An elevated spring snow line and stella anticyclonic weather has sent many teams up in to the high mountains in search of quality spring ski mountaineering. They don't come any higher in this part of the world than Mont Blanc and, for the last couple of weeks, there has been a well worn track linking the Plan de l'Aiguille to the Grands Mulets Hut to the 'Arête Royale' on the Dome du Gouter... more>
A week of settled alpine weather has given the ski tourers 'holy grail' combination of blue skies, powder and spring snow turns in the Italian Valle d'Aosta.
Whilst snow amounts are certainly still relatively 'lean' for the time of year it has still been possible to do some great ski touring, put skins on skis and set off from the car at 1500m or above.
The very warm afternoon we... more>
Last weeks stormy foehn winds deposited large dumps of snow across the Italian, Swiss and French Alps and gave some great conditions for those who picked out safe places to ski off-piste and tour. Up to 80cms of snow fell in the Valle d'Aosta and High Swiss Valais with a bit less in the more northerly and westerly Chamonix Valley.
However the great thing about a Chamonix based ski trip... more>
A mid March day with temperatures up to 15C today here in the Chamonix Valley and thoughts are turning to the late winter - spring period which so often gives good icy goulotte and north face climbing. Whilst not great for skiers it has been a fine season so far for the winter alpinist with a lot of ice and blue sky and not too much snow.
If you are interested in getting in on the act... more>
A large dump of fresh snow last week followed by a stable period of high pressure has created some good conditions for ski touring and ski mountaineering here in Chamonix. Whilst there continues to be a considerable avalanche risk the snowpack is gradually stabilising and many teams have been out enjoying some of the classic ski tours of the Valley.
Damian and I enjoyed a pleasant nigh... more>
Many thanks to John Carney for sending this report in today from the brilliant ice climbing in the Cogne Valley above the Val d'Aosta. John and I climbed the Frendo Spur on the North Face of the Aiguille du Midi last autumn and it seems he has been... more>
Many thanks to John Carney for sending this report in today from the brilliant ice climbing in the Cogne Valley above the Val d'Aosta. John and I climbed the Frendo Spur on the North Face of the Aiguille du Midi last autumn and it seems he has been out on the ice... more>
Despite the lack of fresh snow the skiing here in the Chamonix Valley continues to be reasonable on grippy hardpack with a lot of bumps! Along with a strong and confident group of off-piste skiers, including 3 Mountain Guides and a member of the British Ski Rando Racing squad, I have just completed the BASS Chamonix Ski performance course for mountaineers run by Alison Culshaw.
The cou... more>
Owain Jones and myself enjoyed some fun & fine icy mixed climbing on Pointe Lachenal's central 'Pellisier Gully' today, see photos below. A very quick ski across the Col du Midi and upper reaches of the Vallee Blanche accesses the base of this short but entertaining route. After crossing the bergschrund and climbing 100m of easy snow we climbed 4 good icy mixed pitches (up to Scottish 5... more>
An extremely windy day up high in the Chamonix Valley gave some pretty tough mountain conditions for those venturing out on to experience the good quality ice that currently exists. This is one aspect of winter sport in the valley not suffering from the month long snow drought!