The first adventure of the season was to an often overlooked line that provided superb situations and stunning views. About 1000 m up from the glacier lands you at the top of the line. Despite being on the sunny side it was bitterly cold and my feet were continuously painful and on the wrong side of cold. The prolonged exposure to the cold in Baffin has definitely taken its toll and I will be investing in some warmer liners later in the week! After months of solid office work it feels great to be back into the mountain and synchronising with the natural rhythm of life, having fun and working the body hard.
In April 2014, Marcus Waring, Michelle Blaydon, Tom Grant and myself travelled to the North East Fiords of Baffin Island which are situated between mainland Canada and Greenland. There we spent 30 days unsupported in the fiords, travelling 240 km using kites and skins and skiing 26 couloirs along the way. Many of the lines were first know descents.
Here is a teaser for our forthcoming film:
I managed to sneak away from work for a few days in the hope of some mixed North Face climbing adventures but the weather over the weekend was miserable. As it cleared on Monday the mountains looked plastered and it seemed like I could combine an acclimatisation trip with a few turns. De Masi was keen so we headed up the Midi with no real expectations. As we descended the arrete it was clear that there was more than a dusting. I put on my skis for the first time in a couple of months and looked down the south side which was looking tempting but slightly loaded. A brief conversation followed along the lines of:
“Hey Dave, think it will stick?”
‘Dunno, what do you think?’
“I haven’t formed an opinion yet. I’m going to wait for those guys to walk past the bottom so they don’t get sluffed. The shrund on the left is gaping open, what is it like straight down?”
“Eyes on then.”
First turn into the pow made me remember why I love skiing so much. Leaning over hard into smooth silky velvet… After that we went down Gros Rognan for a bit and cut back to the Valley Blanche and skinned into Cirque Maudit for a look around before skinning back to the Midi. That last bit felt like a slog with no acclimatisation and I was happy to get down the lift quickly!