Posts Tagged ‘Mikko Heimonen’

The North face of the Aiguille du Plan and Contamine couloir. © Brendan O'Sullivan

The North face of the Aiguille du Plan and Contamine couloir. © Brendan O’Sullivan

At the start of June, just before the current heat wave Brendan O’Sullivan, Mikko Heimonen and I managed to sneak one last powder snow descent. The Aiguille du Plan’s north face is impressive and I always thought it would be a cool place to ski but was put off by the large amounts of rappelling for relatively little skiing.

Things changed when in the spring of 2011 Vivian Bruchez and Jonathan Charlet made the first link up this route with the Contamine Couloir. They skied the North face until the point where the skiing finishes and  you would normally make several long rappels. From there they climbed up the West couloir of the Aiguille du Blaitière to reach the top of the Contamine couloir. A descent of this and then the Nantillons glacier takes you all the way back to the Lift. The Idea was ingenious, take two great descents and link them together to eliminate most of the rappels. 

Our plan was to make the first repetition of this route and so after catching the first lift in the morning we set of on the classic alpine route, the Midi Plan traverse. (more…)

The Y couloir, can you spot us in the photo? Cedric Bernardini

The upper part of the Y couloir, we skied the lookers left hand branch. Can you spot us in the photo? © Cedric Bernardini

Last year I made several failed attempts on the Y couloir due to weather or snow conditions so as soon as it was filled with snow I was keen to go. It has always been a dream of mine to ski off all four sides of the aiguille Verte, and this was the third part of the puzzle. (more…)


Les Courtes N-NE face

On Saturday afternoon myself and Tom Grant caught a late lift up the Grands Montets with plans to ski on Les Courtes. We were joined by Luca Pandolfi, Ross Hewitt and Mikko Heimonen who were planning on skiing the Couturier. We had a quick scope of our line and decided it needed a little longer to be in perfect condition and the Couturier also still had its ice section, so we joined forces for the N-NE face of Les Courtes. We set off the next morning after a good nights sleep but  unfortunately about half way up Ross turned back not feeling great. The boot pack was hard work in the deep snow but we reaped the rewards on the way down. When we were boot packing the summit slopes we were hitting hard ice under the 30 cm of fresh powder, so I made a couple of turns with Tom belaying to test if the snow was going to slab. When It didn’t  I untied and we enjoyed perfect pow for nearly all of the descent. I managed to ski through the rocky crux section linking the summit slopes with the hanging snow field while the others made a couple of short rappels. It was another perfect day with great friends and great snow on one of the most beautiful lines I have skied. Thanks Guys! (more…)