Phew, time flies! I can’t believe February has already come to an end, I don’t think winter has ever passed this fast throughout my life as a full-time skier. I guess non-stop powder-to-sun cycles make the days go by. Chamonix has really been the place to be in January and February, with a solid base, not too many weird snow layers and a LOT of sunshine. It’s been a week since my filmer Emil headed back home and the off to Oslo for X-Games (YEAH Henrik!), and the past week has been sort of a chill one for me, with some touring, lots of freeriding without cameras and skiing the Vallée Blanche with Sofia. It’s awesome watching her progress in powder snow, and becoming more comfortable on the mountain.
Today we are heading south, through the tunnel and over to Italy, and the lovely ski town of Courmayeur for the video and photo contest “Click On The Mountain”. If you have read this blog in the past, you know that I did the same contest 2 years ago with Daniel, where we ended up splitting the win with Tero Repo’s team. This year it’s looking like we are going to get hammered with snow throughout the whole week, so expect some crazy pillow and tree riding! The basic idea for the following 4 days is to make one edit, and produce 5 photos, to take home some of the prize money. It’s going to be good to get back out there with a media team and make magic happen again!
Alright, time for some eye candy! Here’s the past 3 weeks in photos, most taken by Sofia:
Dinner time with the crew, Emil the filmer proves he is also a top-notch chef, cooking up a huge lentil dahl to keep everyone energized for another day out there. Really stoked on our food program here, making extra dinner for the next day’s lunch and so on.
Long Backgammon nights is the recipe for success.
Equipment care is key after steep and rocky rides.
One of the most memorable experiences so far was sleeping a night on the mountain, in one of the many mountain huts scattered across the Mt Blanc range. Here’s the view from Refuge de Requin on the Vallée Blanche. If you’re in Cham for more than a few days, make sure to book a clear night up here!
Magical dawn light over Aiguille Verte.
The same mountain during the day, with steep lines that scare the shit out of me, like the Y couloir from it’s peak, or the Whymper couloir on lookers right of the summit.
Another crazy face, the north side of Tour Ronde. Don’t think I’ll be touching these lines for another few years, there’s just too much fun to have around here where you don’t risk your life at every turn.
Simon Ericson scoping lines in the morning after sleeping at 2500 meters.
Mountain Choughs keeping us company, or rather waiting for food.
Sofia after scrambling her way down the famous Arête on the Aiguille du Midi. The actual ski down Vallée Blanche is comparable to a red piste, but the most challenging part is the short walk down the ridge from the top. If you make a mistake here, you have a long way to fall. Proud of my girl for stepping up to the challenge!
Looking back at the ridge, and the kilometer-high, over 50 degrees steep North face sloping off to the right.
Somewhere down the road on the 18 kilometer run to the bottom, alone, in great snow.
After getting our high-altitude fix, we ventured back into the sunny sidecountry of Flegere and Brevent, where we have been scoping out some pretty fun “mini-golf”. This place blows me away every time, no matter how small a line looks from a distance, it’s always twice as big as you expect! Here’s 3 moments from a fun line just off the lift in Flegere:
Now where was that landing again…?
Landing gear ready!
Our Finnish friend Jussi Taka making some steep and deep turns on the face.
And of course, this little guy has been seeing plenty of action. Gotta love the drone footage! Here’s two sneak-peeks of the outcome:
Touring in the Argentiere Basin looking for steep lines. These dark walls of steepness usually don’t come into play until March, but thanks to the heavy snowfall over the last few weeks a few of them start to look interesting… The couloir lookers far right is the Chevalier couloir, that I skied with Tof Henry and Glen Plake back in 2014 for Unfiltered Skiing.
Sofia in front of a fraction of the amazing terrain offered by the Grands-Montets top lift.
Roped up between the (well-filled) crevasses. Such a strange, interesting place for a sunday walk.
This day the temps rised to over 15 Celsius in the sun, destroying whatever powder was left. Made for some pretty interesting snow textures.
Hiking a jump with Simon while Sofia is shooting. This is the last session we got with the crew before they had to drive back home to Sweden, and it was a pretty epic one! 45 centimeters of blower pow in Flegere, and more terrain than one can point a camera at!
Pick your take-off!
Sending it, landing some, crashing a lot. This kind of snow is the best for trying new rotations, it won’t get any softer!
The feeling after landing a trick in deep snow…doesn’t get much better!
Simon putting in the hard work.
Just one more…
…and one more…
Emil getting some well-deserved filmer turns after the session!
Footage review by the camper van after a big day on the mountain. So excited to start putting all this footage together for something epic next fall!
Oh, and before I forget! Yes, February was awesome, but I just realized I haven’t showed you what January’s B-roll ended up like. Enjoy 5 minutes of POV shredding in some of my favorite Cham secrets:
Thanks for reading this huge post, frankly it’s been difficult to get much internet stuff done on the slow wifi we get around here, and I’m not motivated enough to go find a place to work, after 8 hours on the mountain almost every day! I’ll get better I promise!
Check back soon, see you in Italy!