After fighting the queues to get up the lift we were all psyched to get going on a big Midi day and making the most of the fine weather. Drew Tabke has some time off after winning the men’s FWT title and joined Dave Searle and myself. On the way down the arrete I started to feel some discomfort in my back and by time we arrived at the Cosmiques hut my back was seizing up quickly. After a handful of ibuprofen tablets it was time to push on and good skiing took us to the col at the top of the Salopar. By now I was feeling the pain standing still so Dave took over leading and the rope work. The snow was good but with the usual sharks teeth in there to snag the unwary and the straight line exit created sufficient speed to ruffle the ski pants.

Back at the Plan I had Dave kneeling on my chest and rotating my legs to try and unlock my back but the day had ended prematurely for me and it was time to download while the guys did a few more laps. At the car it took me about ten minutes to get my ski boots off. At one point I thought I would have to call Michelle to come get me as I was unsure I could drive home!

Hopefully its just a few down days for me.



The normal Rond is shown by the red line with the Salopar, ‘heart of the Rond’ shown in orange.Salopard-5Salopard-21Salopard-26Salopard-37Salopard-42

So what do you do Drew? Well, I just won the Freeride World Tour.Salopard-45Salopard-46Salopard-50Salopard-63Salopard-80

Pillows, Spines & the Freeride World Tour Boys

I went for one run after work, solo, no pack, beeps or kit. Ipod and tunes. In the lift I met curent Freeride World Tour leader Drew Tabke, competitor Kevin O’Meara and Chamonix locals Dave Searle and Davide de Masi. A 10 turn warm up took us to the pillow field of justice. A 100 foot vertical drop over a ten pillow at roughly 60 degrees. Time to send.

Shame I just had a phone camera and not the 5d but the rest of the fast skiing made me glad not to have the weight with me. With all the big mountain skiing I do nowadays, always keeping in control, I’d forgotten how much fun it is to go fast.Drew Tabke in Chamonix's PIllow GardenDrew Tabke on a fall line sending mission.