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Month: April 2016

PDG cancelled – not quite the grand finale to the race season

Ah well. You can’t do much about the weather. After fine weather during the preceding week, and good weather and conditions for the first PDG race start it didn’t quite work out for us. Misha, Ivor and I travelled over on the Friday to Zermatt, got our kit checked, ate a ton of food and got our heads down for any early evening. It was going to be the big last race of the season. The PDG gets lots of hype, it’s the classic sought after event, Zermatt to Verbier. 4000m of ascent and 53km of horizontal travel. Our...

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Traverse of the Domes du Miage – Ski Mountaineering

Last year I guided Pete and his friend up Mont Blanc on skis, and this year Pete got in touch as he was keen for another short two day adventure. We kept an eye on the weather and hatched various plans, including a fast Haute Route and a traditional “purists Haute Route” but in the end we settled for the Domes du Miage which fitted our weather window nicely and also was firmly on Pete’s to do list (which is quite a long list…) It had snowed quite a lot of the previous couple of days and we woke...

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Haute Maurienne Ski Touring

Our original plan was to head to Zermatt for a week of 4000m peak bagging along the Swiss/Italian frontier ridge. The terrain along there is pretty complicated however and the weather forecast we had wasn’t looking too helpful with strong winds forecast all week and cloud coming and going too. So we shelved that idea and I spent quite a bit of time staring at guidebooks, maps and weather forecasts. The weather did look better further south, and so after our warmup day around Chamonix we got in the car and did some driving. The Haute Maurienne has some...

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Tour du Rutor – Race report

Well that was a bit of a learning curve. My first multi day stage race was going to be the classic Tour du Rutor. In it’s 18th edition, it’s a team event where you race together over the three days. The ski mountaineering races are pretty amazing events, taking a large amount of competitors (365 teams at the Rutor) to pretty remote mountain areas, up and down exposed rocky ridges and fast off piste runs. All of this while the skiers are wearing the bare minimum and pushing themselves pretty hard on terrain where you (I) would normally be...

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Chopping and Changing in the Paradiso National Park

It was mid day when I found myself at work again, skinning of course, and my favourite type of day, which means classic from the car ski touring. We travelled up a well beaten cross country ski track, and into the valley above before I realised I’d been here several time before, I was back in Italy and heading towards the Benevelo refuge. But suddenly we stopped, and there was a lot of discussion. Someone was holding a ski in one hand, and a binding in the other. Even I know this was less than ideal…. And sure enough...

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  • Seven days on Elbrus
    As soon as I saw our transport after arriving at Mineralnye Vody, I knew our Russian expedition to […]
  • Decisions, decisions……
    It seems like we’ve had a couple of weeks worth of bad weather to bring the spring ski touring […]

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