Alaska 2009

For this trip we based ourselves in Cordova, ski touring on the Heney Range and flying with Points North on primo weather days in the Chugach. I was joined by Paul van Lamsveerde, Pete Benson and Evan Cameron.Alaska-1 Alaska-2 Alaska-3 Alaska-4 Alaska-5 Alaska-6 Alaska-7 Alaska-8 Alaska-9 Alaska-10 Alaska-11 Alaska-12 Alaska-13 Alaska-14 Alaska-15 Alaska-16 Alaska-17 Alaska-18 Alaska-19 Alaska-20 Alaska-21 Alaska-22 Alaska-23 Alaska-24 Alaska-25 Alaska-26 Alaska-27 Alaska-28 Alaska-29 Alaska-30 Alaska-31 Alaska-32 Alaska-33 Alaska-34 Alaska-35 Alaska-36 Alaska-37 Alaska-38 Alaska-39 Alaska-40 Alaska-41 Alaska-42 Alaska-43 Alaska-44 Alaska-45 Alaska-46

Alaska 2008 – Ruth Gorge

This was an amazing trip into the Ruth Gorge with the Benson twins and Nick Wallis. We were blessed with stable deep sluffy powder and enjoyed skiing in the Japanese couloir the West Face of Barille and some easier tours.  We built a large snowhouse which was large enough for the 4 of us and made for a civilised dining. At nights the Northern lights shown brightly with orange, reds and greens, although with -30C temps we didnt hang around outside the tent for long. also snuck a couple heli runs in, be rude not to in AK!Alaska 007

En route towards the Moose’s ToothAlaska 014 Alaska 018 Alaska 022 Alaska 027

Trenching up Japanese CouloirAlaska 035 Alaska 036

Rooster’s Comb Alaska 042

Getting steeper in Japanese CouloirAlaska 048 Alaska 057 Japanese CouloirIMG_0022

Orca Lodge, PNH CordovaIMG_0045 IMG_0091 IMG_0364

Kelly Gray looking after us
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Our snowhouse in the Ruth GorgeIMG_2270 IMG_2544ed Pete1

Me skiing a run called 'happiness'. Photo: Pete Benson
Me skiing a run called ‘happiness’. Photo: Pete Benson
West Face Barille

Alps 2005

This Alpine trip was fantastic and covered a few areas, starting out in Les Ecrins in January we ice climbed and ski toured before moving North to Chamonix. There we spent one cold day at the end of January climbing the Swiss route on Les Courtes on squeeky neve. Then we headed East into La Valais to ski tour on the Breithorn and Monte Rosa areas, finally finishing off in the Chamonix area skiing some classics like Col de Cristeaux and the Armencettes. Alps 2005-6 Alps 2005-7

La Grave Icefalls, Andy Benson on the LeadAlps 2005-8 Alps 2005-9 Alps 2005-10

Hey Fella!Alps 2005-11
The Davin Couloir and Les Agneaux Alps 2005-14 Alps 2005-15 Alps 2005-16 Alps 2005-17 Alps 2005-18 Alps 2005-19 Alps 2005-20

Quiet Day at the Hut in the EcrinsAlps 2005-21 Alps 2005-22 Alps 2005-23

Crux Pitch, Vallon DiableAlps 2005-24

Me After a Stunning Ice RouteAlps 2005-25

The Benson Twins and Nick Wallis in the EcrinsAlps 2005-26 Alps 2005-27

Nick Wallis above Col de LauteretAlps 2005-28

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La Verte and Les DrusAlps 2005-34

Heading off up the Swiss Routes on Les Courtes
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Aiguille du Midi from Le MontAlps 2005-42 Alps 2005-45

Teams competing in the MezzalamaAlps 2005-46 Alps 2005-48

Summit Ridge of the BreithornAlps 2005-50

The Mezzalama Heading over Castor and PolluxAlps 2005-51

The Schwarze Glacier next to the Breithorn

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The Matterhorn at Dawn from Monte RosaAlps 2005-55

At the Monte Rosa HutAlps 2005-56

Monte RosaAlps 2005-57

MatterhornAlps 2005-58 Alps 2005-59

CouturierAlps 2005-60

Window Shopping in the Argentiere Basin. i.e. waiting on weatherAlps 2005-61 Alps 2005-63

Y CouloirAlps 2005-64 Alps 2005-65

Col des CourtesAlps 2005-66

Col de CristeauxAlps 2005-67

The NE on Les CourtesAlps 2005-68 Alps 2005-69

Heading into the ConscritsAlps 2005-70 Alps 2005-71

Me and the West Face of Mont Blanc Alps 2005-72

Ryler on Domes de MiageAlps 2005-74

Skiing down the ArmencettesAlps 2005-75 Alps 2005-76 Ryler at the Argentiere HutAlps 2005-77

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Ryler, Wolfgang, Thomas, Jessica and Friends on Col de CristeauxAlps 2005-79

Dawn on Mont DolentAlps 2005-82

Mark Ryle on Col des Cristeaux and some Glacier ArtAlps 2005-83 Alps 2005-84

Old Skool, Argentiere Basin Steeps on Altitrails!Alps 2005-85 Mark Ryle on Col des Cristeaux

Ecrins 2004

The Ecrins is a magical place, big mountains with a remote feel and few people there in winter. Arguably its much better suited to ski touring than Mont Blanc range with a lot more terrain in the 30-40 degree range. In total I spent 2 months there with a road trip south to the beach at Nice through the beautiful provencal village Entrevaux.  
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Quiet lanes in La GraveEcrins 2004-4

Ice climbing in Vallon de Diable.Ecrins 2004-5 Ecrins 2004-6 Ecrins 2004-7 Ecrins 2004-9

A busy day at La GraveEcrins 2004-11 Ecrins 2004-12 Ecrins 2004-14 Ecrins 2004-15 Ecrins 2004-16

Kiting at Col de LauteretEcrins 2004-17

La GraveEcrins 2004-18

Briancon’s fort.  Ecrins 2004-19Ecrins 2004-20 Ecrins 2004-21 Ecrins 2004-22

The Davin CouloirEcrins 2004-24

Looking up the Davin. Ecrins 2004-26

Sunsets near Dignes les BainsEcrins 2004-27 Ecrins 2004-28 Ecrins 2004-29

The strip at NiceEcrins 2004-30 Ecrins 2004-31 Ecrins 2004-32 Ecrins 2004-33 Ecrins 2004-34 Ecrins 2004-35 Ecrins 2004-36 Ecrins 2004-37

EntrevauxEcrins 2004-38 Ecrins 2004-39 Ecrins 2004-40 Ecrins 2004-41 Ecrins 2004-42

La Meije Ecrins 2004-44 Ecrins 2004-45

Ice in La GraveEcrins 2004-46 Ecrins 2004-47 Ecrins 2004-49 Ecrins 2004-50

Old La GraveEcrins 2004-51 Ecrins 2004-52

Trous de La Mouche – road trip to Les AravisEcrins 2004-53 Ecrins 2004-54 Ecrins 2004-55

Glacier Blanc HutEcrins 2004-56 Ecrins 2004-57 Ecrins 2004-58 Ecrins 2004-59 Ecrins 2004-60 Ecrins 2004-61 Ecrins 2004-62 Ecrins 2004-63

En Route to Domes de Neige des EcrinsEcrins 2004-64 Ecrins 2004-65 Ecrins 2004-66

Ailefroide with its winter coatEcrins 2004-67

Cheeky localsEcrins 2004-69

In the DavinEcrins 2004-71 Ecrins 2004-72 Ecrins 2004-73 Ecrins 2004-74 Ecrins 2004-75 Ecrins 2004-76 Ecrins 2004-77 Traversing Dome MonetierEcrins 2004-78 Ecrins 2004-79 Ecrins 2004-80 Ecrins 2004-81 Ecrins 2004-82 Ecrins 2004-83 Ecrins 2004-84 Ecrins 2004-85 Ecrins 2004-86 Ecrins 2004

Scottish Winter Climbing

The arrival of snow coinciding with our return from Kalymnos couldn’t have been more perfect and allowed me to get out in the Scottish mountains both days at the weekend.  On Saturday I was in the Northern Corries with Duncan Patterson where conditions where good on Melting Pot, the top pitch of which was really fun and thought provoking. Today I went out with Pete Benson to Lochnagar with a view to doing something a bit more meaty. However we found the turf on Lochnagar pretty soggy biscuit so dropped the grade somewhat and did Ghost Dance which has a fairly rocky main pitch and is a good choice for a short day. The main pitch is fun with cool moves through an overlap onto the wall above.

The light and views are amazing at this time of year, the sun still with a little power and the contrast between the snowy hills and the autumnal valley colours.

The first 3 photos are Duncan’s. Check out his blog at :