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(Almost) Mont Blanc on skis

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The last few weeks have been extremely busy for me, as I have taken up yet another hobby and discovered a new way to enjoy the mountains: paragliding. It has been a long time coming, but things are going great, and I just celebrated today my 10th solo flight! Flying photography will probably follow at some point…

In between flights, however, I have also been climbing and skiing, shooting the Snow Leopard boys for British maker Montane (most photos from the shoot are still embargoed, however) on Dent Blanche and the Midi-Plan ridge, and most recently, attempting to ski Mont Blanc via the North Ridge of Dôme du Goûter, the so-called “Royal Route”. With friend Hulya, we reached the emergency Vallot hut early in the day, encountering a gorgeous sunrise on the way, but at 4350m and only an hour below the summit, Hulya started exhibiting signs of Acute Mountain Sickness, so we decided to go back and ski down to Chamonix. Not quite a success, but definitely not a failure!

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Skiing the mythical Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route

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After many false starts and cancelling partners, it was with great relief that on April 17th, I took the Grands Montets lift with Francis Kelsey and four of his clients, Regina, Felix, Michael and Nick. Over the next five days, we skied the very famous route, weaving its way through valleys and across (many) cols in France and Switzerland. Starting out was a bit of a gamble, as the weather forecast wasn’t great, but we got extremely lucky, and with the exception of a foggy second stage, we had almost perfect weather (including not too much sun, which makes skinning up a sweaty nightmare) and brilliant snow most of the way, with an indecent amount of powder.

It was a true adventure, it was fun, it was beautiful. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

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