Friday, February 29, 2008

How not to drive a piste basher

Today Mike Woolford, Stephen Yeates and John Donner ski toured up to the Gd St Bernard Monastery. In the middle of nowhere we came across a Piste Basher that had fallen in a pond and was stuck. it still had the keys in it. We could not get it out.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Heli shopping

After our success on the Haute Route we needed to get back to our start point - Arolla. We decided to fly back to the top of the Pigne d'arolla and then ski down the north Couloir back to the village. As our helicopters arrived at the heli pad a bizarre site met us as some weird women got out of the helicopter. They were not here to ski but to shop.

Four years for the Haute Route

Peter Whelan Nigel Costain and I set off on the Haute Route four years ago. We met John Howarth along the way. Like so many times we got bombed out by bad weather in Arolla. We met up each year but the weather thwarted us each time.
This time we again met in Arolla and were joined by John Norris , the well known Chamonix photographer and Rachel Campbell who wanted to know what all the fuss was about.
We headed up to the Bouqutins bivy laden down with food bottles of Claret and Champagne. Needles to say we had a very pleasant time. in the morning starting around 6.00am we headed off. We arrived at the final col - the col du Vallpeline at 11.30am and then skied down 2000 vertical meters into Zermatt for a big celebration.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Dangerous Sisters Hit Zermatt

Andrea and Florenece were invited by Maighread Simmons to fly to Zermatt for a days skiing. We flew across the Haute Route and landed at the top of the resort at 9.00am. We had lunch at the Riffelalp Hotel and in the afternoon we flew back to Chamonix. We left Zermatt at 3.40pm and Andrea was at her recorder lesson at 4.30pm

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Winter Mountaineering Skills

Bob Mccormik came out for the weekend inorder to gain some mountaineering skills before he headed off to attempt Mt Elbrus in the summer. We spent the first day learning how to use Ice axe and crampons on the Mer de Glace. Strangely it was far warmer than in the summer and we had the place to ourselves. On Sunday we headed up the Aiguille du Midi and climbed Pt Lachanael. Again we had the place to ourselves and enjoyed perfect weather.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Gibo Club comes to Europe

The Gibo Heliski team joined me to Heliski in Switzerland. The team was lead by [the President] Peter Folkman. With him were David Freud Peter Ward and Ian Ansell. Air Glacier provided us with a helicopter. The first day it snowed so we could not fly. Instead we skied in Combloux in deep powder. On Tuesday we skied from the Trient Plateau into Champex. After a delicious lunch we flew to the top of the Pigne d'arolla and skied into Arolla. That night it snowed so we skied from the lift system. On Thursday we were dropped on the Petit Combin and we skied down to the glacier skinned up the other side and arrived in Mauvosin. We spent the night at the Hotel des Alps in Orsieres. On Friday we had two flights from the Rosablnache. The first descent down to Mauvoisin was mixted with a rather icy gully. The second down to Siviez was a perfect way to finish the week