Alps Winter 2016 Start

It rained at my house here in Verbier @1600m all day and turned to snow early this morning. 20cm of wet snow lays around me now, and looking at the data for Attelas @2700m with 45cm of new snow, leads me to believe winter has arrived. Yeehaw!


Verbier, November 21, 2015

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Automatic measurement of 45 cm of fresh snow on Attelas

The forecast is calling for real cool temperatures over the next few days. Precipitation should peter out through the weekend, with another front from the NW passing through Wednesday. I’m guessing Televerbier will open next weekend.

This autumn in the Alps gave us a fine, extended, indian summer, providing lots of opportunities to bike, climb, sail and hike. I hope you were able to profit from it, enjoying that fine feeling of contact with Mama Nature through movement and touch. My rehab gave me lots of excuses to work on strength and flexibility through sport.

Biking above Verbier, November 18, 2015

Biking above Verbier, November 18, 2015

The knee is feeling great, ready for more fun in the snow. Wanna go for a skin this morning?

There’s lots planned for this coming winter and next summer. I hope I get a chance to share some of these experiences with you. From Avalanche Courses, Off-Piste around Verbier and neighboring little resorts, to Ski Safaris, Haute Route and Greenland Heliskiing, there will be lots of opportunity to share and learn from each other. Next summer’s planning is well under way for fun alpine climbs up and down this Alpine Chain. Send me an email or give me a call to book a private trip or join a group with myself or one of the fine guides working with me.

Spontaneous Adventures- Anterior Cruciate Ligament “Eperimental Surgery”

When Dr. Erik Montasinos said his operation was experimental, I was certainly hesitant. But after chatting for some time, it seemed like the smart way to go.

Many of my finest adventures are spontaneous, and this last one certainly qualifies as the most challenging for me. I blew the ACL in my right knee on my last day’s skiing in early May this year, and was back in Verbier quickly to get an MRI, which showed a complete tear. This was good for the Internal Brace method Erik proposed. My ACL was still robust enough for him to get the brace wrapped around. He estimated a 4 month rehab to sports, versus the 6-12 months with traditional reconstruction.

Now, 4 months later, I’m into phase 3 of my rehab, splashing around my home waters of Hawaii. From kiting in the soft waters of Kailua Bay with easy wave riding, hiking the wet hills above our family house with my brother Max, to surfing the beautiful Waipio Valley, I’m regaining that last bit of flexibility before the brutal winter season in Verbier. ;-)

We’ve got lots and lots of fun things planned for this coming winter. Ski Safari seems to be taking off! And quite rightly, as one can set a budget for any adventure, moving from place to place to get the goods.  These get booked early, then we decide at the last minute where we’re going to ski. We book hotels last minute, and hire a van to take all our gear. Riding lifts and skinning into bordering countries and staying at tiny resorts, one gets a good feel for the valleys we visit.

January to mid-February is super fun off-piste in the smaller alpine resorts. For 6 weeks, there are very few folks out, making it easy to find great powder. Greenland Heliskiing week of April 25- May 1, 2016 still has a few seats available for easily the best skiing on the planet.

And lastly, Spring skiing and summer hiking Haute Routes are super fun when the weather breaks in spring. Pick your itinerary to find uncrowded summits and huts along the way.

Hope you’re having a fine autumn wherever you are. Send me a note to arrange a fun trip together.

Aloha and A hui hou!

Greenland Heliskiing

We’ve just finished another outrageous season of heliskiing in west Greenland. Yikes! What a trip. The skiing here is just so outstanding, that after 13 years, I understand now that it’s an addiction. Obviously, having a heli at our disposal adds a lot to the experience, but while I’m floating through the powder towards the water’s edge, my sense of touch, directing my attention to my skis, is so distracted by my sense of sight to the water and islands below, that skiing here adds another whole new dimension to the experience. It’s a privilege to spend this time in this little village of Kangaamiut, getting to know these people and skiing down some of the most memorable runs of my winter. And a privilege it is, to ski with my clients, who every year, reflect what I see and feel about this place: the best skiing in the world. Come join us next year: April 18-24, April 25- May 1, and May 2-8, 2016.

Here are a few shots of our runs and time in Kangaamiut.

Haute Route- Chamonix to Zermatt

Back to back Haute Routes! On day one, Marnie and I went from the Grand Montets, over the Col du Passon, across the Tour Glacier, through the col superior du Tour, down the Trient Glacier, up through the Col des Ecandies, then down the Arpette valley to Champex. We spent the night in Verbier, then skied corn the next morning on the Marlene, corn off the SE face of Mont Fort, then on to the Prafleuri Hut. Then we did Dix, Pigne d’Arolla, Arolla, Bertol and down to Zermatt. What perfect conditions we had! The snow was brand new, super white crystals, laid down from the previous four day’s snow storm.  Living in Whistler certainly prepared Marnie for some of the hight gain each day, but I was happy to see her impressed with the vastness we live in here. Seeing the steep couloirs and faces to climb, her untrained eye was at first intimidated, but she soon felt comfortable once she had crampons on her feet and was in the thick of it. Hut life was super pleasant, meeting only a handful of people each evening, sharing the same desire to relax and travel up over these peaks and passes. Then I did a fun variant the past 4 days, traveling from the Valsorey Hut to Chanrion and then up and down to Arolla. The wildness of our own upper Val du Bagnes always impresses me and feeds that yearning to discover more of its nooks and crannies. Here are a few shots from the last few days…