West Couloir. Aiguille du Midi.

On Monday I headed up with Ross to ski the West Couloir on the Midi.  Despite the good forecast we had both decided we wanted to ski down hill to maximize the amount of descent rather than ski touring where you might only get one descent in the whole day. We found some good chalky snow in the couloir and a some fast rippable snow on the apron and down the para face.  I recently got given a GoPro head cam(!) by my sister and brother in law and I was keen to try it out. It was all going well until the para face… I was following Ross down at some pretty high speeds when I realized I was only half concentrating on my own skiing. I crossed my tips and took a nasty twisting fall. I managed to ski down to the valley and headed up for another run, this time just down the Gros Rognon.  The day after my knee swelled up and now three days later I finally feel like its starting to get better and hopefully I’ll be out on the ski’s next week. Here’s some shots and my first ever go at a GoPro edit! Enjoy….I hope.

Cascade EMHM.

Yesterday me and Emily had planned on climbing the Claire Chazal on the Grands Montets ridge but we both decided we weren’t in the right mood for an alpine route on a north face in the blistering cold when we got to the bottom.  We skied some nice, tracked powder down to the glacier and bobbed down past the tops of the nearside icefalls.  Looking at the entry points of all the routes most had piles of ski’s and boot already so we carried on down. We made it to the top of the Cascade EMHM and dropped in for a look. It was super fat but pretty “dinner-platey”.  We also only had 5 screws (story of my ice climbing career!) so it was a good test of mental strength at a few points. All in all a lovely day out with one of my most favorite people… 🙂

More info and TOPO here.

One Excellent Morning…..

With reports of thigh deep snow and with a blue-bird weather forecast it seemed like the only sensible thing to do was to head through the tunnel to Italy. It’s been super windy here all week in Cham with gale force winds off the summits and some nasty foehn wind in the valley which stripped trees of their branches and moved huge quantities of snow around.  Italy however, didn’t disappoint.  While it lasted.  As normal, by midday the snow was super heavy, super deep and super dangerous.  After we’d finished skiing we were sat enjoying the sunshine and coffee when a huge gust of wind and snow swept through the streets of La Palud.  A massive avalanche had come off the south face of the Grande Jorasses and gone airborne across the valley.  Any talk of further skiing was stopped. Like I said, it was fun whilst is lasted!

Touring Time in the Aiguille Rouge by Ross Hewitt

Broke my pole basket, snapped my tech binding leaver off and forgot my SD Card….Total fail from my part but hey it was a fun day all in all..

Ross Hewitt

It was pretty exciting waking up yesterday to a fresh coating of 40 cm of powder when snow has been so scarce this season. But that feeling was quickly replaced by anxiety knowing the lifts would open late and by that time everyone will be out of bed and queuing. We took the magic tunnel through to Italy, drank coffee and skied a quick 4 laps of the Entreve lowers which included a sensational spine feature where the sluff ran fast in the gullies bounding either side. Then it was back to Chamonix for opening time and freeride on amongst the pillows, rocks, roots and tree stumps of Plan de l’Aiguille. Too fast and too hectic to take photos. I was bushed by the end of the day and retired to my nest by 9 o’clock.

Today the plan was to go back for more but the lift company surprised…

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