Tag Archives: Chamonix Mont-Blanc

Chamonix Ice

15 December. Eva Eskilsson of Mountain Spirit Guides in Cogne, Italy.

For those of you who’ve been wondering what the ice conditions are like in Chamonix, Seb Montaz’s video of Korra Pesce climbing Nuit Blanche (WI6) in the Argentiére Basin does a fair job of answering your question.
http://vimeo.com/17917940
Of course, Seb’s vid also does a great job of explaining what snow conditions in Chamonix are like as well. Stay tuned for what will no doubt be another blower powder video from Seb in the next few days.

The crew from Mountain Spirit Guides have also been out and about and reporting good conditions in Cogne and Trient.

Mountain Spirit Guides in Cogne, Italy

Mountain Spirit Guides report: "the left ice fall, E Totto Relativo (4+ max), in good condition."

15 December, Mountain Spirit Guides, Cogne, Italia.

15 December, Mountain Spirit Guides, Cogne, Italia.

Mountain Spirit Guides – Trient, Switzerland

16 December. Mountain Spirit Guides report "Le Psychiatre, well formed."

16 December, Mountain Spirit Guides, Le Psychiatre, Trient, Switzerland.

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Seb Montaz and Vivian Bruchez Welcome You to Chamonix

To all the seasonnaires who are descending upon Chamonix right now, we know you’re a bad ass back in Tahoe or Riksgransen or wherever but you might want to take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with Seb Montaz and his highly informative videos. This particular film of Chamonix destroyer Vivian Bruchez, for instance, does a great job of showing you where to ski all around the sunny slopes of the Aiguille du Midi … if you want to kill yourself.

So please watch this video closely, make a careful note to yourself to turn right out of the ice cave instead of left. And like safety-minded Vivian does, always carry your cell phone with you so you can call for a rescue (yeah, right) from the bottom of the crevasse you’ll no doubt be finding yourself at the bottom of if you don’t bone up on your glacier knowledge. And while you’re at it make sure your ski buddies are dialed in on their transceiver and crevasse rescue skills.

So welcome to Chamonix. Now get out there and shred that gnar, tiger!

Servoz DH

Local shredder Scott Barnett made a sweet vid of he and his bros, Vincent Darlix and Loic Claret, ripping around their home turf of Servoz just a few weeks ago.

Scott is 18, studying photography, training to be a moniteur de ski and hopes to do more film-making. If this vid is any indication of things to come we hope he does too. Keep charging, Scott.

Scott Barnett

Snowed Out in Sochi, Freeride World Tour Moves to Chamonix

Kaj Zackrisson Photo: ©Freeride World Tour / D. Carlier

The 2010 Freeride World Tour is off to an ironically appropriate start with The Nissan Russian Adventure by Swatch (the first leg of the four event tour) being called due to hazardous conditions around Sochi. (As ChamonixInsider readers all know Sochi is not only Vladimir Putin’s fav-o-rite winter playland, it has also been selected to host the 2014 Winter Olympics). A deadly combination of heavy snow and high winds meant course conditions were just too sketch to hold the comp. Big respect to FWT organiser Nicolas Hale-Woods for making the difficult call. No solid news yet on who won what must have been a massive after-party competition but early reports indicate pretty much all the competitors brought their best games and are still in contention for the lead.

The next stop, the Nissan Freeride de Chamonix Mont Blanc is scheduled to start Saturday, January 30th on the Hotel Face at Le Brévent and will feature men’s and women’s skiing and snowboarding comps. Event organizers are also planning on making up the Sochi event in Chamonix on the next possible day using the original Sochi start list.

Aurélien Ducroz Photo: ©Nissan Russian Adventure / C. Margot

Xavier de le Rue Photo: ©Nissan Russian Adventure / C. Margot

Chamonix homeboy and reigning Freeride World Champion Aurélien Ducroz (FRA) will be defending his crown against a strong group of contenders including Reine Barkered of Sweden who came out of nowhere in 2009 to finish second overall in his rookie season including a win at Squaw and second in Verbier. Also on hand will be a healthy Henrik Windstedt of Sweden (who won the tour in 2008 and who my girlfriend thinks is really hot), Sverre Liliequist (SWE), Seb Michaud (FRA), and Kaj Zackrisson (SWE) who gave me his old oven so if I was voting he’d win for sure. And did I mention how great those Kask beanies are?

But the skier that everyone will be watching will undoubtedly be Candide Thovex (FRA) who is back on form after a long break due to injury and whom the Insider expects to revolutionize the freeride world in the same way he rewrote the freestyle/jibber handbook. Don’t believe me? Check out Candide’s smooth style on some of the lines in this vid. [Long, dull intro alert. If you’re looking for skiing go ahead and skip to 1:45]

I’d call him the Tiger Woods of freeskiing but that wouldn’t really be fair to Candide, would it?

Anyway, where were we? Oh yeah, Freerideworld Tour. On the snowboard side of things another Chamonix loc and absurdly talented rider, Xavier de Le Rue (FRA), will be defending his title against Max Zipser (AUT), Mitch Tölderer (AUT), Eric Themel (AUT) and Cyril Neri (SUI) among others.

Ane Enderud Photo: © Nissan Russian Adventure / C. Margot

Susan Mol Photo: ©Nissan Tram Face Squaw Valley USA / C. Margot

Women’s 2009 FWT champion Ane Enderud (NOR) will have to be on her game to keep Marja Persson (SWE) and Elyse Saugstad (USA) from walking away with the title this year. Aline Bock (GER) will be challenging the women’s snowboarding title holder, Susan Mol (USA).

2010 Freeride World Tour

1. Nissan Russian Adventure by Swatch – Sochi, Russia
Date: 21-22 January 2010  POSTPONED

2. Nissan Freeride of Chamonix Mont Blanc France
Date: 30 January 2010

3. Nissan Tram Face – Squaw Valley, California, USA
Date: 27 February 2010

4. Nissan Xtreme by Swatch – Verbier, Switzerland
Date: 20 March 2010

So there you have it. Something for you to do this weekend if there’s no powder to be shralped and/or you’re looking for a few good nights out. Here’s a video for you but take my advice and mute the sleepytime muzac that goes with it and crank up your own tunes instead.

There’s also this video that has better music but a but too much window rolling and  janky landings for the Insider’s taste. Without showing the burly lines that lead into these hucks it’s not really doing the riders or the contest any favors. Everybody’s a critic, eh?

Snowboard Porn Smackdown – Neverland vs Black Winter

Trey Cook charging Brevent today. (OK, it's not really me. It's Jonaven Moore but I followed right after and boosted a smooth corked 635 to scorpion). photo: Scott Sullivan / Absinthe Films

Ahhhh, the snow is all-time in Chamonix right now and the only thing anybody around here is thinking about is riding. With lines filling in and landings pillow soft I thought it might be a good time for a bit of inspiration. Absinthe Films are one of my all-time fav-o-rite porn producers primarily due to the truly jaw-dropping imagery and the uncanny ability to so completely emphasize the sheer beauty of a very beautiful sport reflect the subjects in their latest films. Neverland leaves you wanting more.

It seems as though most snowboard vids are currently bogged down in a small pond of handrail and city riding sameness. But Standard’s Black Winter stands out with a healthy dose of big mountain riding including a sick seggie from Chamonix homeboy, Xavier de la Rue.

So what do you think? Got a favorite? Hit me back in the Comments section and enlighten us all.

Milner’s Waffle House

"Hmmm, looks like a pair of lycra shorts wrapped around the drive train. What was that you said about hearing a strange thump while you were texting a few miles back?"

Now there’s few things I love more than a good old fashioned waffle, and nobody serves it up better than the notorious waffle king himself, Dan ‘The Man’ Milner. And as luck would have it, you can join me at 8pm on Thursday (7 Jan) at Chamonix’s best freeride hotel, Le Vert, for Dan’s annual Year of the Bike slide show.

This year’s performance will not only feature Dan’s amazing images from Mallorca, Chamonix, Lake Tahoe, and Nepal but in addition, those lucky enough to attend will be treated to Dan’s infamous waffle which historically leaves most of us in tears … one way or another.

So whether you’re a mountain biker or not, this is a great night out that really shouldn’t be missed. And for those who might not have the stomach for Dan’s waffle, fear not. Le Vert will be doing what they do best with great food and drink all night long.

Chamonix Snow Report – Jan 4

Some kids will never learn

I went to bed last night with low expectations after checking the forecast but woke up this morning to a nice surprise – falling snow. Chamonix-meteo.com is calling 10-20cm at 1500m today, while snow-forecast.com is a lot stingier with 4cm at 2438m with 15-20km/hr wind from the southwest and 25-30km/hr from the west at 3840m.

This weekend saw knee-deep and light on Brevent with snow all the way to the bottom and, from what I experienced, a surprisingly solid snowpack. Top of Grands Montets is still showing closed for today. When it opens it’s gonna be good.

Tuesday – Chamonix-meteo says 20% sun, snow-forecast shows partly cloudy

Wednesday – Chamonix-meteo – 20% sun, snow showers. Snow-forecast – cloudy, snow showers

Thursday – Chamonix-meteo – cold, cloudy, light snow. Snow-forecast – same

Friday – Chamonix-meteo – very cold, light snow. Snow-forecast – 10-15cm at 2450m