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.
experiment on a 2 weeks images…
This pre season started better than the last 4 years, we got hit by a few big storms. Yet we are now dealing with abnormal temp fluctuation bringing the iso 0 from 800M to 2000M back and forth with a lot of precipitations. Which makes it hard to ski anything. It is forecasted for the next 10 days so we have to be patient. I am pretty sure , when the weather will calm down , it will be sick skiing, top to bottom. I had to work most of that time so skiing at lunch break mostly , alone more often than not. I got some epic forrest skiing sometime meeting with fun crews….
A nice early season scenic training hike with Davide De masi and Dyane Dvy
On a lunch break i met with Ross Hewitt, johanna smilla stalnacke and Michelle Blaydon for an epic plan de l aiguille session
A day under the super classic Val Veny cable line with Luca Rolli and Luca Pandolfi.It was new to me and despite seeing that run from the lift as we go up, it is very intimidating and not so straight forward, steep and very exposed. I was happy to be with Rolli who is conservative in the way he approaches this kind of run…
A day at the montenvert forrest delight with Ross Hewitt and Michelle Blaydon
An epic lunch brake with Glenn Plake his wife Kimberley and the son of Remy Lecluse at the plan de l ‘aiguille…
As i am writing this , we have a 5/5 avalanche risk which i have never seen in the 12 years here in cham….or maybe once. Mostly due to heavy snow fall over 2000 meters and heavy snow and rain under 2000 meters
powerful Humans skiing. It is such strong skiing down a gnarly face. Very impressive. I was posted at the very top of a mountain across the face so i couldn’t hear who was going and which start. Getting a shot was alike posting myself in the Zambian bush to wait for an animal to cross path. When it happened , i wasn’t sure who and sometime the time to get my camera at the right spot was too late. Oh well.
My only day off in over a month and the first night it snowed side ways in chamonix all winter. Nicklas told me grand montet was all time yesterday . I’m watching today’s videos of hellbroner italy sort of making my decision .Italy. Morning comes, there is at least 50 cm on the ground, i go for grand montet threatening nicklas to kill him if there is more than 10 peeps and no powder. I drive up. junk show. CRAP! Thinking i should turn around and head for hellbroner. Anyways…after all. it was an amazing days , no people and first time i ski those bottom couloirs in 3 years. it felt like a december . no , really it was.
I wanted to search for a good angle to take skiers with my 400 mm, i think it would make a cool frame . I called Nat segal an excellent skier who is currently in Chamonix. Unfortunately the winds have worked the snow and we couldn’t really find all the elements for the frame i wanted. I switched to my 100 and we just rode brevent flegere, sometime stopping for a shot…the snow was variable which is good for training. I guess.