The first runs we did the day we arrived were already so impressive. It is quite impossible to describe. Even though I have been skiing all winter in Verbier, I was completely euphoric with my first run with these clients. How could that be after a full winter’s season under my belt? Certainly the views of the Fjords, the powder snow quality, the terrain and the feeling of the boundless area before us was part of the reason. I don’t know. But what I see and feel is the most amazing awareness with all of us here together. I was into summer/rock climbing mode back in Verbier, but look out my window from Kangaamiut to the mountains and sea and am so happy to be back again.
And that was just the first day! Yesterday, we skied the Kangaamiut Couloir for the second time in the 10 years I have been coming here. Landing at 2000 meters in a tiny slot on the edge of a cliff, we skied fine powder down to corn snow, an enchanting line, squeezed between an icy, glacial, bulge and a granite cliff, 2000 meters long!
Every area we visit seems to have its own special character. Every day is so different than the previous. Conditions are again fantastic, yet completely different than I have ever experienced. It is -10 at 2000 meters, but it is hot on the sunny slopes. This is leaving powder perfect on the north slopes.
And I have not yet described the tiny island we live on, nor the food we are eating at Regina’s house. The Muskox is delicious, the fresh Halibut in a breaded curry sauce was mouth watering and the Reindeer for tonight will certainly be scrumptious. We are getting to know all the locals, walking about town in the evening.
It’s great to be back. I can’t wait to get out for another run!
I am back from the tiny village of Kangaamiut, Greenland, just north of Maniitsoq. It was colder than I have seen it in the 9 years I have been visiting, which made for really fine skiing conditions. We had soft powder on the North aspects and nice, squishy corn on the South. The trip was unique for me in that it was all about creating a film about world champion snowboarder Xavier Delerue. Ben Pugh of Between The Eyes was here for Relentless with his excellent team of camera men, sound man, focus pullers and all. I can’t wait to see the result. We had ideal conditions, with only one down day out of seven. Have a look at my Greenland Heli Skiing Site for more info on what it’s all about.
Here are few shots of this year’s trip. They are mostly ambiance shots from Tero Repo and Guido Perrini. For more action and what huge potential this place has for wild, steep terrain, mouse over the galleries here.
That’s it! The snow around my house melted last week, the southern slopes have avalanched and melted away, leaving supreme skiing at altitude. We were hoping to get on a few fine steep descents, but the weather has not cooperated completely. The Foehn here is blowing hard up high, and the south side has seen over a meter of fresh over the past week. But what a perfect winter! Snow fell often and in abundance, then when Spring came in late March, it got real hot real fast. Perfect!
I am in Greenland for another fine adventure of heliskiing. It has been cold and wintery, providing us with some of the finest snow conditions I have seen. Ben Pugh of Between The Eyes is here with his film crew creating a film of top snowboarder Xavier De Le Rue. This movie should appear on Relentless‘s site soon. Have a look at some of the films they have made. They are very appealing. Certainly surfing a super thick wave, winter time in the Irish Sea, makes for a fine story.
I have returned again to Greenland and realize, this time through the eyes of my clients, what wonders these Fjords have to offer.
From the whale sightings they did today in the Fjord of Kangaamiut, to the steep skiing of the past 2 blue bird days, Kangaamiut Greenland is such a wonderfull place to come to. The skiing is certainly the best in the world, but it’s not just about the skiing. After only 3 days here, I have seen everyone bond with the local Greenlandic folks. We all appreciate their lives here in this extremely remote and hostile part of the world.
I am blogging at GreenlandHeliSkiing.com. Come have a look.
Miles and Liz Smart are running these steep camps, and have asked me to help this year.
We have ideal conditions, with lots of fresh snow and very few skiers in town. The avalanche situation is relatively low at level 2. This is allowing us to get on some steep terrain and talk about ski technique in exposed areas. We have looked at belay anchors, setting up fixed ropes to lower over steep terrain, and talked about the different aspects of avalanche conditions. Do you know what a high temperature gradient is and its effect on the creation of facets?
View the photos of the heli ski we did on day 2.
What a wild winter this had turned out to be! We have been skiing really nice winter snow for the past 3 weeks. And it’s mid-April!!! It was -18 Celsius, with strong winds at altitude for our heli. My hands were cold, playing with the camera. The skiing in Verbier was some of the best powder skiing of the whole season.
The forecast is calling for warmer and variable weather for the next few days. The snow/rain level will hover around 1800 meters, just above the village. Happy tracks!
And so it did: It snowed again, but 40cm+ outside my chalet this time.
From 7AM to midnight, we had a good little winter
storm- to welcome in the first day of Spring! We skied in Bruson, where the
visibility of the woods helped us navigate the fresh powder. Winter is indeed
Yesterday before the storm, we flew to the Trient Glacier and had such a fine time climbing and skiing. I took the Nikon D70 this time and took a few photos. Marco and Max were in fine form, following my lead up and down these fine granitic couloirs!
The forecast is calling for more unsettled weather for the next few days. It’s kind of nice having winter again. What a shake up. Winter to Spring to Winter!
It has been absolutely gorgeous this whole past month of February. The corn snow of early February evolved from early winter, SE only aspects, to full-on, Spring-Time corn during the last 2 weeks of Feb. We skied real long runs into this lovely Val du Bagnes, off the Trient Glacier, and several trips onto Italian Corn. Powder was on the northern aspects, and spring snow on the southern. Winter came in March, with some really cold temps and strong north winds. But not much snow fell ’til yesterday. It looks like the months of good weather may yield to some weeks of wet weather. We shall see…
Taking up video, in the place of still photos, has put a wrinkle into my web updates. It’s time consuming stuff. But I’ve been editing some of the video of the past 2 months, and put some here now. They are longish cuts, having saved most scenes for the clients staring in them. But if you have the time, sit back and enjoy the ambiance. Contrary to what you may have heard about this season lately, skiing has been an absolute blast! And that, thanks to Mama Nature and the fun folks I have had the opportunity to ski with.
We spent a fine day at altitude one week ago, skiing through 35cm of fresh powder when Verbier got only 10cm…
Alpine Ski Movie
Kashmir’s film is a still a work in progress.
Jonny Boy, Tim and Sean ripped it up during one of the Foehn events in January.