Petit Mont Blanc – North East / Bonatti Couloir

Its was always going to be a long day, especially with the amount of bad weather we have had this winter that has prevented us getting tour fit. It was deep going in. Then it got deeper. By late afternoon as the couloir steepened up it got ridiculously deep where I expected it to get faster for booting. Even with snow plates I was waist deep and trenching, the others up to their chests in my trench. Our team of 5 were cooked. We called a stop about 150 m from the top and skied amazing pow in the glow of the evening light. Thanks to Michelle Blaydon, Kirsti Lehtimaki, Cedric Bernardini and Robes Parron for a stunning day. NE Couloir Petit Mt Blanc NE Couloir Petit Mt Blanc-2NE Couloir Petit Mt Blanc-3 NE Couloir Petit Mt Blanc-4 NE Couloir Petit Mt Blanc-5NE Couloir Petit Mt Blanc-6 NE Couloir Petit Mt Blanc-7 NE Couloir Petit Mt Blanc-8 NE Couloir Petit Mt Blanc-9 NE Couloir Petit Mt Blanc-10 NE Couloir Petit Mt Blanc-11 NE Couloir Petit Mt Blanc-12 NE Couloir Petit Mt Blanc-13 NE Couloir Petit Mt Blanc-14

Meanwhile on the Remote Planet Hoth

I did a couple of training laps on the Midi West last week, one with Searler who broke himself on the Para Face at high speed and retired wounded in action, and one solo where an Italian lady fell down the icy Rond in front of me and got evacuated by heli, though I think it was more of a shock than any specific injury. Great turns and amazing snow.Dave Searle Midi West Couloir-2 Dave Searle Midi West Couloir-3 Dave Searle Midi West Couloir-4 Dave Searle Midi West Couloir-5 Dave Searle Midi West Couloir-6 Dave Searle Midi West Couloir-7 Dave Searle Midi West Couloir-8 Dave Searle Midi West Couloir

Sunlight and Storm

We started the day in the sun with a cables then a Marbree run. By 1030 it was getting hot in the sun and we relocated to Courmayeur to ski the central BB Couloir on the Dolonne Face.DCIM100GOPRODCIM100GOPROScreen Shot 2014-02-28 at 16.37.39Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 16.36.14Courmayeur Buccella Bauer CouloirCourmayeur Buccella Bauer Couloir-2Courmayeur Buccella Bauer Couloir-3Courmayeur Buccella Bauer Couloir-4Courmayeur Buccella Bauer Couloir-5

Sublime Powder Day Tour with Cedric Bernardini

Finally out touring after a lot of variable weather this winter.
Cedric Bernardini Epaule TaculCedric Bernardini Epaule Tacul-2 Cedric Bernardini Epaule Tacul-4 Cedric Bernardini Epaule Tacul-5 Cedric Bernardini Epaule Tacul-6

Super fast smooth turns on my Nocta 178 with Plum Yaks.

Dolomites Part 2

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Dolomites Part 1

After a few weekends when the weather looked poor in the Dolomites we finally hit the road the on the promise of a good forecast.  Its a long drive and with lots of traffic round Milan then with lots of snow and an avalanche on the road it was even longer, but worth it as the mountains are stunning. Dolomites ski-23

Dolomites ski-11The Pordoi pass at 2300 m with 5 m of snow lining the sides of the roads.Dolomites ski-25Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 09.33.32Dolomites ski-2CristalloDolomites ski-24

The sun made a brief outing before the weather deteriorated and dumped another 50 cm.Dolomites ski-3 Dolomites ski-4 Dolomites ski-10Dolomites ski-12

Friends are flying with us!Dolomites ski

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Sunny Powder Day

Sunny days have been few and far between this year here so you’d expect the lift company to be ready for business on the first sunny powder day for ages. But it snowed a little last night, as forecast, as it does in the mountains…so the lift opens late because they have to clear a few terraces with a snowblower. Its a uncontrolled mountain so they can’t even blame it on avalanche control.
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The looks say it all. First there, queuing for 2 hours and not in the first bin.Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 17.15.42

Good fun once we got there and worth the wait. Super good to be back on the big hill 2800 m vertical runs down the West Face of the Aiguille du Midi to the road.