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iceland

Easyjet 140 euros return ticket geneva -Reykjavik could not be ignored. I mean…Bjork… . My skiing social networks feeds are filled with Norwegian imageries and other exorbitant Svalbard dream trips. Iceland wins. This mysterious snowy volcano-island in the middle of nowhere way up north with unpronounceable words fascinates. The people seem to be very liberal not so narrow minded religious or sexists: not douchebags land. They came out of the economic crisis with pride bailing out the people and kicking out the banks: I appreciate that and happy to spend my money there. I talk to Ben Briggs who seems very enthusiastic. So much that he takes control of the entire organization. I end up in a RV with 3 funky Britts i don’t know and one crazy Czech guy. We didn’t have goals or objectives. We just heard tales of a big skiable volcano in the south west, legends of road side couloir descent to the ocean in the north and some vague descriptions about good stuff in the east. The RV is the best cheapest option we could think of for this type of trip. Iceland is a 1400 Km circle we can drive around and stop when we please. The best idea really: Iceland has natural wonders and curiosity at every turn of the road: water falls, hot rivers, fartsmoke machines, hot tubs and roadside ski lines. The highest mountains is a volcano in the south west , we were shut down by poor snow coverage and cold wind. After a long road and a blizzard we stick around the northern troll peninsula a few days hoping for a window to ski which never came. We managed a few descents but nothing great. The best was on our way back to Reyk thru the east where we found a pyramidal mountain filled with powdery couloirs. The trip was officially a ski trip but really ended up being a nice sometime hectic drive around a beautiful country with fun new friends, joking/goofing around, playing poker wilst discovering an enchanting island filled with geological oddities, dreamy landscapes, inter winded elements water fire ice earth all in one place. soothing energy. It felt like being in a pre-holocene time travel …I surely want to go back, the skiing looks promising there, nothing to bragg about just simple good fun skiing, ski in ski out from the RV in an very breathless landscape all around the island. People told me iceland was expensive however it wasn’t anymore expensive than chamonix for restaurants/bars or any supermarket in france, the rv was 2000 euro for 10 days rented at geyser rental at the airport. And well, i was happy to give my money given their political stance. The people are awesome and very helpful very happy to see you sometime with a zest of burly humorous cynicism . ….

Waking up in the south west desert at the foot of the highest volcano we want to ski with the unspeakable name: Hvannadalshnúkur

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The line we wanted to ski, half in the shade. High cold winds and poor snow lower down shut us down
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hiking skiing to the top
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tomas hiking the highest mountain (volcano) of iceland . hvannadalshnukur

tomas hiking the highest mountain (volcano) of iceland . hvannadalshnukur

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hiking hvannadalshnukur highest volcano in iceland.

hiking hvannadalshnukur highest volcano in iceland.

walking down hvannadalshnukur the highest volcano in iceland

walking down hvannadalshnukur the highest volcano in iceland

Back on the road, pee/food stops.
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fartsmoke machine along the way up north
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Random water falls on the road
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In the troll peninsula where we heard of roadside skiing to ocean and other splendid ski descent more inland. Unfortunately the snow coverage wasn’t optimum and we were there during a winter storm. It made it hard to move around with the RV. we still scored what we could. We didn’t have time to stick around and wait for weather to clear but I’m sure the skiing got pretty good there…

ben briggs coming from a run in iceland

ben briggs coming from a run in iceland

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ben briggs hking a couloir in iceland.

ben briggs hking a couloir in iceland.

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back on the road
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At the boarder of the south east and the troll peninsula, we finally found this mountain. It had about 10, 6-700 meters 40 degree couloirs all filled with powder. A very good finish to our trip.
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on the way to some powder in iceland

on the way to some powder in iceland

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on the way to some powder in iceland

on the way to some powder in iceland

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kinglsey young getting some easy turns in in iceland

kinglsey young getting some easy turns in in iceland

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there isn’t a bar or clubs in every town in iceland, but there are town outdoor swimming pool and tubs, naturally heated which makes it easier to roll around in a RV. There are also countless natural tubs and hot rivers…
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sum up

These past 2 month haven’t been so good in cham. Probably the worst season so far, in the past 15 years probably (for me at least) . This is the first time i haven’t seen hundred post on social media about a deep cosmique or rond on “the best day ever” at this period . The Pro-hos “do” ski sometime talking more about the performances and “some” good spring skiing which i am sure felt like a sip of blue gatorade after a 20 miles run in death valley to those who skied . Between my night job , the bad condition and my motivation low (a zest of bad attitude maybe too) i haven’t been this much out and about Some good moments however like a stormy brevent with nicklas Hansen and Anne May Slinning

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followed by a huge wind storm which took the snow away

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wind buff brevent with nicklas hansen

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For a few days i watched wingsuiters and speed riders flying around brevent. The speed riders uses a very small canopy as well as a big pouch of water so he can get at the same speed as the wingsuiter and touch their hands, sit on their wing or stand up on them . Very impressive to watch. Very precise moves. I am baffled. The speed flier then flush the water for soft landing.

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Watched other kind of birds

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Skied the last Bellin of the season with Niklas Ferin and Henrik Lodin

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And i took My friends the Boyer’s from Mammoth California down the valley blanche. The kids were very young , 8 and 11, but Ryan Boyer being an ex-sponsored and still a big mountain rider as well as a strong climber (the yosemite valley kind) , his kids were very strong and very well trained for that type of adventure. However, the perspective changes a lot-everything seems so much bigger with big consequences with such little kids. We skied one lap first to make sure everything was good and then took them down. the weather being dry for the past 15 days was actually better and easier and that day warm weather made it very nice and enjoyable outing.

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Sunny side

Today i made it to the sunny side. Namely brevent/ flegere. To shoot pictures with Chad Sayers. That is perfect, i watched Chad ski in all the Jordan Manley short artsy films which i highly recommend.argentina-link is sweet. So it was great for me to meet the guy. Amazing skier all around. Ha makes it pretty hard to miss the shot…here a little banger shot i took…

Chad sayers

Chad sayers

instagram

I lost my North

In the past week i finally plunged into instagram. I always thought it was too hip/a poor support for images. I am fine in the underground. Damnit. The past months tragic events left a bitter taste . Well. Skiing. . .that bitch. 3 years ago i was officially labeled ced ” the photographer” . in cham that is. Since then i watched friends go down for ever, survived one accident , lost 7 good friends. I made some of the most beautiful powder turns ever, went heliskiing and travelled in a few ski paradise, scored a few timeless beautiful shots. .. Skiing bitter sweet. Cabanilla, Fransson , Daley, Rosenbarger were my first and only door into the “paid photographer” zone . Per say. i am not skiing these days. Absolutely unmotivated, working night shift , sketchy conditions, uninspired. i am using instagram as an exuse to rewiew my old photos and maybe sooth that heavy bitterness. Search and rescue that motivation and go ski. Because skiing is beautiful. Or at least it is photogenic. Most of my bomber shots are of dave rosenbarger which sums up perfectly who he was to me in my 10 years skiing chamonix. He was one of my engine. All i had to do was enjoy apres ski with him and he would tell me about the 5 runs he just skied , the conditions . I had my plans for the next 5 days wether with him or following his path. A true inspiration. Andreas Fransson was the turbo, he would come back from huge heavy and rarely skied runs and tell me in his strong swedish accent” it is a beautiful run, i highly recommend it, you must go tomorrow. ” and there i was on the top of my game, at the limit of what i thought i could ski , gutted. All the runs of my life. Dave and andreas influenced my skiing 1009%. Loosing those 2 feels like i lost my North. I am desoriented. The end of an era. Chamonix goes thru eras. The boivin era, the Siffredi era and for me there is definitLy the fransson/ rosenbarger era. I dont know what is coming next. I shall see. Find the north again? I miss those 2. Happy b day Mr Rosenbarger…

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https://instagram.com/cyrenaicphotos/

pavillon

Dave Steiner

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Black friday-David rosenbarger-Brendan O Sullivan

I first met Dave 10 years ago,  he was in turn fast talking dave or dave the brave depending on the days. We connected after we  randomly -surprisingly stumbled on each other on the streets of the black rock city in 2007 (*maybe) . We had that in common. Dave was really strict  on whom he was skiing with and at the beginning i probably did not  fit  his standard. We were not skiing together. I would just hear or see the stories of his impressive everyday skiing.. He was out every day, tagging big heavy lines every other days . His nose for powder patch was unrivaled .  I followed his boot pack many times. He called that bad etiquette. Following boot pack gave me confidence and strenght. I became stronger so later i was skiing with him every now and then . This is how i realized how smooth and stylish of a skier he was no matter what type of slopes he was on. He could ski the steeps and exposed the same way he would ski grand montet. I bought a proper lens camera   to document   skibuming in the cham valley. His skiing and lifestyle fitted perfectly my vision. I thought he was a good rep for skibuming. His style and comitments deserved stories and covers in magazines. He landed a few sponsors so we spent a season skiing and shooting together. My pictures were not good enough to make it anywhere…Later i got into my share of mountains hell meanwhile Dave surrounded himself with the most bankable photographers friends and well…. pretty much the same day he died he scored an article in powder magazine.

rosenbarger

david  rosenbarger

col de cristaux, argentiere basin.

rosenbarger

rosenbarger

the la Palud lift takes you on the best lift access terrain on the planet. This is why we go there. There is also a nice small family village atmosphere feeling that is completely lost in the industrial disneycham junkfest . This is why we keep on going there.

The marbree is arguably the most beautiful lift accessed run i have skied. It just doesn’t get any better than that if you like freeriding.

Skiing south facing huge powder face is “extremely crazy” by any standard. Many people never go there on powder days. NEVER. I used to not go until i started seeing my friends numerous posts on social medias bragging about the best powder day ever with no crowds around. So i started going feeling i was doing something very crazy . I met with many “not so crazy” regulars there including guides and pros. The “extremely crazy” became just “crazy” . I started going regularly on powder days. You can’t beat the atmosphere and the terrain on the ” italian side” . I could see guided group dropping into the marbree on big days, all kind of people, pros , guides and punters dropping into the exposed Cable runs on huge days or stormy days . Into the entreve. So the “crazy” slowly became “normal” . David loved the marbree . Every thing was normal that day, he took the first lift he could. People skied the run the day before, guided group were ahead of him and guided group were behind him. when he dropped in , he triggered the weak point and the entire face went down on him. Bad luck. Some say it was too late. Maybe so they feel better next time they drop in at 9.30 . No, it is “extremely crazy “ to ski south face powder. period. It is not “normal” . I could stop going there. But in this “instagram-facebook” era we are in , how many posts about the good uncrowded time there from friends-pros and guides is it gonna take me to go back? “another spectacular day in the best terrain of the world with friends and no one around” …1000 times. It is a little like trying to quit heroin whilst doctors are sending you videos on how good it is…
And then again, this type of layers also happens on north facing slopes.
powder Skiing is extremely crazy then. It is not normal. We tend to forget about it in this “dolce cabbana” type advertising ski universe we are in…

david rosenbarger

david rosenbarger

david rosenbarger

david rosenbarger

david rosenbarger

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david rosenbarger

rosenbarger

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That same black friday, brendan o sullivan died sliding down the north face of tour ronde. I didn’t know him well, i just skied a few good runs with him. His resume of achievement in cham and the world can rival any of the big “pro” guys, he was at the top of our game. His list of lines skied is nothing less but impressive. Yet he was not sponsored and people barely knew who he was. He was a true gentleman, discreet and a real skibum . He always told me he would rather work , buy his own gear than bend over to get gear he didn’t choose and have to lie about it. He would rather work and buy his own trips than have to deal with cameras ,instagram, hashtags . I liked that. One of the most underrated snowboarder around.

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Brendan O Sullivan

Dicks, pussies and blasphemy. Charlie Hebdo

it is a sweet delicacy to dive neck deep in fluffy snow after such a dark and heavy period where the French were hit at the very heart of their laic culture of blasphemy and irreverence towards the rich-powerful sacred and not , they were hit deep in the altar giving us corrosive and offensive humour targeting the absurdities of our world. The leftists French laic will remain impertinent and insolent against power , tyranny and intolerance sacred or not …hopefully.

One classic grand montet storm day followed by one classic la palud blue bird day were perfect to forget this absurd world. Powder all the way.

A shameless storm day At Grand Montet

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brendon

ben briggs

brendon, ben briggs

minna riihimaki

michelle blaydon, ross hewitt, bruno compagnet, minna riihimaki

michelle blaydon, ross hewitt, bruno compagnet, minna riihimaki

michelle blaydon, ross hewitt, bruno compagnet, minna riihimaki

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Irreverent face shots

An Offensive day in la Palud, Italy

bruno compagnet

minna riihimaki

tomaso cardelli

tomaso cardelli

tomaso cardelli

minna riihimaki

minna riihimaki

mina riihimaki, tomaso cardelli

mina riihimaki, tomaso cardelli

mina riihimaki, tomaso cardelli

tomaso cardelli

minna riihimaki

tomaso cardelli

Galleria

powder

couloir

couloir

last powder of the year

david rosenbarger

david rosenbarger

david rosenbarger

david rosenbarger

luca pandolfi

luca pandolfi

Top Gun

9am hellbroner on a mission with Luca Pandolfi , strong wind and cold at 3500M. I am delighted when i see Francois Thevenet and Arthus on their first beer at the bar up top. It is easy for me to call it off and start chillin’ . That is until we see Tof Henri, Seth Morrison and Nate Wallace annihilating the entreve face. Every body/Luca freaks out and in less than 5 mins all my cozy plans of hanging out at the bar by the fire place with cigs the cat and beers vanished. I am now braving the minus 50c (-1) wind and climbing M6 (M0) to get to that face. It is all great, i am dreaming of those big big turns in perfect champagne powder all the way… Well, those top gun riders made it look like perfect champagne snow , the reality was more variable than that and with sharks. SO those big 5 flawless turns turned into 15 maybe…im floating 98 underfoot these days. that is. Good fun. The rest of the descent to the mid station was on refrozen stuff mostly which made the all day seems/feel big…

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