Checkout our edit of the Breithorn East Traverse from last week!
Skiing normally brings up images of powder and snow covered alpine villages with mulled wine and after-ski bars. However, many of the highest peaks are best skied in the spring and these good spring conditions can persist well into July or later sometimes. Skiing down wide open, high alttitude glacier slopes with nobody around in corn snow is exactly what summer skiing is about. One of the best venues for summer skiing is the Monte Rosa area. From Gressoney/ Alagna you reach the Punta Indren lift, which drops you off on the snow at 3200 metres. From here, many snowy 4000 metre peaks are accessible without much technical difficulty and they are perfect for skiing.
With summer ski touring, an early start is essential as it does get warm in the afternoon, it is summer after all! In the photo above you can see a number of high peaks in the Monte Rosa, all ideal for ski descents. As a mountaineer who skis, you can knock off a few summits and enjoy making big carving turns down the empty glacier and be down in a fifth of the time it would take on foot!
Clicking into your skis on a high alpine summit is a cool feeling, knowing you will be down in no time and the best part of the day is still coming, unlike your normal mountaineering descent!
Kalymnos / Greece
A day of climbing in Kalymnos starts with enjoying some breakfast looking out over the Aegean sea and the Island of Telendos. Then meet your climbing partners and walk up the slopes between the sparce semi-arid vegetation with the occasional goat on the path, normally keen on getting it’s nose into your lunch…
The choice of crag for the day is maybe the hardest part of climbing on Kalymnos. For slab climbing lovers, there’s Poets, Afternoon, Olympic Wall, Julian, Arhi or Ghost Kitchen. For sculpted vertical climbs there are endless amazing sectors like Arginonta, Summertime, Dolphin Bay or Symplegades to name just a few. For well equipped multi-pitching, School sector and Telendos have excellent routes like Wild Country 6a+ and Platon 5c. For those who’ve been training in the gym and enjoy overhanging stalactites and tufas, sectors like the famous Grande Grotto, Panorama, Sikati Cave or Jurassic Park are world class.
Choose your routes and climb until your arms are tired, belay your friends, chat, encourage the others at the crag, take photos or chill and take in the view until it’s time to go down to Massouri again.
Head down to town for dinner at one of the friendly Greek restaurants on the Massouri main street. Before heading for shower and bed before doing it all again the next day!
It hasn’t stopped dumping snow on us here in the Alps lately. Conditions are very good and everyone who likes powder skiing is smiling! Here are a few shots from the last few days:
Its been a summer with much precipitation but also many days alone on nice summits in short weather windows and good snow conditions with little rock-fall danger. Here are a few photos from the sometimes sunny and warm season.
The summer started for me with two trips up Mont Blanc, both of which were cold but with great snow conditions and summit success.
In July and August I spent some time in the Swiss Valais, these shots are from the Dufourspitze, Nadelhorn, Mont Blanc de Cheillon, l’Eveque and the Wiessmies:
Some trips to the quieter areas of the Mont Blanc range, finished off the summer guiding for me. Here climbing on some of the granite in the Orny area.
We then started on some mountain ice and mixed, in great condition after the snowy summer:
Thanks to everyone I climbed with for a good, safe season, hope to see you again next year!
With some fresh snow and end of season calmness in La Grave made for three great days of skiing. All runs in La Grave start with a long ride in the old Telecabine…
The first day we enjoyed the accessible powder from the recent snowfall.
We finished the day with a run on the glacier, Couloir de Banane and Freaux
Day 2 we skied the road run with everyone’s favorite abseil in the middle…
The team ready to ski again after abseiling
Sometimes you don’t need to go so far to find some fresh turns!
On our last morning in La Grave was spent on another road run in the Chirouze area with great snow and good adventure!
With a short walk and some river crossing tyrolean action were at the car and heading to Le Castillan’s sunny terrace for lunch and beers!
Thanks to Gerd, Jurgen and Sammy for a fun few days!
The white stuff has been falling from the skies without much abate these last two weeks in the Alps. Skiing has been the activity a la mode, so skiing is what we’ve been doing!
This is from a small ski tour near Verbier last week which delivered some good skiing!
A few days around Chamonix with some German friends yielded the goods:
Ski touring in the Aiguille Rouges this week was a quiet day out with good views and great skiing:
That was the last sunshine we saw for quite a few days and it was into the trees with Swedes:
There is something special about the moments when the sun rises and sets, the change from light to darkness or from the chilling early hours of the morning to the first glowing rays of warmth cast from the distant horizon promising clarity and comfort. As people who enjoy being outside in the mountains we often have the pleasure of witnessing these moments when the rotation of the earth combined with the light of a star passing through the earth’s atmosphere paints some of the most beautiful pictures.
Come and join me this April in the Lyngen Alps of Norway! The preliminary date is the week of the 13th to 20th.
Ski Touring above the Arctic circle with the long spring days, tracing lines down beautiful open slopes above the thawing fjords, the vistas are nothing short of spectacular, the open calmness of the place, liberating.
I have a good knowledge of the area and conditions as I spent six weeks skiing in the area in 2011 and have contact with locals who can update me on recent happenings in the conditions. You’ll get picked up from the airport, eat and sleep in the comfort of a lodge and be guided for six days of ski touring.
This trip is not extreme skiing, we will aim to do classic tours on beautiful summits where just being in the mountains with these surroundings is a pleasure and risks will kept to reasonable minimum. We will also be looking to ski the best possible snow we can find on each day.
There are literally hundreds of possibilities, we will decide our objectives day by day depending on the mountain conditions and the motivations of the group. The height gain will be between 600 and 1500m per day. We’ll do summits such as Kavringtinden 1289m, Sofiatinden 1222m, Stetinden 920m, Storgalten 1219m, Tafeltinden 1395m, as well as many other possible itineraries.
It will be a maximum group size of 6 people and a minimum of 4. If you would like more details, let me know and I will e-mail you a detailed program with a price list. Hope to see you there!