Preseason Powder Hunting

With the first snowfall of the season kicking things off in mid November its been a crazy busy period searching for powder stashes. The stable snow conditions have allowed me to go and explore some new areas and revisit some that were long forgotten years ago. The biggest challenge has been finding motivated partners and I’ve already racked up 50K vertical touring metres this autumn and 162 ski days for the year. Luckily I have a few trusted partners available on different days so I’m not always on my own. The highlight was finding 3 couloirs that don’t feature in any of my guidebooks which were filled with primo pow. I’ve also spotted a couple of cool lines which should be good to go once we get some more snow.
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Flow

Its that exciting and hectic time of year for me again, getting finished work, Christmas shopping, packing up and getting ready to drive to Chamonix for the winter. This year has been faster and more furious than ever before and I have had a lot of fun reliving some of the moments from 2012 putting this together and getting psyched for this winter:

Sunkissed Rock on the Grand Cap

We went to the Grand Cap rock climbing. We almost bivied but at last moment threw in a tent as it was a ski in. I shivered from 3-5am until I realised that John was awake to. It seemed highly unlikely we would be going rock climbing at 3800 m. How did I just have one of my coldest nights ever in the mountains while in a tent when its 20 C during the day! After a few brews to warm up and having my feet in and out of my touring boot liners to rewarm them we legged it from the tent to route where the sun was already hitting. What followed was sublime day out on perfect rock, all the more sweet as it was so unexpected in the middle of the ski season and having barely touched rock for months. I’d been wanting to climb this monolith for 15 years. Thanks to John McCune for a great day.

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