Discovery New and Old

Days and days of skiing, another line, another resort, another peak, and another valley. The challenge for me changes, with old clients down new wild lines I’ve never skied, and with wonderful new clients, down old lines I know and love.

After a superb 6 day trip into the Val d’Aoste, heliskiing in the Valgrisenche, then in the Freeride Paradise of the Monterosa area, I met 4 tough Englishmen who followed me up a peak in a storm. It should have been an easy skin, their first, but turned out to be so wild, as a fresh sou’wester blew in deep, fresh snow. They’d never done a kick turn, but survived the odysse with smiles, floating down deep powder on the calm, lee side. Then day two, after a suggestion to get high quickly with a heli, we dropped into one of my favourite couloirs above Verbier, coated with 45cm of excellent sponge. The joy I have, of taking such wonderful people to places they’ve never dreamed of, is something tough to describe. The challenge I have, to take a small group of friends into terrain they’ve never seen, is immensely rewarding, as I see them struggle at first, with the first turns of a narrow 45 degree couloir, then watch and see them adapt to their new environment, allowing gravity to do its thang, draw their skis in wide open arcs, effortlessly riding down the mountain, with huge grins of wonder on their faces. So fun!

After 20 plus years together, Rob and Jane again pushed me to find lines I’d never done before.  Our ski safari last week took us back into the Monterosa Ski area, between Alagna and Gressoney. We climbed through little cols and rode into big valleys. New views, so fresh for our eyes, stopped us in wonder as we gazed around us at the magical valley of Otro. We took the advice of local alpine guide Marco Zaninetti to find a high line in, skiing fresh powder down this seemingly endless valley. The day before, rappelling into the Malfatta, I teamed up with local guide Fabio, me down below, he above, helping our clients wiggle and rappel into a new couloir, into a new valley. So fun, all this discovery, with old friends and new.

From April 18, I’ll host another 5 day ski adventure and am looking for a few more to join us. The location will depend on conditions and people’s desires. The price will be around 1’080.00 including all guide fees, accommodation and lifts. The Haute Route is a bit crowded this time of year, though leaving out of sync from Chamonix could still make this a fun trip. The Bernese/Jungfrau area could be super nice, as could a romp through the Italian Grand Paradiso, drinking cappuccinos and eating fine Italian cuisine. So many options. Please contact me here to join in the fun adventure.

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