Posted: September 30, 2015 in Ski

Icelandic sunset. © Ben Briggs

Back at the end of April I headed out to Iceland with Cedric, Kingsley, Tomas and Ed. We got some cheap EasyJet flights and rented an RV to drive round the island in. I had seen a cool looking line on the highest volcano, that I still cant say the name of, so after arriving in Reykjavik we set off heading South driving through the night. The landscape was stunning but the snow line was pretty high and the glacier to access where we wanted to ski was a mess. We picked an easy route to the summit planning to ski into our line from the top but found terrible snow and with increasing winds we bailed and descended the way we came.

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The Diamir jacket and pants. Photo

Mountain Equipment are a long established British  brand who have been making top quality climbing and mountaineering products for over 50 years. Recently they have taken all of this knowledge and experience to produce a range of ski clothing which I have been putting to the test this winter. Read the rest of this entry »


This slope is commonly called the Col du Courtes and is a nice little route right at the back of the Argentiere basin. When Mikko had told me it looked good and invited me to ski with him I was skeptical, but I hadn’t done any steep skiing in Chamonix since Brendan’s death on the Tour Ronde and it was time to get back on the horse. Read the rest of this entry »

I recently got back to Chamonix after my first trip to Scotland. With all that has happened this year and with bad conditions I decided it would be a good time to get away and check out a new place. My good friend, and long term skiing and climbing partner Tom Grant had been in Scotland for the winter on the guides scheme so I decided this would be a good place to go.

Our plan was to try and do a bit of skiing, but there had just been a thaw as I arrived and conditions weren’t looking great so we decided to head from Toms in Avimore, over to Ben Nevis for a day of climbing. We had a great relaxed social day on an easy ice route route called Indicator wall with Toms fellow aspirant guide Paul Swail and his very competent client Gary Bloomer.  I got to go to the highest point in the UK for the first time, altitude didn’t seem to cause a problem, with it not being much higher than the apartment I live in. Although its not that big the North face of Ben Nevis is pretty impressive and has an almost alpine feel to it with some fantastic looking routes. The weather was great and I really got a taste of Scotland’s wonderful landscape.

Walking up my first view of Ben Nevis.

Walking up for my first view of Ben Nevis.

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© Ben Briggs

Brendan approaching the summit of Lyskamm before his first snowboard descent of the Beneditti line. © Ben Briggs

On the 23th of January 2015 Brendan was killed in a snowboarding accident on the Tour Ronde. Nothing I can write about Brendan will ever do him justice, he was a special person, liked by everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him and loved by so many. Read the rest of this entry »

So I think pretty much everyone knows the Alps have had a pretty terrible season for snow so far….. But we have still managed to get out for some fun days and good skiing, it’s just been harder to find. Back at the very beginning of December I headed up the tour Ronde  first to ski the Gervasutti with Tom Grant and Ben Tibbits, then to ski the North face with Brendan O’Sullivan. Even though we had no snow in the valley, a rainy summer and autumn meant there was a lot of snow up high and we found some good conditions.

Unfortunately this wasn’t to last long as high winds stripped all but the most protected snow. This made things difficult for Ben Tibbits and I who had a photo shoot for Mountain Equipment’s fantastic new ski products  to shoot. We set out for two days in the Argentiere Basin and struggled on the first day but luckily managed to find a hidden stash of snow in the Aiguille du Chardonnets South East couloir on the second.

More recently  i have had a couple of good runs from the Aiguille du Midi with Jesper Petersson and Brendan O’Sullivan, however the glaciers have been more complicated than usual du to the lack of snow. There has been a lack of good lift served free riding with just a handful of good days at Grands Montets and the Helbronner but hopefully things will pick up now before the steep season begins.

On the way up the Tour Ronde Normal route. © Ben Tibbits

On the way up the Tour Ronde Normal route. © Ben Tibbits

Skiing the Gervasutti.

Skiing the Gervasutti. © Ben Tibbits

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© Ben Briggs

© Ben Briggs 

On arriving back to Chamonix after an amazing climbing trip in north Wales I was surprised to see wintery conditions and was keen to try and get up skiing. Brendan and I wanted to do something in Chamonix, but when meeting Luca for a drink he said he had been told of good conditions on Lyskamm and soon persuaded me a road trip was in order.
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