Tuesday 22 February 2011

Helbronner – Magic skiing in the greatest ski area that I know of…

Yesterday morning I went over to Italy to ski at Helbronner with my friends Morgan Sahlén och Jimmy Halvardsson. The evening before it had started snowing like seldom seen this season and we liked to get the best out of the day – so we went over to one of my favourite ski areas in the world.

But maybe using the word ski are is a bit to much when it only is one lift line up a huge south facing mountain side on the Italian side of the Mt Blanc massif. There are no pistes, no avalanche control, no rules, no nothing really – only a great ski mountain with huge glaciers, couloirs, three very old lifts and a vertical drop higher than most other ski areas in the world.

Or, I take that statement, about no rules back, because of course there are rules even though they might not be written down or official. This is Italy and not Chamonix and the ambience of tranquillity is on another planet comparing the two cultures. Over here people are still following the old safety ideals of not dropping in above someone on a powder day, over here its almost obligatory with an Italian coffee after every run and over here people in general are still skiing with an afterthought.

And thinking is needed because it can be really dangerous here. Add sun on these south-facing slopes after a snowfall and you will see how quickly heaven can turn in to hell.

We where fortunate to meet up with our Italian friend Davide Capozzi and he showed us around in his beautiful home mountains. The snow was magically light and we where just by ourselves ending the day early at the local café.

Thanks Davide, Morgan and Jimmy!

To know more about Davide Capozzi, check out his website at www.snowhow.it
To know more about Jimmy Halvardsson, UIAGM Guide, check www.ascentdescent.com

I hadn’t had enough of good skiing; so coming back from the tunnel I jumped of at Aiguille du Midi just in time for the second round. 

 Jimmy Halvardsson and Morgan Sahlén

Walking down the stairs 

 Traversing in the fog

 Morgan skiing

 Morgan again

 Davide Capozzi, Italian snowboarding master... 

 Dent du Géant



Mt Blanc with its hat

Morgan contemplating 

 And then ripping

Me working the snow...

 Davide leading us down

Where is Jimmy?

 Davide riding

Still have a long way to go...

 Morgan showing us how to enjoy a walk back in the sun

And then of course a wonderful calm lunch in great company

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