So I think pretty much everyone knows the Alps have had a pretty terrible season for snow so far….. But we have still managed to get out for some fun days and good skiing, it’s just been harder to find. Back at the very beginning of December I headed up the tour Ronde  first to ski the Gervasutti with Tom Grant and Ben Tibbits, then to ski the North face with Brendan O’Sullivan. Even though we had no snow in the valley, a rainy summer and autumn meant there was a lot of snow up high and we found some good conditions.

Unfortunately this wasn’t to last long as high winds stripped all but the most protected snow. This made things difficult for Ben Tibbits and I who had a photo shoot for Mountain Equipment’s fantastic new ski products  to shoot. We set out for two days in the Argentiere Basin and struggled on the first day but luckily managed to find a hidden stash of snow in the Aiguille du Chardonnets South East couloir on the second.

More recently  i have had a couple of good runs from the Aiguille du Midi with Jesper Petersson and Brendan O’Sullivan, however the glaciers have been more complicated than usual du to the lack of snow. There has been a lack of good lift served free riding with just a handful of good days at Grands Montets and the Helbronner but hopefully things will pick up now before the steep season begins.

On the way up the Tour Ronde Normal route. © Ben Tibbits

On the way up the Tour Ronde Normal route. © Ben Tibbits

Skiing the Gervasutti.

Skiing the Gervasutti. © Ben Tibbits

Skiing out the bottom of the couloir.

Skiing out the bottom of the couloir. © Ben Tibbits

Brendan Skinning towards the Tour Ronde East face.

Brendan Skinning towards the Tour Ronde East face. © Ben Briggs

Looking into te Brenva basin.

Looking into te Brenva basin. © Ben Briggs

Skiing on the top of the face.

Skiing on the top of the face. © Brendan O’Sullivan

Brendan waiting above the gully for the climbers.

Brendan waiting above the gully for the climbers. © Ben Briggs

Skiing the lower face.

Skiing the lower face. © Brendan O’Sullivan

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Skiing away from the Aiguille du Chardonnet after a photo shoot for Mountain Equipment. © Ben Tibbits

Glacier Ronde exit couloir;

Glacier Ronde exit couloir. © Jesper Petersson

Glacier Ronde exit couloir.

Glacier Ronde exit couloir. © Jesper Petersson

Rappeling over the giant creavasse.

Rappeling over the giant crevasse. © Jesper Petersson

Lost in a cloud of snow at the top of the Cosmiques.

Lost in a cloud of snow at the top of the Cosmiques. © Brendan O’Sullivan

Afternoon Cosmiques.

Afternoon Cosmiques. © Brendan O’Sullivan

A very open glacier to exit the Ronde and Cosmiques this year.

A very open glacier to exit the Ronde and Cosmiques this year. © Ben Briggs

 

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