CYRENAICS photos

steep and not so steep

year 2016

the good stuff of 2016

I bought 3 music albums.

Le trio Joubran-as fâr and Majâz. Amazing music from palestine!

radiohead a moon shaped pool.

ben milstein-untitled EP : sweet intricate electro

I bought one ski movie: Sam favret : backyard: sweet film showing the chamonix backyard and sam’s crew. Amazing imagery and editing.

my other favorite ski movies were : jordan manley: china and jordan manley: Iran

Manley is still my favorite .

and also: la liste where jeremy heitz show us how to ski steep today.

2016 started at the infamous berghain

berghain

All kind of Chamonix happened.

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chamonix, france, cosmique couloir

chamonix, france, cosmique couloir

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couloir alley italey

couloir alley italey

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couloir alley italey

couloir alley italey

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Lofoten

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lofoten norway

lofoten norway

lofoten norway, sauna-bath at lofoten ski lodge

lofoten norway, sauna-bath at lofoten ski lodge

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lofoten norway

lofoten norway

Japan , hakuba

tokyo japan

tokyo japan

tokyo japan

tokyo japan

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hakuba japan

hakuba japan

hakuba japan

hakuba japan

california

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Namibia

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La grave

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la grave

la grave


lurking

I hung out at the top of the aiguille du midi . That is all.

Climbers on the cosmic ridge

cosmique ridge

cosmique ridge

people walking on the white desert toward the refuge des grand mulets and mont blanc summit

voie normal mont blanc

voie normal mont blanc

By far my favorite ski run.the south west face of les droites. Not the hardest, steepest or most bad ass by today’s standard but my favorite. One of my ambition was to climb the north face and ski that face. Never found the partner to do it with…

west face les droite

west face les droite

the tour ronde north face with all the satellites : adolphe rey, or de siam, capucin. great memories, great summits, great climbs. and ski.

north face tour ronde, pointe adolphe rey, grand capucin

north face tour ronde, pointe adolphe rey, grand capucin

dent du géant

dent du géant

dent du géant

skiers in the rond

skiers in the rond

skiers

skiers

cervin, grand combin, triolet

cervin, grand combin, triolet

choucas

choucas

radness

radness

mont blanc du tacul

mont blanc du tacul

shaffer

shaffer

And of course, a wing suit pilot jumped…

wing suit. aiguille du midi

wing suit. aiguille du midi


steeps

This past 20 days i haven’t skied at all but the conditions were all time and i watched the history of steep skiing unfold …it was very entertaining. The cult of self providing 3 min bad video footages and mostly bad pictures of everyone’s steep descents all over the social medias. While it was all bad quality it was showing a nice view of the steep skiing phenomena …I was baffled by the amount of good alpinists and skiers tackling 5.4 and 5.5 runs all over the mont blanc massif. I lived in chamonix for 10 years , not an alpinist, it took me 4 years before i could get on the north faces of the midi or runs on the argentiere basin north faces. I never heard of anyone skiing the north faces of the midi or the col de la verte within my first 4 years. Today with the new gear technology, every alpinists can ski and every skier is better. It takes less than a season learning skiing for an alpinist to tackle a 5.4 run which on an alpinist point of view is just a easy descent they usually run down on crampons. I saw young skiers skiing the mallory on their first season in chamonix (with a friend alpinist or guide) . So, anytime things are good (global warming helping), people line up on every run. This past 20 days was the biggest so far with every ski runs in the argentiere basin north face skied by minimum 10 people, sometime 20 people or more , the aiguille du plan north faces , pain de sucre, frendo, all the runs on the aiguille du midi skied by many. Most with huge G.S turns at mack2. Amazing. If, people were less competitive, less self centered, the medias/industry more unifying, interested and honest, the best ski movie of all time could have been made this steep season including rock star pros as well as struggling sponsored dirt bags and all the other passionate freaks. Instead, we will hear about some privileged prefabricated super hero athletes skiing whatever something in the alps or exotic location in a fabricated story with all sort of superlatives and logos claiming first decent of a 30 meters variations … I randomly stumbled on the descent of the Nant blanc by Alex Pittin, tony Lamiche and Hélias Millerioux. The nant blanc face is the most impressive, intimidating , steep and exposed face visible from the valley. The climbing is a D+ the skiing a 5.5. It  was first skied by J.M Boivin in june 1989, repeated on snowboard by Marco Siffredi in june 1999. repeated again by Pierre Tardivel and Stephane Brosse in june 2009 and then by 2 of the T-crew  and more (?). This mid April, Pittin (ex world cup skier) with tony Lamiche (guide, 9A rock climber ,  alpinist, skier) and Hélias Millerioux (guide, top alpinist, hangs out on Nupse with colin haley and ueli steck) were the first on this face, arguably the most beautiful face visible from the valley. I enjoyed the descent with Alex pittin’s father who was a little stressed and I took some photos. It was very nice. A very clean descent from first bin grand montet on sight. I’ve never been interested in skiing that face myself. I would need an alpinist for partner on that one. But you never know, 5 years from now, that face might get good from january on, until then ,  this face will get skied a lot more in the next month or so…

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This is the argentiere basin north faces , All those approximate red lines show the ski runs, in the past 20 days , each one of those receive between 10 to 30 skiers.

argentiere basin

argentiere basin

 

 

this is the top of the aiguille verte, on the top left you can see 3 skiers going up. they skied down the couturier (i saw 9 skiers that day going that way). on the right of the calotte, you can see  helias millerious,tony lamiche,  alex pittin getting involved in the Nant blanc face.

nan blanc, helias millerious,tony lamiche, alex pittin

nant blanc, helias millerious,tony lamiche, alex pittin

nan blanc, helias millerious,tony lamiche, alex pittin

nant blanc, helias millerious,tony lamiche, alex pittin

nan blanc, helias millerious,tony lamiche, alex pittin

nant blanc, helias millerious,tony lamiche, alex pittin

nan blanc, helias millerious,tony lamiche, alex pittin

nant blanc, helias millerious,tony lamiche, alex pittin

nan blanc, helias millerious,tony lamiche, alex pittin

nant blanc, helias millerious,tony lamiche, alex pittin

nan blanc, helias millerious,tony lamiche, alex pittin

nant blanc, helias millerious,tony lamiche, alex pittin

nan blanc, helias millerious,tony lamiche, alex pittin

nant blanc, helias millerious,tony lamiche, alex pittin

 

 

this is Alex father watching the descent a little stressed.

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nan blanc, helias millerious,tony lamiche, alex pittin

nant  blanc, helias millerious,tony lamiche, alex pittin

nan blanc, helias millerious,tony lamiche, alex pittin

nant blanc, helias millerious,tony lamiche, alex pittin


a stormy rond and cosmique . a sunny valley blanche

jeremy heitz, laurent gauthier, leo slemmett, christopher baud, logan pehota

jeremy heitz, laurent gauthier, leo slemmett, christopher baud, logan pehota

leo slemmett

leo slemmett

jeremy heitz

jeremy heitz

laurent gauthier

laurent gauthier

laurent gauthier

laurent gauthier

jeremy heitz

jeremy heitz

logan pehota

logan pehota

logan pehota

logan pehota

logan pehota

logan pehota

logan pehota

logan pehota

logan pehota

logan pehota

logan pehota

logan pehota


La grave

Not finding what i need in Cham i escaped once again to middle earth, the center of the world: La Grave. My first time there. La Grave feels isolated, a small french village surrounded by gigantic jagged peaks. The world capital of soul-skiing. I surfed Joe Vallone ‘s couch. Joe Vallone is pretty much a local. His flat is an ode to skiing with past memorabilia , hundreds stories. I am a thousands light years from holly-cham, back to the source maybe. Finding skiing. Him and Ptor Spricenieks take me on a stroll without using the postcard lift to a corner of their playground along the flank of the Tabuchet. In a couloir where no one ever goes. A lost couloir . A possible first descent? How could that be? It has everything of a classic. We skied it leisurely with a sunset light. Apres ski at the skier lodge K2 bar, a Place filled with ski history. This was a classic ski day, reminiscing those days i had in the eastern sierra california , reminding me why i am a skier.

 ski day  start with coffee at the leisurely time of 11 AM with Ptor Spricenieks and joe villain

ski day start with coffee at the leisurely time of 11 AM with Ptor Spricenieks and joe villain

hiking

break

break


the couloir
the summit. i could see mont blanc

the summit. i could see mont blanc

Ptor Spricenieks

Ptor Spricenieks

Ptor Spricenieks

Ptor Spricenieks

joe vallone

joe vallone

joe vallone

joe vallone

joe vallone

joe vallone

Ptor Spricenieks

Ptor Spricenieks

joe vallone

joe vallone


re-entry – Chamonix

Back in Chamonix , My friend from San Fransisco was at my flat for another day so i took him down the cosmique back to cham via the junction. The cosmic had been tracked and was OK but the junction was all time …what a beautiful way to come back and a memorable last day for my friend.

Johnathan Jacobs

next day 10 of us took a heli up the petit mont blanc to ski the super classic bonatti couloir to celebrate our friend lionel hatchemi aka so-connard birthday . A classic day. so-local. next morning was hang over day.

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we went with tof henry to try to shoot something nice but it wasn’t in the way we wanted.

tof henry

tof henry

tof henry


couloir(e)

minna rhimakki, luca pandolfi

minna rhimakki, luca pandolfi


August

lyskamLYSKAM summer ski mission

Luca Pandolfi called me up in the midst of a hot humid rainy mid summer period telling me we should go ski Lyskam. It is an amazing face in a zone i havent been so I dug out what i could find of my ski kit under- way- under the summer junks. Upon our arrival to the refuge, a picture of the face got me somewhat pessimistic, it looked like the rain had crusted the bottom half of the face. This is the type of face you want to ski with good big powdery turns, fluidly (or else you didn’t really ski it) … not really a jump turn- sideway skiing type thing. That said because of that: (what some would call) “snobbism” , i still havent skied the Couturier or the Gervasutti. On our way, we met with friends-ski world -movers and shakers joe vallone, PTOR and glen Plake who shared the same dreams . awesome!. At the summit , we made a few turns down the benedetti line on the N.face until we realized it was really gonna be miserable another 200 meters down. So we climbed back up and skied the other side. Oh well. im glad i saw that zone, a must do. I enjoy that kind of summer ski mission

The rest of August was unstable and rainy and crowded.I barely had windows to take my bike out on my days off. Dreaming i am getting dusted on the black rock desert celebrating hedonism. .

luca pandolfi

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Joe vallone, glen plake, ptor

joe vallone

glen plake

glen plake


where people ski

tof henry

tof henry

tof henry

tof henry

tof henry

michael "bird" shaffer

michael “bird” shaffer

michael "bird" shaffer, julot  berger

michael “bird” shaffer, julot berger

michael "bird" shaffer

michael “bird” shaffer

damien deschamp

ben briggs, mikko heimonen, jesper

ben briggs, mikko heimonen, jesper

Jesper petersson, mikko, ben briggs

y vouloir aiguille verte

Jesper petersson, mikko, ben briggs

Jesper petersson, mikko, ben briggs

aiguille du plan

aiguille du plan

tracks incognitos


Image

today

michael "bird" shaffer