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.
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! 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.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. 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
After lots of snow and high winds, these Alps are coated with a new white blanket of sparkling cream. It had gotten real dry, going from great spring skiing mid-April, to blackening snow and opening crevasses. We skied off the summit of the other Bec yesterday, in strong NW winds. The north face was filled in like 20 years ago with spongey, grippy snow, making the steep and exposed upper slopes real playful. Alex and Roman started to grin ear to ear after they'd come to terms with the 300 meters of exposure, letting the skis ride over the fresh snow. This is high time in the Alps for ski touring, safari, and haute route, and conditions are primed for some of the best in quite some time. The forecast is for beautiful blue skies and cool north east air for the next 2 weeks! I have one trip with space still available April 18-23. We will go to where conditions are best. The cost is 1'080.00 including guide fees and hut costs. Then Greenland again, April 28 - May 14 for the best skiing on the planet! Here's a few shots of yesterday's two steep lines...
After an incredibly cool and wet spring, summer has arrived to these Alps. For the first time this year, steady daytime temperatures at 1500 meters are above 20 degrees. It warms the soul to see the look on everyone's face and feel the relaxed attitude as people sit outside socializing in the evening. Verbier is filling again with people as the Music Festival gets into full swing. After a 2 week rock climbing trip to the sea, I've had the opportunity to do some guiding on a few alpine routes and hikes. Vadim and I climbed the north face of the Tour Ronde between Chamonix and Courmeyeur before spending some time in Zermatt and Grindelwald. Then I did a mini Haute Route with the Summers over 3 days, alpine trecking from Mauvoisin to Chanrion, over the Pigne d'Arolla and down to Arolla. The conditions on the high glaciers are better then I have ever seen them in the 30+ years I have been here. Snow remains low on the glaciers and above 3000 meters, the skiing is still excellent! I will be in Verbier all summer offering introductory climbing camps to people of all ages, leading people on a number of Alpine Hikes around this and neighboring valleys, and of course guiding on the 4000ers. Please contact me for detailed information.