Monday 31 January 2011

Aiguille Mesure couloir south-west – a beautiful day, great ski mountaineering, some good skiing and a possible first decent…

Up Brevent, pist skiing over to Flegere, a traverse over to Lac Blanc, then up the alternative finish on Col Beugeant, down on the other side in boot deep pow for a few turns, traverse over to Col de Encrenaz, keep on going and up right in the next couloir, when the snow ends traverse left (grade 3 rock climbing – loose rock) to another couloir, climb this one to the top, traverse over a steep rocky face to the south west couloir on Mesure, say hello to a family of Ibexes, click in to your skis, ski some great corn down to a big cliff band, down climb this for a few meters, keep on skiing great snow to a second cliff band, try to set up a rappel, finally succeed with this and end up in another couloir, ski this one down to avalanche cone heaven, survive down to the little track at the bottom of the valley, follow this one all the way down to Buet, miss the train by 2 min, get a hitch on your first try and get back to Cham in time for dinner.

That’s my day today. Felix saw this line earlier this week doing Mt Oreb and after some talking and planning it seemed to be a line treating with a great ski mountaineering adventure. Up and down, skins, skis and crampons on and off, off and on, line checking, rock climbing, a bit of nerve, a meeting with a family of ibexes, great skiing and some problem solving. And then, we haven’t seen any trace of skiing activity on this face (or in any guide book) giving the day an extra nerve that post information cant take away from us. Again a great day on the mountain… 


 First couloir of the day

 Skiing some good snow with our coming ascent in the background

Felix Hentz finds great snow

End of the climbing

Close to the top 

 Our friends

 Just about to do the first turns

 Excellent spring skiing

Couloir skiing

Our tracks from the approach

 Going down the last rock band

Sunset skiing

The Face

Sunday 30 January 2011


Busy boys on the other side of the mountain

The Italian friends Davide Capozzi and Luca Rolli accompanied with French boys Roch Malnuit, Laurent Dupré and Lionel Hachemy did a probable first decent of the couloir south-west of Aiguilles du Brouillard the 17th of January. Well done!

To read an interview with Luca and Davide, click here

Photo: Rolli & Capozzi  


Saturday 29 January 2011

The northeast face of Mt Buet - In the search for pow...

Today I skied the northeast face of Mt Buet in amazing snow conditions together with my friend Felix Hentz. It was one of the greater runs of the season. Top to bottom in great snow except the runnels and some areas that the wind had transformed to crust, but if you played the line choice right following ridges you got excellent skiing in knee-deep powder snow.

Mt Buet is the crown jewel for people ski touring in the mountain range north of the Chamonix valley, the Aiguilles Rouges. Access from Flegere via the Crochues-Bérard traverse makes the approach easy and you will be on a ski touring highway all the way to the top. Not so romantic, but then again you will rarely have to do any tracking saving your energy for the decent.

From the top you will leave the people with speed suits behind dropping in from a cornice heaven to a wild not to steep (but still serious) mountain face. Then, finally down on the glacier follows a rock n roll river to ski, fight, jump and survive before back in Le Buet for a coffe…

A film from the search for powder will be coming soon… 

 The race for the mountains

 Felix changing to skins, Le Buet in the background

View from the top

View towards the lowlands 

 Checking the line from the top

Felix in the pow

The face

Going towards the rock n roll canyon

Real skibums can cook!

Amazing dinner with the Finnish rock n roll skiers, Skipe Oivo (masterchef), Jari Ikkelä and Jani Johansen. Note the big Pastis bottle on the table.

Friday 28 January 2011

The film from Col de L'Aiguille Verte

Here is the film from the other week when I skied Col de L’Aiguille Verte.

To read the story and see photos from this adventure click here.

Check out more of Bjarne Sahléns films at

Another run in the Cosmiques…

I wanted Daniel to get a bit of Chamonix feeling before he went home, so today I went up to Aiguille du Midi with him and good friend Felix Hentz to have a quick run down Couloir des Cosmiques. It was warm and calm up on the lift station and there where not many skiers going up with the first bin. We traversed over to the couloir and we could from the start feel that the skiing would not be great, but not that we expected anything else. We down climbed to the first anchor and used two rappels to get to where the skiing starts.

The skiing was a mix of hard snow, a few patches of soft recycled snow and breakable crust. But, it was warm with no wind and no one around which still made the experience pretty good. Lower down the traverse trough the glacier was easy done which is good to know when the long awaited powder finally will arrive. Because it has to come, doesn’t it?

We choose to not ski the whole way down to town, maybe we are getting old or something but we didn’t feel up for bush whacking with a hard to find snow cover, so we started traversing to the mid station. Weirdly no one had put in the normal track, so we made the high traverse over and where back in town in good time for lunch. Thanks boys, for a good morning... 

 Felix checking the run

Daniel rapping 

Daniel skiing 

 The exit

Putting in the traverse

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Finnish friends having fun...

My Finnish friends Jani Johansen, Kimmo “Skipe” Oivo and Paul Siljama are having fun in Chamonix, even without great snow conditions… 

Tuesday 25 January 2011

Col des Droites – Good skiing beside a sleeping tiger

Today was another steep skiing day in Chamonix. I went in to the Argentiere basin together with Maxime Turgeon and photographer Daniel Rönnbäck with the idea of skiing something that was not skied to pieces. The first thing we came over was Col des Droites, a very aesthetic line between Les Courtes and Les Droites. It’s facing east, which meant that it should be good skiing, but there is always a but… Above the whole line there is a gigantic hanging glacier threatening you for most of the time on the face, a sleeping tiger that you don’t want to meet when she wakes up. But we couldn’t se much recent activity down at the bottom as well as we knew the conditions for hiking where super fast meaning we wouldn’t spend much time at all on the face. Said and done, we climbed up as fast as we could, found really good snow, turned around right below the hanging glacier, enjoyed good skiing on the way down and had a calm lunch at Chambre neuf at the end. That makes for another good day on the mountain. 

The approach

Daniel on his way to a good shooting spot

walking, walking

 Me and Max climbing from Daniels point of view (Photo: Daniel Rönnbäck)

 Just before taking of

Max enjoying 

Col des Droites to the right

Check out Daniel Rönnbäcks angle of Chamonix on his photoblog at