I have made no secret in the past that Chamonix, in the heart of the French Alps, is a very special place to me. It’s where I learned to love the mountains, mostly through hiking and skiing, from a young age. And in the past couple of years, I have made as many trips there as I could, flying for long weekends from Denmark or Sweden, always trying to climb big alpine routes. So last summer, when the time finally came to go full time pro as a mountain photographer, the decision to move to Chamonix was an easy one, especially since it is also a major hub for the climbing and skiing elite that I make a living stalking with a camera.
The trip to Yosemite delayed things a little bit, but upon my return, I hopped on a train right away and started the fun task of looking for a place to live in the valley. As it turned out, this was the worst possible time, as the skiing season was just about to start and hordes of ski bums had invaded the town and driven flat prices sky high. I soon joined forces with one of them, Englishman Charlie Evans, and after much searching and a few sleepless nights ruminating our limited options, we finally got lucky with a huge apartment right in the centre of town. We are now sharing it with a third flatmate, Stéphanie, and possibly a fourth yet to be determined. And the view from the giant balcony or from my bedroom window, encompassing pretty much the whole range, from Le Tour to Les Houches (and the Aiguilles Rouges in the backside) is simply incredible. Certainly a very worthy base of operations!
Though things were desperately dry when I first arrived, at the end of November, the past two weeks have seen some very heavy snowfalls (over 1m50 in the past 10 days, with more on the way!). I already got some skiing in and just acquired a full touring/freeride setup to go explore the backcountry and, hopefully, get a lot of climbing done!
Before the exciting things start again, when the cablecars reopen and water ice forms in the valley, enjoy this selection of the images I shot since arriving in the valley, only a foretaste of what’s to come, I hope!