The driest December in this area since measurements began in 1864 created new challenges for a mountain guide like myself. I could have behaved like Chicken Little and believed the end was near, or rather taken advantage of those conditions. The foehn episode that dried the northern Alps in November, coated the southern Alps with a lovely layer of fresh powder. Living close to that main divide here in Verbier, my clients and I profited from the situation, ski touring and heliskiing in the south, and hiking and climbing in the north.
For those who enjoy being outside no matter the weather and conditions, I’ve found it so rewarding to share these mini adventures with you. Thank you! The following 20 pictures show some of our days together on skis, skins and foot, enjoying what mother nature provides.
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.