Posts Tagged ‘Tindevegleder’

SKITURER I GRESSONEY, CHAMPOLUC OG ALAGNA

Over skyene ved Rifugio Gnifetti

Over skyene ved Rifugio Gnifetti

Skitursesongen er for alvor i gang i Alpene og jeg hadde nylig noen flotte dager på ski på sydsiden av Monte Rosa massivet med Kim, Fredrik og Tormod. Målet var å oppdage området, komme oss bort fra heisene, gå mest mulig på høydemeter og kjøre fin snø ned igjen. Ja, også hadde vi lyst på en 4000meters topp. Enkel plan, men ikke alltid like lett å realisere. Det var litt for lenge siden det hadde snødd og i mellomtiden hadde det både vært mildvær og en del vind. Det var bare å begynne å lete.
Vi hadde Gressoney som utgangspunkt, den midterste av de tre dalene. Første dag tok vi heis over til Champoluc og gikk mange runder i en hestesko av nord- og østvendte heng. Været var nydelig og vi fant fantastisk snø. Dag to besteg vi den 4046meter høye Punta Giordani i helt fantastisk vær og vi fikk utrolig nok flott snø ned igjen. Etter å spist lunch i skianlegget gikk vi en ettermiddagstur sydover og fant både sporet og usporet tørrsnø ned igjen til dalen. Siste dagen var det skodde og overskyet, vi gikk oss over til Alagna, heis opp igjen før vi gikk opp til Rifugio Gnifetti. Der var vi over skydekket og utsikten var upåklagelig.
Tre flotte dager og planen ble realisert.
Gressoney og området rundt er fantastisk både for off-pist og skiturer – det blir definitivt flere turer dit! 

 

Fint sted for lunch

Fint sted for lunch

Tormod kjører fin snø i Champoluc

Tormod kjører fin snø i Champoluc

Matterhorn i det fjerne

Matterhorn i det fjerne

Fire fornøyde gutter på Punta Giordani

Fire fornøyde gutter på Punta Giordani

 


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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GREAT START FOR SKI TOURING SEASON IN ROMSDALEN – NORWAY

In late October we had one BIG snow dump on the west-coast followed by nice weather. Below is some pictures from 3 amazing days of October skiing. After that it’s been variable temperatures and weather so the skiing was not great for long, but we had som nice days in between.

 


GUIDING FRENDO SPUR AND OTHER THINGS IN CHAMONIX

Since start of September I’ve been in Chamonix, mostly working. The weather has been good except of the days when I’ve not been working.
I had two regular clients, Erik and Richart, for 8 days in start of September. We did various things, but the most memorable was guiding Frendo Spur in the north face of Aiguille du Midi with Erik. Frendo is a bit bigger objective than what I usually guide, but with a regular client that I knew well, it did not fell that big. We had good conditions and used 8h30 from Refuge Plan du Aiguille to the top, 7h on the route. The other days was varied with rock climbing in the sun in Aiguilles Rouges, a day on Aiguille du Moine and two days on the Tacul Triangle.
Except of the guiding I’ve not done much in the mountains, theres been some rock climbing (and ice cream eating) in Italy and trail running in Chamonix. Now I’ll have a week in Norway before I go down to France again to spend most of October there.

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CLIMBING COURSE AND GUIDING IN HURRUNGANE

 

A few pictures from the last two weeks of work. Two weeks with climbing course with the Norwegian military academy in Hemsedal and guiding in Hurrungane in the weekends.

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GUIDING MATTERHORN

The day after summiting Matterhorn with Karine I started a new 5-day Matterhorn program with Ståle. The first day we climbing on the south face of Riffelhorn before we walked over to Hotel Flualp at 2620m. The next morning we hoped to climb Rimpfischhorn (4199m). We started in rain at night and the weather did not look to promising, but it was not to bad either. We summited in some wind, but on the descent it started snowing and the wind increased. It continued to snow/rain for the rest of the day and night. On day 3 we planed to do the full Breithorn traverse, but after all the snowfall the previous day we ended up doing only the half-traverse. On day 4 we walked up to the Hörnli hut, the weather was good and the hut was full. The next day it was a really busy day on Matterhorn. Conditions was good, but we had to wear crampons from approximately 3850m. We summited quite early and did not meet the worst queue before we were on the fixed ropes on the descent. Below are some pictures from the whole week.

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GUIDING IN CHAMONIX AND MATTERHORN

The last weeks I’ve been in the Alps guiding. From July 21.-26. I was guiding Karine on a Matterhorn program. First we had 4 beautiful days i Chamonix doing Aiguille du Moine, the Midi-Plan Traverse and the Cosmique Ridge. Then we traveled to Switzerland and Zermatt. There we walked up to the Hörnli Hut and on July 26. we climbed Matterhorn. It was a good day on Matterhorn, weather was perfect, conditions were quite good and it was not to much people. Below are some pictures from the whole week.

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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.

Highcamp Turtagrø, guiding the Norwegian Crown Prince and powder in Romsdalen

First week of May is normally the busiest week of the year for me, and this year was no exception. Together with the rest of Breogfjell, I organize all the guided tours and courses on Friflyt’s Highcamp at Turtagrø. That means 21 guides and around 150 clients in the mountains for three days.
I traveled to Turtagrø on monday 30. to find out about snow and glacier conditions on most of the mountains we planed to use during the camp. I did a lot of nice tours on my own the first days, going with light gear and visiting many peaks every day. The weather was much better than the skiing…
The camp was as usual super busy, more than 500 people in total. This year the Norwegian Crown Prince visited the camp. He has always been a dedicated telemarker, but this was his first time skiing in Hurrungane. I had the privilege to guide him for two days, witch was a fun experience. Saturday we had really nice weather in the morning and the snow was good. Saturday the weather was not so good, but we found some good snow.

Now I’m finally back in Romsdalen after a long winter with a lot of traveling. I don’t have much plans for May except to ski and climb as much as possible. The start has been good, skiing powder in the morning and climbing in the afternoon. Thursday 10. was a perfect day, cold in the morning and sunny. It was the fourth day with nice weather and still no tracks on the north-ridge of Vengetind. I did not expect to find good snow, but wanted to ski Vengetind anyway. The snow on the upper ridge was much better than expected and on the top I was super psyched about the descent. But I soon realized that one of the bindings was broken. FU$#!!! I had borrowed a pair of demoski (brand is unknown…) and had not bother to check if it was working as it should. So I had to walk most of the way down again, not fun!

Espen Kristiansen from Friflyt/Field Productions made a small video from one of the days I skied with Crown Prince Haakon. Here it is:

Here’s a article and some pictures from Friflyt.no

And belowe is some pictures from Highcamp and skiing in Romsdalen last week


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

 


ICE CLIMBING COURSE

Back in Norway for a few weeks. Last week I was one of the teachers for the candidates on the Norwegian IFMGA guide training program. It was a ice climbing course held in my home area – Romsdalen. I’m very happy to be a part of the guide training and as always, this courses are very inspiring and fun work. And I think it’s a great that I can give something back to the Norwegian guide association – NORTIND. The only thing that’s a bit boring aboute this courses is that I don’t do any leading, just seconding.
But this was not the best days for a climbing course, during the course we had more than one meter of fresh snow. Because of all the snow and high avalanche risk we could not do any of the longer routes we had planed. And to be honest, we could barely get on anything at all.
The last day of the course we used a lift block to pull various V-anchors and ice screws in a lot of different ice. To pull ice gear is always very interesting and and you learn a lot, or maybe you don’t? At least its very difficult to generalize from it. Normally anchors in good ice is very strong and the rest is….sometimes strong, and sometimes not. But it’s fun to place a ice screw, feel how the ice is when drilling it into the ice and then make a guess aboute how strong it is.

Below is a few pictures and a short video from pulling an ice screw.

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GUIDING SKI IN CHAMONIX

Recently I bought a small apartment  in Chamonix. I still plan to have Romsdalen and Norway as my home, but the apartment makes it a lot easier for me to work and spend time in the alpine capital. So I hope to spend more time her both in summer and winter.

So the last weeks I’ve been in Chamonix, mostly guiding ski. I had planed to do some climbing on my days off, but both weather and conditions has been best for skiing. It’s actually been really good for skiing.
I’ve not taken many pictures, but below you can se a few. Most are from working with the Norwegian students at Active Education.

 


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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MATTERHORN VIDEO

Here’s a short movie from me guiding the Hörnli ridge on Matterhorn Aug. 24. with Erik Stordal.

 


ALPS SUMMER 2011

Sunrise on summit of Mont Blanc. We are already on the way down

The last three weeks I’ve been guiding in the Alps. First in Chamonix with two 6 days Mont Blanc programs. Then I moved to Zermatt to guide Matterhorn. Unfortunately I did not get any climbing done on my own. The weather and conditions were really good for most of my stay, but it was raining hard on all my days off. Below is pictures from acclimatization on both Mont Blanc weeks and from summit days on Mont Blanc and Matterhorn. First time on Matterhorn we started from Tête Rousse hut and climbed the Goûter route up and The Three Monts route down. The second time, we also did the traverse, but this time starting from Cosmiques Hut and climbed Three Monts up and Goûter down. On Matterhorn we climbed Hornli both up and down.

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SUMMER IS WORK

Jens Stoltenberg and me on Romsdalshorn

 

Long time since last post so here’s a short update. After I came home from Alaska I’ve been working in the western part of Norway. Mostly guiding and some climbing courses; in Hurrungane and Romsdalen. My most memorable day was in mid July when I guided the Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, to the summit of Romsdalshorn. It was a beautiful day, clouds down low and perfect blue sky up high. The Prime Minister was impressively fit and climbed well for being such a busy man.

Recently I’ve been working with the Norwegain military academy in Hemsedal, teaching them how to climb. In between two courses with them I had four good days in Hurrungane, guiding long ridge traverses. Doing Skagastølsryggen, Smørstabbtraversen and Austadbotntindtraversen x 2 in four days made me really tired, specially since it was the rest days in between the work withe the army. But guiding 1:1 with fit clients on nice climbs like this is fun and I really enjoyed it.

Now I have two days off and I fly to the Alps tomorrow – guiding Mont Blanc and Matterhorn, but hopefully, also a climb or two on my own.


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4000-METER UKE I ZERMATT OG SAAS-FEE MED GUIDE

På toppen av Signalkuppe 4554m

På toppen av Signalkuppe 4554m


Området rundt Zermatt og Saas-Fee har de fleste av de høyeste fjelltoppene i Alpene og mange av de egner seg veldig godt for skiturer. Bli med på en fantastisk uke på noen av alpenes høyeste fjell.


Med utgangspunkt i Zermatt eller Saas-Fee har man tilgang på noen av de enkleste 4000 meters toppene i Alpene, men man har også tilgang på noen av de høysete. Her er det bare å velge å vrake. Enkelte av toppene kan man gå på ski helt til topps, men de fleste setter man igjen skiene litt nedenfor toppen og går på stegjern til topps. Og innimellom toppene prøver vi å få til så mye god skikjøring som mulig.

Nedenfor følger to forslag til ukesopplegg, begge på 5 dager. Hvis man legger på en dag til kan man enten legge på en dag ekstra i starten for mer akklimatisering, eller ha en ekstra dag å gå på mot slutten av uka. Vi anbefaler 6 dager.
Begge oppleggene krever god fysisk form og at man har god skiferdighet.

Soloppgang på vei mot Stralhorn

Soloppgang på vei mot Stralhorn

Signalkuppe-uke
Forslag med grupper på opp til 4-6 pers
Dag 0: Oppmøte i Saas-Fee
Dag 1: Allalinhorn 4027m – overnatting på Britannia hytta
Dag 2: Stralhorn 4190m – gjennom Adlerpasset og ned til Zermatt
Dag 3: Breithorn 4164m – ned Schwarztor breen og til Monte Rosa hytta
Dag 4: Ludwigshöhe 4321m og/eller Vincentpyramide 4215m – overnatting på Mantova hytta i Italia
Dag 5: Parrotspitze 4432m og/eller Signalkuppe 4454m – ned til Zermatt
På disse toppene kan vi ha med opp til 6 personer, men i utgangspunktet ønsker vi ikke mer enn 4 gjester pr fører. Om vi har vært på tur med dere før, og vet at dere har de rette forutsetningene, kan vi ta med opp til 6 pers pr fører.

Dufourspitze-uke
Maks 2 gjester pr fører
Dag 0: Oppmøte i Saas-Fee
Dag 1: Allalinhorn 4027m – overnatting på Britannia hytta
Dag 2: Rimpfischorn 4199m – overnatting på Britannia hytta
Dag 3: Stralhorn 4190m – gjennom Adlerpasset og ned til Zermatt
Dag 4: Breithorn 4164m, Pullox 4092m eller Castor 4223m, ned Schwarztor breen og til Monte Rosa hytta
Dag 5: Dufourspitze 4634m (og Nordend 4609m) – ned til Zermatt
Dufourspitze er Alpene nest høyeste fjell og krever klatring de siste meterne mot toppen.

Detaljer
Hvor: Zermatt og Saas Fee
Reise: Fly til Geneve eller Zurich, tog eller shuttle derfra.
Når: Medio mars til ultimo april
Vanskelighetsgrad: Disse turene krever at du er i god fysisk form og at du har gode skiferdigheter både oppover og nedover.
Antall gjester: 1-6 pr fører
Priser for 2015 (5 dager):
– ved 2 pers: NOK 13 750 pr pers
– ved 3 pers: NOK 9 600 pr pers
– ved 4 pers: NOK 7 500 pr pers
– ved 5 pers: NOK 6 250 pr pers
– ved 6 pers: NOK 5 500 pr pers
Prisen inkluderer guide og alle hans kostnader. Dine reise, kost og losji kommer I tillegg.
Ta kontakt for pris ved større grupper.

På toppen av Stralhorn

På toppen av Stralhorn

 

Monte Rosa hytta og Matterhorn

Monte Rosa hytta og Matterhorn

 


BACK IN CHAMONIX – SKI, CLIMB, WORK

Nils climbing in the Alpes. Photo by Colin Haley

On March 10, after two weeks of work with the Norwegian military academy, I was back in Chamonix. I was excited to start with two weeks of skiing and climbing with friends before starting the Haute Route season. The first week the weather was not the best – warm foehn wind and some snow so we ended up with skiing and climbing at the gym in Les Houches. On the 15, Colin Haley arrived, our plan was to climb and ski as much as possible together to get fit for our upcoming Alaska trip in May/June.

After some snowfall we started with some skitouring in the Argentier basin. The best day was definately skiing the normal route (west) on Aiguille d’ Argentier with Colin and Morgan Sahlen on March 20. Some days later we tried to climb the Frendo Spur in the north face of Midi, but bailed low on the route after battling with some of the worst snow conditions any of us had ever experienced – we couldn’t even get up to the steeper part of the route.

On March 23, we climbed the north face of Les Droites starting from the first lift. Last year we climbed Le Ginat together, but now we wanted to climb something that would take us to the top of the mountain, not just to the Breche des Droites. We did the Messner Route and like the other two times we climbed Les Droites we “descended” by climbing the west ridge of Le Courtes and down the northeast to our skis in the Argentier basin. We found a much better way down Droites than earlier and did not loose to much elevation before going up the west ridge of Courtes. And I think that this is by far the easiest way to get off the mountain, specially when it’s a lot of snow and as long as you don’t climb with your skis on the pack, which is no fun anyway.

On the 25, we climbed the Coutrier on Aiguille Verte – one of my favorite summits in the Alpes. We hoped to ski the Whymper on the south side, but conditions were really bad. Colin took a few turns while I did’t even take on my skis in the couloir.

The next day I started guiding Haute Route from Chamonix to Saas Fee. One week of mostly good weather, but not so good snow. We did the normal Verbier variant but never got to Saas Fee. The last day we had a ski tour in Zermatt.

Back in Chamonix, after one day of rest, Colin and me had a mellow day in the Argentier basin by simul-soloing the Swiss route on Les Courtes. Both of us had soloed the route before, but now we could both enjoy the freedom of climbing without a rope and the fun of climbing with a partner. The route was in perfect condition and the climb took us around 2 hours from bergschround to summit. As usual, we down climbed the northeast back to our skis and were back in Chamonix in early afternoon. Another perfect day in the mountains.

There’s been mostly good weather since and we been climbing a lot, but more about that later.


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WORK AND SOME FUN

Bjørn Kruse on Kjørlifossen


January and first part of February I’ve been in Norway. Working quite a bit, but also been skiing and climbing with friends. I’ve had to nice weekends skiing with clients in Romsdalen, the rest of the time I’ve been in the eastern parts of Norway – Rjukan, Hemsedal and Lærdal for ice climbing – mostly work. Below you can see some pictures from the ice climbing.

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