Tag Archives: telemark

How to Find Fresh Tracks in Chamonix

There are an overabundance of reasons to love Chamonix but day-after-day of skiing virgin untracked powder just ain’t one of ’em. Finding fresh tracks, regardless of how early you get out of bed or how long you stand in the rain waiting for the Grands Montets to open the damn door can be incredibly frustrating.

Fortunately for you, young slayer, your difficulties are over because I’m here to give you insider beta on where to find fresh tracks all winter long, regardless of how long it’s been since the last snowfall. But like any good secret stash it’s going to take some hiking. So gear up and take the high street up valley past the post office, past Super U and when you get to Bistrot des Sports turn left and voila! Fresh Tracks – whoop!

Yep, seems your fav-o-rite freeride shop, Otavalo, have put their heads together with the good crew over at K2 to bring us the answer to every big mountain rider’s dreams … Fresh Tracks.

And while Fresh Tracks in this case might not mean you’re nipple-deep in cold smoke, it does have everything you’ll need once you find yourself there. As in a rock solid selection of shred ready gear including, but not limited to, the full range of K2 Sports’ most hardcore brands.

Fresh Tracks manager, Manu Mourier, explained the reason behind this step in Otavalo’s evolution,

“We already carried K2 and there was so much demand for it that it only seemed natural to bring something new, a K2 pro shop, to Chamonix.

Of course we’ll be carrying the full range, for sale and for test, of K2 skis, snowboards, boots and bindings, Line skis, Full Tilt boots, Marker bindings, Marmot outerwear and Ride snowboards, boots and bindings.

We’ll also carry core freeride brands like Dynafit, Norrøna, Dainese, Lange, Tecnica, Salomon, Conformable, Ortovox, Dainese, Sweet, Giro, Smith, Coll-Tex, Smartwool and Sorel.”

Bootfitter Thomas Aubin

And as for you pinheads, there’s no need to get your wooly underpants in a bunch because Fresh Tracks will remain the epicenter of telemarking for Chamonix and beyond.

Longtime Otavalo kingpin and freeheel fanatic, Jeremy Fournier pointed out,

“There are several things that have come together to make it happen: we’re the only dedicated telemark shop between Grenoble and Switzerland; K2 is a brand that has always supported telemarking; and there are loads of passionate freeheelers who love Chamonix. So this new partnership gives us the opportunity to really step up the telemark side of the shop. In addition to K2 and Line skis, we’ll also carry Scarpa boots, Garmont boots, and G3 and Rottefella bindings. We’ll not only have tele skis for test but we’re also still the only store in Chamonix that rents telemark skis and boots.”

Jeremy Fournier, Manu Mourier

Joining Manu and Jeremy at Fresh Tracks will be Snell’s Thomas Aubin who will bring his four years of custom boot fitting to the store, and Julian Vessaire who will also be on hand a few days  a week to lend his extensive knowledge and expertise.

And for those of us who enjoyed hanging out downstairs in the Otavalo workshop, the lurking will now be even better. Jeremy told us,

“We’re re-modeling the workshop to make it more of a lounge with couches and music. It will be an even better place for everybody to come and chill out, talk about riding and find out where to find fresh tracks – haha!”

Head for the blue pin to find Fresh Tracks. (click to enlarge)


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 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.

Tele Teaser Tuesday: Powderwhore, TGR, Absinthe

Ok, we’re a day late and a dollar short but that’s not going to keep me from using the Tele Teaser Tuesday name that I’ve paid all those high-powered patent attorneys serious ching to protect.

Anyway, diving right in… Man, how we love that Powderwhore crew, nothing but deep pow, steep faces and a whole boatload of soul. After many grueling hours of highly intense lounging while reviewing this season’s best vids ChamonixInsider’s distinguished panel of distinguished judges has selected TeleVision to start off the season even if Noah somehow misplaced (again!) that killer footage of myself absolutely destroying La Vormaine. Ah well, there’s always next year. I’m even thinking I’ll be stepping up and heading to Le Savoy for the deepest pow days. The secret’s out!

With their big budgets, great riders and amazing footage TGR consistently produces the goods, so what’s not to like? Oh yeah, the cheesy voiceover. When will they ever learn?

Outstanding footage, original soundtrack, hard charging riders. Nobody NowHere does it quite as well as Absinthe Films.

Chamonix Guiding Snow Report – 1 April

With the most recent spate of fresh snowfall it hasn’t been too difficult to find fresh tracks … as long as you could see. Which wasn’t often. ChamonixGuiding.com’s Seb Montaz heads to the trees in Courmayeur and scores big. Seeing as how they’re in Courmayeur which features the best on-mountain food on the planet I’m kinda surprised there’s no lunchtime footage in here from the Cindy Crawford cafe but seeing how good the skiing is it might be a good guess that lunch didn’t make it into the schedule.

Go Seb, go!

I also received this great report from our friends, Eva and Wolfgang, at Mountain Spirit which is from the 28th and gives a great idea of what conditions were like before this latest snowfall. Since Wolfgang has headed up north to get his shred on Norwegian style I’m not entirely sure we’ll be seeing an update this week but here’s hoping.

ChamonixInsider.com Snow Forecast Compendium

OK, so I used to spend loads of time compiling this ridiculous table with the forecast for the next few days but ever since Elling told me that he never looks at it – and this from the guy who told me I should put it together – I’ve decided to dump it. Erm … I mean I’ve improved it so that you can now, with a simple click, get the absolute latest updates from:

– our local valley forecast Chamonix-Meteo.com,

– a mid-mountain forecast from Snow-Forecast.com.

I believe we’re all a lot better off.

Chamonix Guiding Snow Report – 17 March

Wow, this is the first time I’ve heard Seb talk about it being hard to find fresh snow and with the last significant snow hitting what seems like three or four weeks ago, it’s easy to understand why.

At least the beautiful sunny weather has brought warmer temperatures which is beginning to soften the snow a bit in the afternoon so if you’ve got a ticket already booked be happy in knowing there are some great party nights this weekend and no need to be in line for the first telefreak in the morning.

ChamonixInsider.com Snow Forecast Compendium

Last significant snowfall end of February  😦

The Black Bosses Telemark Weekend

2009 Boss des Bosses Photo: UpstairsChamonix

Boss des Bosses 17 March

Oh yeah, it’s that time of year again. The sun’s out, the snow’s softening up and the silly outfits are slowly but surely making their way from the back of the closet to the slopes. Must be time for the Boss des Bosses.

2010 is the 21st anniversary of Chamonix’s most important inter-resort, fancy dress, mogul rivalry and with last year’s crowd breaking all previous records, the 2010 edition should not be missed.

Teams of men and women skiers, snowboarders and telemarkers from Chamonix, Verbier, Meribel and Courchevel will be oiling up the knees and waxing up their shortest, skinniest skis in their attempt to unseat 2009 champion Zermatt. Local DJs will be banging out tunes and there’s always more than a few truly fantastic outfits on parade to keep everyone entertained.

The contest starts Wednesday, 17 March around that time and will finish when it’s over so don’t be late.

The Black Weekend 17-21 March

There’s not a whole lot you can say about The Black Weekend other than it’s pretty much everything you’d expect and more from the world’s coolest ski brand – skiing, partying, debauchery, repeat.

Check BlackWeekend.com for a schedule of the weekend’s many festivities.

Otavalo Telemark Festival 19-21 March

Thankfully we’ll have a day to work off the hangover from the Boss des Bosses before the good crew at Otavalo kick off their Telemark Festival on the 19th and running through to the 21st. The event will be held at the top of LeTour’s Charamillon lift and will feature a free ski test with over 70 pairs of skis and boots to demo from K2, Zag and Movement as well as handmade skis by Rabbit on the Roof and Chamonix-based Homeski by Brotherwood.

For those who’ve been thinking their legs are just simply too strong for a girly sport like alpine skiing, or for anyone in need of brushing up on their drop knee technique, there will be instructors on hand giving free instruction.

And finally, there will also be a free telecross race held throughout the event and there’s rumors of some kind of fiesta going down at the refuge one night followed, no doubt, by a boozy midnight Chinese downhill.

Last but not least, those whose thighs have not yet burst into flames will leave Sunday morning with a wool-clad herd of other pinheads and ski via the Haute Route to the Telemark Festival Zermatt which will start on the 26th and ends when people can no longer walk.