i finally found an excuse or a kick to go to tropical places. I always found it boring unless at some moon parties. Surf windsurf and kite surf are fun , it is a long learning curve, heavy expensive clumsy gear to carry around travelling. Like skiing. Scuba diving seems a bit boring. Freediving is cheap, light , gear easy and business starts at 5 meters down …it is fully immersive, immediate, intense and extreme. Freediving is a huge work on self. Isolated, pressure , depleted of oxygen in a complete new environment with weird noises, odd body feelings . loosen up or freak out and turn around. People don’t go anywhere deep unless fully calm and tuned up. It is an intense forced meditation. Perfect for my anxiety and other PTSD like syndrome. I started in Dahab, south Sinai. It is a bit random, a friend mentioned it , easy and cheap to get too. They have a blue hole which goes straight to 95 meters down. The entire fishing village is a world center destination for freediving, scuba diving. Dahab used to be part of the Nabataean Kingdom , mostly bedouins having a good time from 300 B.C until 106 A.D when the Roman took over and ruined everything . Then the Ottoman came around and imposed their rules, culture and religion. The israeli came in after WW2 and now Egypt. There is an odd mix of culture , rather entertaining. South Sinai is the only part of Egypt situated in Asia. The peninsula acquired the name due to the assumption that a mountain near saint catherine monastery (Roman invasion) is the biblical mount Sinai. Assumption largely contested . The ancient égyptien and bedouins called it “ta mefkat “ or land of turquoise. Turquoise mined not in this turquoise water but in the red limestones mountains you see in the background since at least 3000 BCE. Logic was strong back then. Dahab is mostly bedouin and less Egyptian it seems, a more chilled attitude , very bohemian, the town is very cozy, like a small fishing port without much concrete. People are very nice and everyone is settled back. The water is turquoise, the mountains are red, multicolored fishes everywhere, corals and good food. There is prayer 5 times a day. And plastic trash and other cig butt all over. By comparison Sharm el sheik seemed more like a concrete jungle, expensive, check points everywhere and stressed out Egyptians. I took my classes at the dahabfreediving center who are an awesome cosmopolite crew of passionate freediving bums. The center and classes are tight and very pro. Each coach have their own style which makes it fun . Some were better at pushing me other good at relaxing me and showing me good technique. My progress was a bit slow due to my sinuses exploding a couple of times. It was very fun and i am ready for more.
Dahab is very often windy so windsurfers and kitesurfer have a blast
One of the main subject of the free diving courses is safety. Diving partner need to be able to dive 1/3 of the diver goal depth and follow the ascent looking for signs of loss of motor control or black out and act accordingly . It also helps the diver on the climb to relax. It’s nice on the climb up to see a relaxed body and I usually mimic it , neck and torso loosen up. Tension and stress use oxygen …
my first shot was this. Dahab is beautiful and cute but the trash management is a disaster. Trash don’t get picked everyday and the cats dogs goat and wind get into it first. It is everywhere. I dont think this will be resolved until the international industry stop producing plastic or other non biodegradable products.
that was really fun!
I dont get my images published all that often these days, i’ve sort of given up on that game. But sometimes they do make it and i am proud when it is about awesome characters in the ski community, some of the last skibums who havent sold themselves too much into this offensive marketing/narcissism development nightmare and stayed true to themselves. Ptor Spricenieks and Joe Vallone are a couple of them and I recommend that article in Backcountry magazine…
spring skiing and wedding in the Tuscany
Or how Michael “bird” Shaffer, JT Holmes and Valentin Delluc are showing skiers/snowboarders a new style of getting out of runs without dicking around with ropes or sidestepping shit snow.
January was as hectic as December if not more. Massive amount of precep, rain, wind, snow . 100 of chalets evacuated, avalanche’s wind blowing chalet out, 2 lifts broken, some buried, road broken. Chamonix mostly closed, twice under avi level 5. We spent most of that time skiing Pavillon in italy , in the lowers hellbroner (skyway) feeling somewhat safe or not (it just happened to be open), eating pizza, drinking beers, enjoying the sun the few time it was around. I was mostly in the dark, sometime under heavy snow falling, testing the limitations of my cameras/lens and my abilities… I had One day only up the aiguille du midi skiing a valley blanche. The other few good sunny days, i was working. I also took pictures of the new marker binding release event …… some images are redundant with previous post. Photos in total disorder. During a couple of sunny windows, a lot of the argentiere basin steep runs got skied. I had to work shuttling people around most those days but that is hope.