Posts Tagged ‘pictures’

HAUTE ROUTE – THE CLASSIC ROUTE FROM CHAMONIX TO ZERMATT

March 31. till April 5. I had a group for the Classic Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt. After some problems at the start with closed lifts, one meter of fresh snow and considerable avalanche danger we finally started our traverse of the western Alps on April 1. The day before was spent with avalanche rescue training and touring in Les Grands Montets.
When we finally started we did Col du Passon, Col du Superioeur du Tour and had amazing snow in Val d’Arpette down to Champex where we stayed one night. The next day we started from Bourg-Saint-Pierre and skinned up to Cabane de Valsoray in sunny weather. From Valsoray we had very good conditions on the climb up to Plateau du Couloir and good snow on north-facing aspects down the Durant glacier, we spent the night at Cabane du Chanrion. For the next to days the weather forecast was not the best. When starting from Chanrion it was clear sky, but windy. We planed to do the Serpentine glacier and over Pigne d’Arolla to Cabane des Vignettes instead of  doing the boring and never-ending Otemma glacier. Soon it was cloudy and by the time we got to Passage de la Serpentine it was windy, snowing and no visibility. We did not summit Pigne and the skiing down to Vignettes was interesting in whiteout – like being inside a bottle of milk. Last day to Zermatt was another day in clouds and bad visibility, but not much wind. Some times we did see something, but we had more or less whiteout on all descents. We never saw Matterhorn and by the time we arrived in Zermatt it was raining.
It’s not always sunny on Haute Route.
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NORTIND CLIMBING COURSE

Last week I was one of the instructor on a climbing course for NORTIND – the Norwegian IFMGA guide scheme.  We had a varied week with some rescue training a lot of theory around personality and leadership, but mostly we were climbing. We did routes on Bispen, Vengetind, Romsdalshorn and Klaua and we also did some sport climbing and bouldering.

Below is some pictures.

 


NORTIND GLACIER COURSE

On May 3rd til 10th I was in Jostedalen in Sogn working with the guide-training for NORTIND (Norske Tindevegledere). NORTIND is the Norwegian mountain guide association and we educate guides to become IFMGA/UIAGM/IVBV certified guide. This was a glacier course for the group who started in 2011. Andreas Haslestad, Jostein AAsen and I was the instructors.
Learn more about NORTIND here.

Below is pictures from a week on the glacier. After all, glacier is not so bad when the weather is good.

GUIDING IN CHAMONIX AND 4000METER WEEK IN ZERMATT/SAAS FEE

On the weekend March 30. to April 1., I guided ski touring around Chamonix with Ellen, Morten and Christopher. We had amazing weather, the snow was not the best, but we found some nice slush every day. The first day we skied from Aiguille du Midi and over to the Italian border and down the Glacier de Toule to Helbronner mid station for lunch there. In the afternoon we skied back down Glacier du Geant and down to Montenvers. Day 2 we went to the Argentier basin and skied to Col d’ Argentier. On sunday we went to the Aiguille Rouges and Col du Belvedere.

The same afternoon I finished work in Chamonix I drove to Zermatt for 6 days of 4000 meter peak bagging between Zermatt and Saas Fee with Ola and Petter. They had already been acclimatizing for a few days so the first day we could climb Breithorn (4164m) and Pollux (4092m) before we skied down the Swarztor gletscher. Day two we took an early train to Saas Fee and climbed Allalinhorn (4027m) before we skied to the Britannia hut. In that afternoon the weather changed, after 2 weeks with perfect blu sky it finally started snowing. Day 3 the weather was not the best i and we were the only one leaving the hut after a early breakfast. But after a few hours we were above the clouds and on top of Stralhorn (4190m). We continued down Adlerpass to Findelgletscher, and in bad weather, we skinned up to Stockhornpass and traversed to my favorite hut, the New Monte Rosa Hut. Day 4 it had been snowing all night and it was still snowing in the morning. We had planed some kind of rest day and after a late start we skinned a few hundred meters up the Monte Rosa Gletscher towards Dufourspitze as the weather cleared. The skiing back down to the hut was amazing, 50cm of perfect snow. To bad my skies was only 80mm under foot. Day 5 the plan was to climb Dufourspitze (4634m) and Nordend (4609m), the two highest mountains in Switzerland. The weather was perfect and I had one of my most beautiful mornings in the mountains. But we had to turn around at 4250m, with all the fresh snow on top of hard crust, we could not justify to continue. So we enjoyed the same snow on the way down to the hut and continued down to Zermatt for lunch. The last day the weather forecast was not so good, but in the morning it was ok and we hoped to climb Castor(4223m) before it started snowing. Timing was perfect, we summited and it started snowing when we were  down on the lower Gornergletscher after skiing the Swarztor once again.

So, finally, after 20 days of ski touring boots I could have some days of.
The last two days I haven’t done much except resting and trying to catch up on my computer work. This morning I went up in the Aiguille Rouges and skied the Glacier du Mort. Since it’s north facing I had hoped to find good snow, but I was wrong, there had been to much wind.

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HAUTE ROUTE AND ZERMATT GUIDING

Since last blog update I’ve been busy. On March 17. I started in what has become the worlds biggest cross-country ski race – Birkebeineren. It was 11 years since my last ski race so I did not have to high goals, except to beat most of my old training buddies from Gran. The race is 54km, my skies was not the best for the first half, but they got better for the last half. I finished as 141 of around 16.000, not to bad for a mountain guide. But most important, I was faster than my friends from Gran :)
On the 18. I traveled to Chamonix to start guiding in the Alps the day after. Of course, one of my bags was delayed. All my ski gear was missing and I had a stressful day and night to get ready for Haute Route. Never book your flights through Copenhagen with less than one and a half hour for transit. It seams like thats the minimum it takes for the Copenhagen airport to move bags from one plane to another. I’ve had my bags delayed there once before and have had many clients who did not get they’re bags either.

Haute Route was fun, great clients and both weather and skiing was good. The first day we had heavy snowfall, but after that, mostly blue sky, no wind and warm for being March. We did the Verbier route, conditions in general is better than at the same time last year. But if this warm temperatures continues, the snow in south and west facing aspects will not last much longer.
After Haute Route I had one rest day in Zermatt before I started guiding again. The weather was still good and I wanted to get to know the area between Saas Fee and Zermatt better. I’m having a 6-days program there in easter. So, early in the morning I got on the first train to Saas Fee. First I climbed Allalinhorn, a 4000meter peak that is easy accessible from the ski lift. After that I climbed the ridge over to Feechopf and down to Alphubeljoch. Then I skied down to the Mellich-gletscher and up to Allalinpass, down to Allalin-gletscher and up to Adlerpass and down to Zermatt. A perfect day, but not exactly a rest day.

The next day I started a 3-days guiding around Zermatt. We had various planes, but because of some sickness we ended up doing something completely different from everything we had planed.
The first day we skied to the Monte Rosa hut, this was my first time at the new hut and it was almost better than I’ve been told. Day two, we climbed towards Dufourspitze, but had no plans about summiting. We turned around just above 4000meters and skied down to the hut. On north facing aspects we could still find good snow. The last day we skied down to Furi and took the lift to Kl Matterhorn. From there we climbed Breithorn and skied down the Swartztor gletscher – Zermatt’s Valle Blanch – before traveled back to Chamonix.

Today is a big organizing day before I start guiding again the next 9 days. I needed to get an look at conditions here so in the morning I went for a quick ski in the Aiguilles Rouges.

Below is a few pictures from the last 11 days.
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Alpine ski touring course in Romsdalen

Last week I had a 5 days alpine ski touring course in Romsdalen. The weather as not the best even though we had a few days of sun-shine, but rain and a lot of wind most days. Obviously, the snow was not the best either, everything from super hard crust to slush. Well, not everything between, we did not have any powder.
But it was 5 fun days in the mountains with Hilde, Pernille, Mikkel and Petter.

Below is a few pictures

 


MORE SKIING

Here’s a few pictures from skiing in Romsdalen and Sogndal before and after Christmas. Most of December was spent in Romsdalen, some alpine skitouring and some cross country skiing. Then I was in Sogndal the first week after new year. I’s been snowing a lot on the west coast and the skiing has been amazing the last week. Unfortunately I haven’t taken many pictures, but here’s a few.

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FINALLY SNOW AND SKI IN ROMSDALEN

After a very warm and dry November be finally had a big snowfall on the west coast of Norway. In Romsdalen we got almost one meter of snow in the mountains last weekend. Unfortunately it came with a lot of wind, but it’s still possible to find very good snow in south and east facing bowls. Here’s a few pictures from skiing on Skarven in Skorgedalen.

 

 

 

 


PLAN CHANGED!

For various reasons I haven’t updated this blog for a long time. I wish I could say it’s because I’ve been busy climbing, because that was the plan. But the truth is that I haven’t done any climbing at all the last two months. Things does’t always go as planed even if everything is perfectly planed. And there was a perfect plan. At least what I consider a perfect plan. I was almost finished working for the summer and was looking forward to three and a half months of climbing and later some skiing. Norway, England, Alps, Patagonia and then Norway again. But the plan changed!
In early September I started to feel pain in my left knee. To make a long story short, I’ve got a runners knee. Nothing serious, but as long as I can’t run or walk long downhill descents it very serious for me. And then, being in Chamonix some weeks later, planing to climb some cool alpine routes, we changed the plan and went to Arco for rock climbing instead. And there, on the first route the very first day it said SNAP in my left middle finger. It hurt a lot and the finger got swollen immediately. Fu$&!! And the worst thing, it was on a really easy route, I had been warming up on much harder routes home in Norway the weeks before. But that didn’t help, I still got a pulley rupture.
Back in Norway some days later the knee was still hurting and I decided not to go to Patagonia. Feeling really bad, mostly because I left Trym without a partner, but also because I really had been looking forward to climb with Trym again and to do it in the coolest mountains on this planet.
So what have I been doing? Not much. Going to a physiotherapist every week. Easy training for my knee and surrounding muscles. And stretching. A lot of stretching. And I’ve worked really hard to be something that I’m not – patient. And it helps – slowly I’m getting better.

Below is a few pictures from Lofoten and in Peak District in September. I was in Lofoten for 10 days, being one of the instructors for the rock-climbing course in the Norwegian guide training program (NORTIND). Working on this courses is really fun and interesting work. After Lofoten I traveled directly to Peak District in England for a few days to visit my sponsor RAB and to climb on Gritstone.

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LES DROITES AGAIN, EIGER AGAIN and LES DROITES SOLO

Me close to the summit of Droites. Photo: Colin

I’ve never been very creative and I think the last two weeks of climbing proves that.

Colin and me wanted to do a link-up of the north faces of Les Droites and Grandes Jorasses. This ment taking skies, stove and food for day two up and down the Droites. It’s not that many routes in conditions on the north face and since we wanted to go to the true summit we ended up on Messner again. The conditions was, as last time, very good and we soloed the first half of the face and climbed the rest in three long pitches. We started from first lift and did’t rush since our backpacks were heavy and we wanted to save some energy for the next day, but we summited after a little more than 6 hours on the face. On the descent, experiencing really bad snow conditions we decided to change plans and not go for the Jorasses the next day. We feared that the snow would be as bad and dangerous on the Italian of Jorasses. Instead of going to the Leschaux hut we skied to the Charpoua winter hut. The next day, without kowing much about the peak or how to get there we set of to climb Aig. de Triolet. The attempt ended on a false summit witch we should have traversed around on the north. Non of us were keen on not catching the last train from Montenvers so we called it a day and skied home.

Colin was super psyched on climbing the north face of Eiger and asked me if I wanted to climb it with him. Immediately after climbing Eiger in February I didn’t think I would even consider climbing it again. But on the other hand, the north face of Eiger is one of the most impressive feathers in the Alpes, so I couldn’t say no to such a opportunity either. We new that conditions was good after almost a week of good weather and traveled to Switzerland on April 9. We hoped for a fast ascents and planed to start climbing at fist light around 6. It was weekend and I conditions has been pretty good on Eiger all winter so we were not the only one on the face. All together we saw 8 other teams on the face, unfortunately most of them started before us.

We started climbing at 06.15 and soloed up to just before the Difficult crack where we had to wait for a while on another team. Colin led it and and climbed a little further to pass the team in front of us. I took over and climbed one very long pitch until the start of the ramp. We brought a lot of slings witch made it possible to simul-climb a lot. On this pitch we past 4(!) teams before the 2. ice field. Colin led the Ramp to the top of the Waterfall pitch in two pitches before I continued all the way to the gullies above the Spider. We climbed that in two pitches and I made a belay just below the Quarts crack. From there, Colin took us to the summit witch we reached at 14.00. We rested and hydrated for a little while before we down climbed the south-west flank. The descent was straight forward and we were back at Eigergletscher 11 hours after we started.

Back in Chamonix, Colin been busy with the Piolets d’Or the last days and I’ve been without a partner. But the weather has been a bit on and off and I also had a sore throat so I have not got much climbing done. But yesterday I headed up in the Argentier basin again to do a climb thats been on my mind for a long time. Last year I climbed the Ginat in the North face of Les Droites with Colin on dry conditions. This year, conditions been very good and it was time to climb it by myself. I started from the first lift and crossed the bergschround around 10. After the snowfall the last week there were quite much snow on the lower part of the route. What earlier this year (when climbing Messner) had been perfect neve and easy to climb, was now covered in snow. So, to climb it as safe as I wanted I had to move slow and be careful on each move. But on the steeper, upper part of the route conditions were better and I could enjoy the climbing. The crux was, as normal, the last steep part just before the snow couloir on top. I finished at the Breches des Droites and raped down the south side from there. I climbed with skis on my backpack so I could get down on the south side as easy as possible. The skiing down Glacier de Telefre was fun and I was on Montenvers in time to catch the 16.00 train.

Easter will be spent skitouring in the Alpes. Tomorrow I start another Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt. Weather forecast looks good – or maybe not for the skiing – sunny for one week.

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PATAGONIA – Nov/Des 2010

Torre Summits

In early November, Ole Lied and I traveled to Chalten in Argentinean Patagonia hoping for good weather and a lot of climbing. But both of us knew that Patagonia is just as famous for it high winds and bad weather as for its good climbing.

We arrived in the end of a good weather window and carried all our gear into the Torre valley in perfect weather. We wanted to try Exocet on Cerro Standhardt, a classic ice/mix route on the easiest of the Torre summits. The next day the weather was not so good and wind was almost blowing us out of balance on the first mix pitches from Standhardt Col. The ramp was in the shade of the wind and we moved quite fast in good conditions. In the chimney the spindrift was constant but ice was good and we made steady progress. The chimney is narrow and its almost impossible to hide from ice falling from the leader. On pitch three of the chimney Ole was leading and was almost at the next belay when one big chunk of ice hit me. Everything was black for some seconds and my head and neck hurt like hell. My helmet was smashed and we decided to go home, to bad since we had done most of the hard climbing, but the only smart thing to do. The next day we walked back to Chalten in rain and wind.

The next weeks we tried to climb some routes but weather was mostly bad. We “missed” one good weather window when we started to early and turned back (did’t get far) in a bad storm, just to wake up in the tent again some hours later to perfect weather. We climbed Todo O Nada, a easy ice route on El Mocho. Its did’t feel right to be on a route like that in such good weather when we should have been climbing on one of the bigger peaks. The same day Colin was the first to solo Exocet (very impressive!) and Bjørn-Eivind and Robert also climbed Exocet.

Back in Chalten we did our best to make the days fly by. Bouldering, sport climbing, running, hiking, eating big Argentinean stakes and tasting the Vino Tinto. But not necessarily in that order…

Just before we went home we climbed Whillans-Cochrane route on Aguja Poincenot, one of the most majestic summits in the Fitz Roy massif. The weather was quite good, but the wind was high all day and although the climbing never is hard it was hard enough for us that day, we did everything in big boots and with gloves. It was good to get one real summit before we went home to celebrate Christmas in Norway.

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CHAMONIX SKIING WITH GUIDE

Chamonix and the surrounding mountains can offer some of the best skiing in the world, both the off-piste skiing and the ski touring is fantastic. The easy access, the spectacular soundings, the good ski terrain and great snow makes Chamonix a place you have to visit. But the same reasons also makes Chamonix a very busy place and it can be hard to find good snow and with all the glaciered terrain and avalanche risk you have to be careful. Hiring a guide for some days or for your whole stay can be smart thing to do, helping you to get a safe and enjoyable skiing.
I can arrange everything from one day of lift accessed skiing to multiple days of ski touring in the Chamonix area. To combine off-piste skiing with ski touring is often the best and what gives you the best snow.

Suggestions:
Below is just suggestions and most likely will we end up doing it in different order or maybe doing something completely different. To find good snow will always be top priority!

Three days off-piste skiing:
DAY 1: Le Tour
DAY 2: Les Grande Montets
DAY 3: L´Aiguille du Midi and Vallee Blanche

Three days of ski touring:
DAY 1: Aiguilles Rouges to Le Buet
DAY 2: L´Aiguille du Midi, ski tour to Italy and then ski Vallee Blanche back
DAY 3. Argentiére basin which has a lot of options

Where: Chamonix 
Duration: You decide
When: Mid December to end of April
Difficulties: All levels
Ratio: Max 6 clients on 1 guide
Price from: 
NOK 3.500 a day
(Price includes IFMGA mountain guide and all expenses for your guide)

BOOKING OR MORE INFO


Grandes Jorasses – Colton/MacIntyre

Grand Jorasses seen from Le Courtes, March 2010

After a long summer with to much work it was nice to finally finish the guiding season in september. But back home in Norway I just wanted to go back to the Alps for some alpine climbing. Big snowfalls in august could make the north faces would come in early this year. And it’s so easy to be a alpinist today, specially for climbing in the Alps, just google the routes you want to do and hopefully you get a fresh trip report. As expected – the Grandes Jorasses was in!

After a while I convinced Steinar Grynning to come with me and we arrived in Chamonix in early October to perfect weather. We started acclimatization by climbing a route from the Cunningham Couloir and up to the Cosmiques Ridge. The next day we climbed a route on the Tacule Triangle and to the summit.

Ever since the first time I saw the huge north face of Grandes Jorasses, after skiing the Breche Puiseux, I’ve wanted to climb the Jorasses. And last year I finally did by climbing Slovenien route to Croz spur with Eiliv Ruud. But Colton-Mac is the real deal, a awesome line, so I knew had to do that one also.

We packed and planed to take the train to Montenvers, but showing up at the station around mid day we couldn’t believe what we saw – the train finished for the season YESTERDAY. FU%&! After 5 minutes discussion we decided to take the Midi lift and traverse from the Plan de l`Aguille to the Montenvers. It took us some time, but not to bad and we were at the Leschaux hut around 18.00. With a early start we crossed the bergschround in the dark and started up what felt like endless ice slopes. But conditions were good and we found nevee most of the way. We roped up in the middle of the first narrow section and climbed one looong pitch to the ice crux. The deal was that Steinar should take the ice and I should take the headwall. The ice crux says grade 6 in the guidebook. It was not as steep as expected, but one good piece of gear in 30 meters was quite interesting, also for the belayer. Some more low angled ice took us to the final headwall, witch we knew would be the crux of the climb. Not just because of the climbing, but also because of the route finding. We swapped lead and I started up a thin runnel of ice. Protection was difficult to get, but the climbing was never desperate so it was OK. It took some time, but we summited after 10 hours and 30 minutes on the face.

The normal route from Italy is a big route in itself and we wanted to get all the 2700 vertical meters down to the valley. We got of the glacier just when it got dark and stopped to melt some water. The rest of the descent with headlamps was hard for tiered legs, but we made it all the way down. And a BIG thanks to Joacim for driving throw the tunnel to pick us up!

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Guiding Mont Blanc

On the Bosses ridge with the shadow of Mont Blanc behindSept 17. 2010

On September 4.-9. I had two Norwegians for a 6 days Mont Blanc program through my company Breogfjell. We acclimatized in the Aiguille du Tour area in perfect weather. But on the 4. day it started to snow and rain and the forcast for the summit day didn’t look to good. We considered different alternatives, but the weather looked bad for most of the central Alpes so we decided to try Mont Blanc. We walked to Tete Rousse hut on day 5 and started at nigth from there in light snowfall. Everything went as planed, the weather just got better and we toped out around 09.00 as first party that day.

 

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GUIDING AND CLIMBING IN ALPES

Per Magne on GrandCapucin

Sept 4.2010

After a summer with two much work in Norway I traveled to the Alpes on August 8. for some work and hopefully some climbing on my own. First I traveled to Valais to do a couple of recognition climbs for guiding later in the month. Then I traveled to Chamonix to climb for a week with Trym. But the day Trym arrived it started to rain in town and snow up high and the forecast said it would be like that for 4 days all over the Central Alpes. We packed rope and quickdraws, and together with some friends left Cham and drove down to Ceüse. There, the weather was better but for a mountain guide who mainly been walking and climbing grade 3 all summer, everything but the approach felt very steep.

When weather looked better for the Alpes we went back to Chamonix, there it had snowed  around 50 cm at 3000 meters, but after some days of good weather we hoped that it had melted enough and headed up to the Enveres hut. But we were to early and everything was still wet. Trym went home and the last day before I started working I teamed up with Ole Kristian and Steinar for a day at the south face of Midi. Weather was not very good, light snowfall at times and forecast said thunderstorm in early afternoon so we did Rebuffat to be sure to get up before the weather came. All of us had done the route before, but it was nice to finally do some climbing in the mountains and we had a very fun day, specially at the belays…

On August 21. I started a 6 days Matterhorn program with two Norwegians – Tone and Knut Johan Stenerud. First we had three days in Saastal with some rock climbing on Dri Horlini and a ascent of Weissmies (4017m). In the afternoon on the third day we traveled to Zermatt, there we did Breithorn (4164m) the next day. All week it was very uncertain about how conditions would be on Matterhorn. The big snowfall a week earlier had left around 60cm of snow at the Hörnli hut and a lot more on the mountain. It was melting every day, but we didn’t know if it would be enough. But with the good weather forecast we decided to try. On Matterhorn the guide:client ratio is 1:1 so Rok Zalokar, my Slovenian friend and guide joined us for the ascent. I started early from Zermatt on the 25. to climb a little higher then the Hörnli to check out conditions. I turned back at the Shoulder at 4200m, up to there conditions were good but above it looked like it was a lot of snow. As always on the Hörnli hut, “breakfast” is served at 04.00 and all guided parties start at 04.20. The ascent went OK, some queuing the first hour and the normal chaos on the fixed ropes up high. We summited 08.30 in blue sky and perfect weather. On the descent it was even more chaos than on the ascent but below the Shoulder everything went smoothly and we were at the hut again before 13.00.

After Matterhorn I traveled back Chamonix for some climbing in the mountains. But the weather was not the best and I just ended up rock climbing close to Sallanches and in Italy. When it finally cleared again Per Magne and I had two great days on the granite. The first day we climbed on the south face of Pointe Lachenal and the next day we wanted to try Grand Capucin. Capucin is not a very high summit, but on of the most impressing granite towers in the Mont Blanc massif. The 400 meter high east face has the most challenging routes, we climbed a combination of Voie des Suisses and O Sole Mio on the South face, mostly grade 5 with some pitches of 6. It was for sure on of my best days of rock climbing in the Alpes! Now I start 6 days of work in Chamonix and we hope to climb Mont Blanc.

 

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END OF WINTER

HauteRoute 2010 04 19-24 2010-04-20On April 19. I started guiding my third and last Haute Route for the season, Also this time for my company, Breogfjell. We had a good week with warm temperatures and very stable snow conditions. In combination with very good client this gave me a quite easy week of work. But we had a very hard time finding good snow.

After Haute Route I returned home to Romsdalen for some ski guiding there before I went to Turtagrø and Highcamp. Breogfjell is responsible for all the guiding there and we had 20 guides on work May 7.-9. Weather was perfect and cold temperatures gave good conditions for skiing.

Next week I guided Karine for three days home in Romsdalen. The first day we did Hesteskotraversen in perfect conditions, cold in the morning and good slush down from Kirketaket in the afternoon. The next day we did Juratind. Warmer temperatures during the night gave very loose snow all the way to the top and down again, but it wasn’t to bad. The last day we did Skjervan from the east. We could drive quite high and had perfect weather and OK snow.

After a long winter it was very good to finally put away the skis and start rock climbing. And as always after a winter with to much guiding and alpine climbing, the first days on rock felt terrible for my fingers.

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A “REST WEEK” IN CHAMONIX

The east ridge on Courte with Grand Jorasses behind

After guiding Haute Route two times in two weeks I was looking forward to a week off, to get out climbing and skiing on my own. Before I was back in Chamonix, Colin Haley called and asked if I wanted to climb the north face of Droites with him the day after. Still not fully recovered from my cold I said no, but after a couple of hours of regret I said yes.

On April 10. we had a “cragging” approach to the 1000 meter high face by taking the first lift in the morning and starting climbing at 10 am. We did the classic route, Ginat, and found good conditions on the snowy, lower part and OK, but a little dry conditions on the steeper upper part. We did not go to the true summit, but as most others only climbed to the Breche des Droites. The climb took us 5 hours and 30 minutes. The “descent” was down the south side and then up the south side and west ridge of Les Courtes making it a very long day. And in the afternoon clouds, we had a hard time finding the Col de la Tour the Courtes.

Some days later I went up to ski the Gervasutti couloir on La tour Ronde with Colin and Marion Poitivin. Tour Ronde is a small summit on the French-Italian border close to Helbronner. The skiing was not the best, lots of rock at the top of the couloir and fresh snow on top of a hard layer further down. But we had a good day out.

The day after, Colin, Magnus, Jonno and me, headed up the Argentiere glacier for skiing the NE-face of Les Courtes. Descending it some days earlier after the Droites-Courtes climb we thought that conditions would be perfect for steep skiing. And it was, except for the skiers right side of the face. Magnus tried that and ended up tomahawking the entire 700 vertical meters, 45-50 degree face. We feared the worst and was very relieved to see him move after the long fall. Jonno called rescue while Colin and me started skiing down to Magnus. Except for some bruises on the arm, Magnus was fine. But he was taken by the PGHM rescue to the hospital in Sallanches for a routine check.

On April 16., Colin and me took the last lift to sleep at the top of Grand Montets to start early the next day. We wanted to do a linkup in the Argentier basin by climbing the three north faces of Verte, Droites and Courtes in one go. We started at 5 am the next morning and climbed Verte up and down by the classic Couturier couloir. This day was more about endurance then technical climbing so we did routes that we could simul-solo. After Verte we climbed the Lagarde direct to the true summit of Droites. As last time, we descended the south side and ascended Courtes from the west. The plan was to downclimb the NE face and then climb the Swiss route on Courtes. But after descending the NE our motivation was lame  for climbing the Courtes again. So we walked back to our skis and skied down to Argentier. After all we was satisfied with three summits and after ascending and descending around 3000 vertical meters in 12 hours.

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GUIDING HAUTE ROUTE – TIMES 2

On March 28. I started two weeks of guiding Haute Route – from Chamonix to Zermatt for Breogfjell. On the first trip, we had a lot of snow and wind on the first days and the avalanche bulletin said grade 4. So instead of doing the Col du Chardonnet to the Trient Hut we did the Col du Tour Noir and skied back down to Grand Montets and took a taxi to Verbier. The next days we experienced all types of weather and snow before it finally cleared and we had perfect weather and good skiing down to Zermatt.

The next week Breogfjell had two groups on Haute Route, Stein Møller and me guiding the Verbier-variant and Halvor Dannevig doing the classic route. The first day it was snowing a lot, but starting from Argentier Hut in the morning of April 5., we had clear sky and a lot of fresh snow. Breaking trail all the way to Trient Hut was hard work. The next morning we had good snow and perfect skiing down Val d´Arpette to Champex. The same day, we also had good skiing from the summit of Rosablanche and down to the Prafleuri Hut. From Prafleuri to Dix we had good weather and those who went up to La Luette in the afternoon had good skiing down. Over Pigne d´Arolla, weather was changing and skiing down to Vignettes Hut was memorable, but not in a good way. I had a cold and some fever the whole week and when one client wanted to go down to Arolla the next morning, I was happy to join him while Stein and Halvor took the two groups safely to Zermatt.

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SKIING AND CLIMBING IN CHAMONIX…


Les Courtes North face…mostly skiing

On March 16. I traveled to Chamonix for 6 weeks, 3 of them for work. Before the guiding started I had 10 days of skiing and climbing on my own. When I arrived it hadn’t snowed for a long time and conditions was good for climbing. But to acclimatize I first did some skitouring. On the 19. I climbed the Swiss route in the north face of Les Courtes. The conditions were good and I had tracks from another party on the snowy part of the the climb. The climb took me 2.15. I climbed with short approach skis on my backpack so I could ski down the Telèfre side and down to Chamonix.

The next days it was raining in town, but snowing up high. When it finally cleared I had some good days of skiing from Midi.

On the 23. I teamed up with Amandine and Cristophe for the Aig d´Argentier. Weather and conditions was perfect. We went up the normal route on the west side, but skied down on the east. From the Saleina glacier we went throw the Fenetre de Saleina and Col du Tour, before we finished a long day with lots of good skiing down to Le Tour.

 

Christophe skiing the east face (Barbey Couloir) of Argentier

 

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ICE Norway winter 2010

Me climbing last pitch of Hydne. Photo: Kristoffer SzilasThis ice conditions in Norway has been extraordinary this winter. All over southern Norway it was cold and stable temperatures from mid December to early March. In Romsdalen where I live the conditions has been OK on some of the classic lines. But due to the little snow and cold temperatures early in the season, the smaller streams witch makes the good alpine lines froze to early to make them climbable. But other places nearby, like Eikesdalen and Geiranger has seen a lot of first ascents. Unfortunately I’ve been a lot away for work and never made it to Geiranger this winter. But I’ve had some good climbing in Hemsedal, with some first ascent and I’ve got the chance to climb some of the bigger classic waterfalls that I’ve wanted to climb for a long time.

Below you can see pictures from some of the climbs.

Short movie from a wet day on Vettis. Credit: Bjørn-Eivind Aartun

 

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HAUTE ROUTE – Ski Chamonix to Zermatt with guide

For many reasons, the classic ski tour from Chamonix to Zermatt has become one of the best known skitours in the world. Traveling from one one historic town to the next, it takes you into the heart of the Alps and into some amazing alpine terrain. You ski through high cols, hidden valleys, high peaks and spectacular glaciers. And the complex hut system in the Alps makes it possible to travel light and comfortable. No matter how much skiing you have done and how many places you have visited – Haute Route will be a unique experience.

 

Alternatives:
There is also a lot of other Haute Routes (high routes) in the Alps. But the Chamonix-Zermatt is the most famous and most popular and is often synonym to Haute Route. The Verbier variant is the easiest and most popular of this, but the the Original route is more challenging and spectacular, traveling the Plateau Couloir and visiting the Valsorey hut. Or you can do other different variants to the Chamonix-Zermatt tour. and you can also add some extra days after arriving in Zermatt, either ski to Saas Fee or ascend the summit of Breithorn or Monte Rosa.
And if you want to do a ski tour in other places in the Alps, such as Berner Oberland, Silveretta or other places, please let me know.

Where: Chamonix to Zermatt 
Duration: 5 or 6 days 
When: March to end of April
Routes: The Verbier Route or the Classic route via Valsorey Hut.
Difficulties: You should be used to ski in varied terrain, both up and down. Haute Route is never very difficult or very hard, but it still requires that you are an intermediate skier and that you are used to ski with a heavy (10-12kg) backpack.
If you are not sure if you got what it takes I recommend a training tour in Norway or the Alps in advance.
Gear: You need normal ski touring gear that are not to heavy.
Telemark gear works but alpine touring gear is much better. Snowboard or Splitboard
are not made for Haute Route! You will get a complete gear list when booking.
Ratio: 6:1 on the Verbier route and 4:1 on the Classic route

Price from: 
NOK 5500,- per person for 5 days
(Price includes IFMGA mountain guide and all expenses for your guide)

BOOKING OR MORE INFO

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MONT BLANC MED NORSK FØRER


Og stå på toppen av Mont Blanc, Vest-Europas høyeste fjell, i finvær, en tidlig morgen. DET er en fantastisk opplevelse.


Mont Blanc er med sine 4810meter det høyeste fjellet i Vest-Europa. Siden det ligger midt i Europa og er så lett tilgjengelig, er Mont Blanc for mange det før møtet med høye fjell. På de to normalrutene er ikke de tekniske vanskelighetene spesielt store og man trenger ikke klatreerfaring om man går med fører, men Mont Blanc skal ikke undervurderes alikevel. Fjellet er nesten 5000meter høyt og uansett hvilke rute du velger må du inn i komplekst terreng med svært oppprekte breer og utglidningsfare. God akklimatisering er essensielt, i hvert fall om du ønsker å sitte igjen med en positiv opplevelse av turen.

På vei opp Bosses ryggen på Mont Blanc

Vi kjører primært 3-, 5- eller 6-dagers program for Mont Blanc. 3-dagers forutsetter at du akklimatiserer litt på egenhånd først. 5-dagers program holder ofte om vær, føre og form klaffer, men med 6 dager har man litt mer og spille på og større sjans for å nå toppen. Da har man en deg ekstra for å hvile, akklimatisere mer eller vente på bedre vær og forhold.
Vi kan selvfølgelig lage både kortere og lengre program om det er ønskelig.

Utgangspunkt: Chamonix
Varighet: 3-6 dager
Når: Juni til tidlig oktober. September er vår favoritt.
Vanskelighetsgrad: Mont Blanc er aldri teknisk vanskelig, men du må være vant til å ferdes i fjellet og være i god fysisk form.
Antall gjester: Opp til 2 gjester pr fører på Mont Blanc, men vi kan kjøre opp til 4 gjester pr fører på akklimatisering.
Pris: 11.250NOK pr pers for 5 dager med 2 personer.
Prisen inkluderer fører og alle hans kostnader. Dine reisekostnader og kostnader på hytter kommer i tillegg.

Fornøyde gjester og fører på toppen av Mont Blanc


ALPINE CLIMBING CHAMONIX

Oct 14. 2009

After a long summer of guiding I finally got to do some climbing on my own. In late September Eiliv Ruud and I travelled to Chamonix in hope of good conditions on big alpine faces. But the temperature when we arrived gave better condition on south facing rock then on north facing ice. We had some good days on rock and got acclimatized at the same time. Standing on the summit of Tacul, after a ice-climb on the Triangle we thought we saw some ice in the east face of Maudit. Some days later we enjoyed good conditions on Roger Baxter-Jones Direct in the east face.

We hoped that the north face of Grand pilier d’Angle on Mont Blanc would be in. And we made the long hike over to Col Moore to find out that the face was in, but the rest of the approach looked very, very dangerous after the warm summer. We walked home.

In early October we hiked up the Leschaux glacier to the base of Grand Jorasses north face. The next day we climbed a combination of the Slovenian route and the Croz, giving a perfect combination of ice, snow and rock on a big and beautiful face. Because of the state of the south face and the fact that the Major of Courmayeur has “closed” the Italian side of Jorasses, we didn’t summit Pte Walker, the high-point of Jorasses. We abseiled straight down the south face from Pte Croz, avoiding the super-dangerous hanging glacier on the normal route descent. The whole thing was quite scary and keeping our attention all the way down. But 14 hours after we started climbing, we was drinking beer in a Italian bar…

Photo-credit: Eiliv Ruud and Nils Nielsen

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