Droites South West face. © Ben BriggsDroites South West face. © Ben Briggs

I had wanted to ski les Droites for a long time but when conditions were good I overlooked it for other lines. It’s always nice to ski in new places so after some snow fall and with nothing else we hadn’t skied before in good condition Brendan and I headed up to the the Couvercle refuge with this in our sights.

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This winter had a lot to live up to after the consistent heavy snow falls we got last year, although it didn’t last as long we still had our fair share of powder days. Especially on the Italian side where the Helbronner lift delivered some of the best lift served free riding around.

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Ben skiing under the Helbronner cables. © John McCune

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Photo- Luca Pandolfi

Photo- Luca Pandolfi

Yesterday I headed out for my first tour of the year with both my oldest and newest ski partners, Brendan O’Sullivan and Tom Coney. Early in the season often the best steep skiing is to be found on the Southern aspects as the cold snow doesn’t bond well to icy North faces. The Fins had recently skied the Y couloir and reported good conditions, none of us had skied this line before so after a snowfall and a few days to let things settle we caught the first lift up GM with it in our sights. Read the rest of this entry »

The route.  © Ben Briggs

The route. © Ben Briggs

Upper part of the route- Tricot south face.  © Ben Briggs

Upper part of the route- Tricot south face. © Ben Briggs

Last week Brendan O’Sullivan and I once again headed up to the Plan Glacier hut to ski a route we had seen from the Domes de Miage. The route can roughly be split into two half’s, the first up NW facing slopes to join a hanging glacier and the second up the S face of the Tricot. We could find no information on it from any of our guide books but have since found a report from a first descent in 2012 which could well be the same route we took-  http://www.lafuma.com/en/a-spectacular-skiing-first-by-patrick-gabarrou/ Read the rest of this entry »

Driving back up from Sallanches to Chamonix a few times recently I had noticed that the Dome de Miage North face was looking pretty white so I managed to persuade Brendan O’Sullivan and Tom Grant to join me for an early season ski mission. The plan was to ski the North face direct, but although it looked white from a distance strong North winds had stripped any skiable snow. The couloirs and slopes on the sides of the Mettrier ridge were a little more protected so we instead set our sights on this, however once joining the top of the spur we found only neve and rocks above us so were forced to start skiing still quite some way from the summit.

Although we didn’t succeed on our objective it was great to get on such a big line this early in the season and we had some great skiing from where we turned around, it was also great to spend some time in a beautiful basin we hadn’t visited before.

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Our Route, starting on the skiers left of the ridge then crossing it to join the couloirs on the skiers right. © Ben Briggs

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After skiing the Sentinel Rouge couloir back at the start of July I knew it would be my last ski of the season, I was ready for a mental break after a big winter and I didn’t feel like writing about it just then. Now with the winter fast approaching, my mind has turned to skiing once more and we made our first powder turns of the season on Friday.

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© Ben Briggs

The Story starts when myself and Luca Pandolfi drove through to Italy to check out the Peuterey Arete. We got there only to find out our passes were no longer valid in the summer on the Helbronner lift, however we could see from the town with binoculars that the Arete was definatley out. It was also pretty clear that there was still a lot of snow on the Brenva face of Mont Blanc so we drove back through the tunnel and went up the Aiguille du midi to have a look. From our vantage point we could only see the top half of the Sentinel rouge couloir but it looked great, better then I had ever seen in many years of watching it. Although its exposed to serac fall its an extremely beautiful an tempting ski line. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Video  —  Posted: June 23, 2013 in Ski
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