No Siesta

The week started with a full throttle powder day with Mikko, Jesper and Nikolina at Pavillion. After 8 laps there we moved across the road to Val Veni and did a few laps of the cable face. It was riding pretty sweet and I was psyched to get to ride this face again this season. For once the Scandos wanted to stop before it got dark and go eat pizza which was good too. From the comfort of my sofa that night with throbbing legs I felt pretty sorry for Nikolina who was working until 2 am!

The next day was sunny and a chance to get high. I hit Helbronner with Mikko and Jesper and we found the most amazing stable powder on the mountain. By lunch we had skied the classic cables line, Tassoti, straight line 3 times and Chesso twice, in total 7 x 1000m laps. Although it was still cool we decided to go back to darker Cham side and have a run on the Rond but once we got through the tunnel the light was flat and we called it at that not wanting to spoil what had been the best cables day for me for a few years.  These days were fast, furious, and focused on skiing so no photos! The only downside was hitting a rock at full speed on the Toula glacier that had me tomahawking to a standstill. It felt like my knee would explode as the tail bit on each rotation but I luckily got away with only strained medial ligament. I did exactly the same thing before going to Baffin so knew I could manage it.

After resting my knee all the next morning I got the code red from De Masi that it was apocalyptic in Italy. We arrived over there to find it snowing at 20 cm an hour with 50 cm of fresh on the ground. With 115 underfoot it was still chest deep. There was a ridiculous amount of snow coming out of the sky and continuous face shots of cold champagne powder. Well, we skied until the liftie asked if we had homes to go to! I haven’t seen it snow that intensity since ’99 when we got a few metres in 3 days and the avalanches were blasting through the towns in the Alps, something no one wants to see a repeat of. Only a half day but 5 laps in the bag.

Pavillion freeride was the order of the day for Saturday and Michelle met up with her friend Ian from UEFA who was psyched for sport with the Cham lifts shut with the Foehn storm. During the morning it continued to snow and cover the tracks then the sun made an appearance giving us the visibility to jump on the spines and have a laugh. The main problem was avoiding white rooming yourself while launching over the pillows and fish mouths on the aprons. It was supposed to be an active rest day but in the end 7 laps dont really qualify as active rest! By now the Border control cops at the Mont Blanc tunnel were only stopping the car to ask where the good skiing was.

Eat, sleep, repeat. Too good to stop. U guessed it we were at Pavillion on Sunday, joined by Black Crows team mate Minna. We had fun there there until the sun came out at which point we decided to put some distance between ourselves and those big faces above  that were loaded with powder after days of storm. Switching to Val Veni, the trees were still providing awesome skiing, so much so that we had to have one last run and went to the Church spine face. The approach through the trees was incredible with 3 deep foot sluff runnels between the spines in the steep terrain of the forest – WTF? Then we popped out on the spine face and wait a minute, whats this heavy wet mank? Not cool. I’m guessing there was enough reflected infra red radiation off the Helbronner side onto our north facing slope to warm the snow. Time to go home. 6 laps.

Monday dawned fine. Can’t stop, won’t stop. Oli Herren said ‘yeah skiing, its a lifelong addiction.’ I wanted more, and the more I got, the more I wanted. Helbronner uppers. Michelle, Minna and myself ride the bin with Capozzi, Rolli, Civra Dano,Wallace, Hachemi, Husted. The cable face looked loaded and wind effected so we started the day on the more sheltered lines. The lower approaches into Pavillion were skiing amazingly but my legs were  tired. 4 laps and coffee. 40 laps over 6 days.

The weather for Tuesday was perfect…time to go touring use different leg muscles!

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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.
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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

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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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