Hey guys, I’m back from dark, snowless Sweden. I know, I know, I missed some epic days but from the looks of the forecast there’s more to come.
And as for what was up there as of yesterday, check out the latest snow report from TVMountain which shows the crew taking advantage of the beau temps to do a lap on the ultra-classic Glacier of Death. ‘Spose the reason it’s called that is because it’s so killer?
And as for that forecast, all we can say for sure is that snow is coming. Chamonix Meteo is calling for 5cm at 1500m today, 25-50cm at 1500m tomorrow while blowin’ a hoolie, and moderate to heavy precip with rising temps on Saturday.
Then there’s Snow-Forecast predicting 67cm at 2440m through Saturday morning. And the Chamonix Tourist Office calling 71cm through Saturday night.
Powder for breakfast.
Ice for lunch
Rock for dinner.
Internationally-renowned triathlete Colin Haley getting his fill in Chamonix. And big shout out once again to alpine filmer extraordinnaire Bjarne Sahlén. Sometimes I’m just as blown away by the skills behind the camera as in front of them.
Chamonix’s all-female expedition to the Arctic has returned after a month of ripping virgin couloirs and dodging polar bears.
Chloé Laget, Fanny Gras, Marion Poitevin and Mélanie Martinot spent 29 nights in tents enduring temperatures from -20˚C to -38˚C. To stay warm the crew skied more than 100 km and four ‘superbe’ couloirs and returned home with smiles on their faces despite a bit of frostbite.
Four intrepid women on their own and making it happen on incredibly hostile terrain in the middle of nowhere above the Arctic Circle. Check out the full story on the Panik Baffin blog.
The crew won the performance category of the Millet Expédition Project 2010 and received invaluable assistance from the brand (especially the down suits which were put to good use as you can see in the vids).
Anyone who has been in Chamonix long enough knows there is a clear difference between “It hasn’t snowed in 30 days” and “There’s no snow.” Chamonix charger and videographer Felix Hentz takes particular joy in illustrating this distinction with two gut-wrenching videos.
And for those keeping score, please add 1,735, 426 bonus points to Felix’s scorecard for keeping his secret stashes secret with just enough clues to guide those in the know to the goods. Well done, gentlemen.
Posted in AT skiing, skiing, video
Tagged Andreas Fransson, AT, backcountry, Chamonix, Felix Hentz, randonee, ski, skiing, Stephane Shaw
The Couloir Caché on the west face of the Tour Ronde was opened in January 2009 by four guys from Courmayeur: Francesco Civra Damo, Davide Capozzi, Matteo Lupo and Francesco Camale.
Here’s another video from Seb Montaz of the Couloir Caché that not only does a better job of showing what the skiing is like but also tells you how to get there (complete with GPS coordinates) as well as what to take. Merci, Seb!
Posted in AT skiing, skiing, video
Tagged AT, backcountry, Chamonix, Couloir Cache, Davide Capozzi, Francesco Camale, Francesco Civra Damo, Glen Plake, Matteo Lupo, Mont Blanc, randonee, Seb Montaz, ski, skiing
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
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.