.

Movemeber in Chamonix

Marisa Miller excels at raising awareness of a man's prostate, among other things.

Editor’s note – Mo Bros and Sistas, should be aware that Bar Dup will host their third annual Movember fancy dress, fundraiser party with amazing prizes, raffles and auctions taking place. Over the past two years the Bar Dup crew have raised over €2000 towards cancer research. Well done, gents.

19e Piolets d’Or 2011 Nominees … and cute girls in bikinis

Time once again for the annual Piolets d’Or, the climbing world’s equivalent to the Cannes Film Festival but without all the supermodels and yacht parties. And yes, I know, supermodels and yacht parties are the whole point of Cannes, but bear with me. The Piolets d’Or has something that Cannes, with its mercurial actors, megalomaniacal directors and bunga-bunga hangers-on, hasn’t. Y’see, while the entire film industry throws bazillions of dollars into packaging the triumph and tragedy of the human spirit into a one-hour and 25-minute multiplex mega-hit starring Vin Diesel and Lindsay Lohan in their most demanding roles ever, the Piolets d’Or is something that Cannes or the Oscars or surreality TV can never be. The Piolets d’Or is about the world’s hardest men and women staring the impossible straight in the eye and charging it with every ounce of strength, courage, wisdom and luck they can muster. The Piolets d’Or, gentle reader, is the real deal.

In 1991, Guy Chaumereuil (editor-in-chief of Montagne magazine) and the Groupe Haute Montagne launched the initiative “to raise awareness about the year’s greatest ascents across the world.” A list of recipients can be found here starting with the first Piolet d’Or, awarded in 1992, to Marko Prezelj and Andrej Stremfelj for opening a bold 3000-meter route on the south pillar of Kangchenjunga (8476m).

Certainly a lot has changed in the 19 years since the first Piolet d’Or was first presented and 2011 represents the third year of a new and improved Piolets d’Or. The updated charter states…

In modern mountaineering, questions of style and means of ascent take precedence over reaching the objective itself. It is no longer a matter of employing huge financial and technical resources (bottled oxygen, fixed ropes, high-altitude porters, so-called ‘performance-enhancing’ substances…) and large numbers of people to reach the top at all costs. The Piolets d’Or throw the spotlight on imaginative and innovative new routes, using a minimum amount of equipment, and building on experience.

19th Piolets d’Or Nominees

Colin Haley and Bjørn-Eivind Årtun – Southeast face of Mount Foraker, Dracula (M6R, AI4+, A0, 3170m)

Colin Haley, Bjørn-Eivind Årtun

Southeast face of Mount Foraker (5304m), Alaska

Yasushi Okada and Katsutaka YokoyamaSoutheast face of Mount Logan, I-TO (ED+, WI5 M6, 2500m)

Katsutaka Yokoyama and Yasushi Okada

Southeast face of Mount Logan (5959m), Canada

Malcom Bass and Paul Figg Vasuki Parbat, West Face (6792m)

Malcom Bass and Paul Figg

Wasr face of Vasuki Parbat (6792m), India

Max Belleville, Mathieu Détrie, Mathieu Meynadier and Sébastien RatelLunag 1, Close the Door (IV/5, F5, 1,200m)

Couldn't find a photo of the Lunag crew. Please accept this image as a token of my sincerest apology.

Southeast face, Lunag I (6830m), Nepal

Bruce Normand and Kyle Dempster East Face Mount Edgar, The Rose of No Man’s Land (VI, WI5+, M6, 2400m)

Quite possibly not Bruce Normand or Kyle Dempster.

East face of Mt Edgar (6618m), China

Sean Villanueva, Nicolas and Olivier Favressse (Belgium) and Ben DittoBig walls, Greenland

OK, I didn't even try to find an image of these guys. But you could at least give me credit for finding a photo with green land in it.

Devil's Brew, Seagull Wall, Greenland

The jury evaluates performances based on:

– Style of ascent.
– Spirit of exploration: original (previously unclimbed) route and/or mountain, creative and innovative approach.
– Level of commitment and self-sufficiency.
– High level of technical ability required.
– Suitability of route in light of objective dangers.
– Efficient and sparing use of resources.
– Transparency regarding the use of these resources.
– Respect for people, climbing partners, members of other teams, porters and local agents.
– Respect for the environment.
– Respect for future generations of mountaineers by leaving them the possibility of enjoying the same kind of experiences and adventures.

Lifetime Achievement Piolet d’Or

Doug Scott

In 2009, the “Piolet d’Or organising committee proposes an alpinist who, apart from their commitment and ethical stance, has profoundly marked their era.” The two previous winners were a couple of relative unknowns by the names of Walter Bonatti and Rheinhold Messner. The venerable Doug Scott will be in town to receive this year’s award.

Program of Events

Wednesday, 13 April, 21:00 – Chamonix, Cinéma Vox (€8.50)

Ascension du Mont Blanc 1903 (10 min.) – first filmed ascent of Mont Blanc.
Samsara (22 min.) Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin & Renan Ozturk on Mt. Meru
The Swiss Machine (20 min) – Ueli Steck, speed climber extraordinaire

Thursday, 14 April, 21:00 – Chamonix, Majestic Congress

– Greg Child – president of the Jury, author of Postcards from the Ledge and Over the Edge.
***Tribute to Maxime Belleville – nominated for the Piolets d’Or 2011 for Lunag I expedition.***

Max Belleville - R.I.P.

Friday, 15 April, Chamonix, Majestic Congress

15:00-17:00 Selection of mountain films (free admission)                                       17:00 Doug Scott, Greg Child, Mick Fowler & Chris Bonington book signing         21:00 Piolets d’Or 2011 – the ascents of the year. Doug Scott, Chris Bonington and Jean Afanassieff share memories. Presentation of the jury. Presentation of the six nominated ascents. Presentation of the 2011 Piolets d’Or.

Saturday, 16 April – Courmayeur, Palanoir Cinema

18:00 Procession through town center by Courmayeur Mountain Guides.                21:00 Presentation of 2011 Lifetime Contribution Award to Doug Scott.

Sunday, 17 April – Chamonix, Salle du Bicentenaire

19:00 Slideshow and presentation by Doug Scott. €15 with all proceeds going to Community Action Nepal.

Page O’ Loveliness: Seb Montaz > Helbronner > Fresh Snow > Telemark > Cute Girl in Bikini Pt. 2

There’s just something heart-stopping about the pure beauty exhibited on this page. Happy Friday.

Seb Montaz’s Courmayeur Snow Report and a Cute Girl in a Bikini

After more than a month of drought we finally got a bit of snow and, as always, the best way to find out where the best powder fell is to stalk Seb Montaz. Yesterday he headed over to Courmayeur and scored what he reports as 25cm at 2500m.

Oh, and by the way, not that anybody in Chamonix would be interested but the new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is out. Just sayin’.

Chamonix Lift Schedules – Spring/Summer 2010

Sunny skies, bare thighs and a fire in her eyes. Gotta love spring skiing.

With the season coming to a close lots of folks are wondering how much time they have to get to the beach and get that summer tan going before it’s time to get back here in time for the opening of mountain bike season. Well fret no more. Here at the ChamonixInsider we’ve done the research so you don’t have to.

The exact opening and closing hours are too convoluted to list so you’ll have to weave your way through the myriad Summer 2010 timetables here if you need to know what time to queue up for first tracks.

And what about Les Houches, I hear you ask. Well, after bumbling around their website looking for the lift schedule (pretty basic info, right?) for 10 minutes I found a calendar of events that didn’t even list the dates and I finally gave up. For info on the Bike Park at Les Houches (except, of course, lift opening dates – grrrrrr), check out this website. C’mon Les Houches, get it sorted.

[ADDENDUM: just got a very brief email from the Les Houches crew. They open June 12.]

And of course, any chance to ski in a silly outfit (other than the one you normally wear) is a day not to be missed. So don’t miss the Freeride Days at Les Grands Montets on May 2nd. Always good fun.

18e Piolets d’Or – 2010

Now we know you’re all proud about that super difficult problem you pulled at Les Gaillands last summer and despite all the spraying you’ve done down the Chambre 9 nobody seems to pay any attention to this achievement of yours which is clearly worthy of international recognition.

Well lucky for you my friend, The Piolets d’Or is kinda like mountaineering’s very own version of the Oscars except without all the glamorous movie stars, the bazillion dollar post parties or the hundreds of millions of viewers. OK, so it’s not really like the Oscars at all but the award is widely recognized as recognition of the most awe-inspiring achievements in alpinism over the course of the previous year. The award is presided over by the G.H.M. (Groupe Haute Montagne), editors of Vertical and Montagnes magazines and, starting this year, with help from journalists at the American Alpine Journal. Event organizers describe it thusly:

The Piolets d’Or event gathers together alpinists from many countries; active participants in the most remarkable ascents of the past year on every summit of the globe.

More than recognition for any one performance, the event celebrates the ethic, style and values which take inspiration from the true spirit of a rope party.

For the past 18 years, this international event has publicized the greatest ascents achieved in the mountains the world over, and given recognition to climbers of all nationalities for their individual or team ventures.

To put it in a nutshell the Piolets d’Or are awarded to exceptionally hard men putting up ludicrously difficult routes all for the sake of gettin’ her done. When you look at the lines these guys are climbing you’ll realize we should all be buying these guys multiple rounds of beers for shattering our ideas of physical and mental boundaries. Well, lo and behold we’ll get that chance when the Piolets d’Or rolls into Chamonix and Courmayeur next week.

The action begins on Wednesday, April 7th at 21:00 with the 1930’s film La Conquête des Cimes accompanied by a jazz improv group at Le Cinema Vox. The Courmayeur alternative will be a theater production La Conquista del Cervino performed by The Aosta Theatre Company at the Jardin de l’Ange.

Check out the complete schedule with full details at

Those of you who are far too enchanted by my lyrical prose to hyperlink

Reinhold Messner

away to learn the actual facts should know the program continues throughout the week and culminates with the presentation of a lifetime achievement award to some guy named Reinhold Messner in Courmayeur at the Cinema Palanoir.

On Saturday in Chamonix the fun and games start at 16:00 with a book fair and film screenings before the main event, the Piolet d’Or ‘Ascent of the Year’ Ceremony, gets underway at 21:00. At this time Piolets d’Or will be awarded to the ascents that most impress the distinguished panel of judges.

The criteria upon which the awards are based are:

– Style of ascent.
– Spirit of exploration: original (previously unclimbed) route and/or mountain, creative and innovative approach.
– Level of commitment and self-sufficiency.
– High level of technical ability required.
– Suitability of route in light of objective dangers.
– Efficient and sparing use of resources.
– Transparency regarding the use of these resources.
– Respect for people, climbing partners, members of other teams, porters and local agents.
– Respect for the environment.
– Respect for future generations of mountaineers by leaving them the possibility of enjoying the same kind of experiences and adventures.

The five nominees for the 18e Piolets d’Or were selected from a long list of 52 ascents by 116 alpinists in 14 countries. It should be noted that Yannick Graziano and Christian Trommsdorff withdrew their first ascent of the South Face of Nemjung from consideration. Trommsdorff is President of GHM and co-organizer of the Piolets d’Or.

And with that said … envelope please…

Nick Bullock and Andy Houseman – Chang Himal, Bullock-Houseman (M6, 1800m). Regular readers of the Insider will vividly remember our own gripping report on this incredible achievement. No? Really?! OK then, click here. 74 represent!

Chamonix's own Nick Bullock, Andy Houseman

Chang Himal (6802m) - Bullock-Houseman

Mikhail Mikhailov and Alexander Ruchkin
Gongga Peak, Carte Blance (6c free, mixed, 75˚ ice, 1100m)

Mikhail Mikhailov, Alexander Ruchkin

Gongga Peak (6134m) - Carte Blanche

Denis Urubko and Boris DedeshkoCho Oyu, Kazakh Dedeshko-Urubko (steep snow and ice, 6b, A2/A3, 2600m)

Boris Dedechko, Denis Urubko

Cho Oyu (8201m) – Kazakh Dedeshko Urubko

Jeb Brown, Kyle Dempster and Bruce NormandXuelian West, The Great White Jade Heist (ice 5, rock 5, M6, 2650m)

Jed Brown, Kyle Dempster, Bruce Normand

Xuelian West (6422m) – The Great White Jade Heist

Vitaly Gorelik and Gleb SokolovPic Pobeda, Sokolov/Gorelik (ED, 2400m)

Vitaly Gorelik, Gleb Sokolov

Brooklyn Decker - inexplicably overlooked for her contribution to alpinism.

Pic Pobeda (7439m) – Sokolov/Gorelik