Jonathan Griffith Photography Blog
Just got down off the Midi this afternoon. Conditions up high are lethal for the moment. There was an incredibly strong (120kmph) easterly wind off the Midi yesterday which shifted overnight to a strong North Westerly. Coupled with this it has been dumping non-stop since about 4am this morning meaning that there were some very nasty slabs already forming on southerly slopes on the way back to the Midi. My skins broke enroute which meant I was in waist deep snow for part of the walk…there really is that much snow up there. Also this was at about 2pm and no doubt there will be even more there now.
The glaciers are also very badly covered for the moment which was a bit surprising. The shrunds around the Midi are not very well filled in at all and there were some big holes visible further along the Midi col. This fresh snow fall will have covered some of them up no doubt but they will be very weak snow bridges.
Most of N Italy is experiencing some of the heaviest snow it has seen in years with many parts of Aosta completely shut off.
Ice wise its not awesome up high either. We climbed part of the Cosmiques icefall yesterday but it turned out to be more of a Scottish dry tooling adventure than alpine ice. cant comment on anything else as it was a whiteout for most of our time up there.
Today saw a crack team crowd of British climbers (not me) descend upon the Helbronner lift where we once again headed down the Tulla glacier for the last of the powder. Whilst not as good as yesterday there were still some patches to be had but it was definitely getting very hot and sluggish in the sun. Bad weather on the way now bringing alot more snow in….fingers crossed
Jonathan Baird reports great conditions in Cogne..check out his website for ice climbing pics to give you an idea
Kenton Cool, Simon, and Tim Emmett
Today saw myself, Kenton Cool, and Matt Helliker head over to Italy. Last season we all ended our ski season with an outstanding week of skiing together which involved some of the best powder I have ever skied day after day. It was only fitting therefore that our first outing together for this season should begin exactly where we left off last season. Amazing powder was to be had all day in Italy and we managed to avoid the crowds meaning that epic descents were followed up by quick (lift) ascents. By the end of the day the powder was still impeccable, but I’ll let the photos show that for you….
Matt Helliker ripping it up on the first descent
Kenton Cool enjoying some serac action
Kenton Cool deep in the white stuff
Matt Helliker hitting the steeps
Matt Helliker in front of the Aig Noire du Peuterey in the evening sun
Matt Helliker enjoying the champagne powder
Apart from the crowds the first proper powder day at GM was fantastic. Lots of very deep powder and some great tree skiing to be had. Not much open, but tomorrow they are going to open the Bochard so if you can deal with the crowds (as its a Sunday and its amazing weather) that would be the place to head to…