Gambling Man (Winning big. Losing big. Desert roadtrippin’ in nevada)

a completely unrelated photo, but this makes me happy.  rogers pass late march 13

a completely unrelated photo, but this makes me happy. rogers pass late march 13

Going into this season a little jaded, comps were not really on my mind; after a good first result in NZ with a win at the chill series FWQ, followed by two relatively poor results that eroded my confidence.  However, a little persuasion from mates got me back on track and I entered for the north face masters and taos, quite late.  I was slack on booking my flights to squaw though for TNFM, and before I knew it I was staring down the  barrel of an $850 flight.  I paid 650 return last year, france-canada-france!  ”No way”, I thought, that’s a heck of alot of backcountry adventure money gone”, or something indignant along those lines.

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endless oregan

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i was so tired when i hit reno, this was my view

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interior washington state.

ImageImageImagethen, right on crunch time, my girlfriend, Sophie(above) offered me use of her car!  A mellow 2000 odd km later with 5 hrs sleep…

…and there I was, waking up on the shores of Donner lake under a already-blazing dawn sun.  Right back where it all began for my new patrolling/snowboarding life.  It sure was a trip, it had changed so little, and I so much…maybe?  Nothing had gone right for me in the states. Not ever.Image  However, from the moment I hit the boarder crossing, this time seemed different.  I met nice people, things went well, the drive was choice, the music cranking…could things work out, just this once?

icy california eh...I know this all too well..

icy california eh…I know this all too well..

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they clearly didnt know me. photo colin boyd (boydblog)

Well, I ended up being lucky enough to win the event.  Much to my surprise, as some..Hans, sammy, mikey….were throwing down huge, fast freestyle into solid as, sierra cement moguls.  I spent the rest of the day corralled into the finish line area, getting sunburnt and feeling stoked  naturally, but also very torn that I couldn’t ride the newly minted pipe(what a beaut, we spent a morning shredding ‘er with sammy 2 days later).

http://snowboardmag.com/stories/photos/ruari-macfarlane-and-iris-lazzareschi-win-4-star-north-face-masters-at-squaw-valley

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Some cash, schwag and a samurai sword…how would I get that across the border??!…later, and it was time to enjoy the break from work:wearing shorts,  some live reggae, a swim in lake tahoe and pupe riding filled the next 36 hours, and at 1pm Colin Bioyd and I hit the road for an epic roadtrip to big sky, montana, aiming for a 2am arrival.  Cali, nevada, idaho, damn 2am… thin s were gettin’ weird… 7 30 am, big sky, dodge that moose on the road…Tim Cowie is the man at big sky, and we hit his floor for 1 hours shattered sleep, before the siren song of fresh powder…thats right… drew us out and onto Lone Peaks sweeping faces, courtesy of marketing at Big Sky, and their equally sick neighbour Moonlight Basin.  We were sleeplesss snowboard Zombies but we definitely quaffed our share of blower, blower cold smoke pow, and the terrain…well, words don;t really describe it.  Big sky has the variety and the absolute claim lines on lone peak, wheras the headwaters at moonlight wold be an amazing daily training ground, with their length, exposure and consistent pitch, with seriously consequential cliffs galore, plus Image…perma-shade, very remniscent of some of europes’ top spots…reminded me alot of courmayeur in fact.  Tim slayed it on his home turf, so incredibly fast, and we bumbled along in his wake.  Thank you Tim, Moonlight Basin and Big Sky.

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love montana. they also had $3 six packs!!

I couldn’t resist one last run, and another, and to compound matters, when we did get away I soon got sideswiped by another car… and then almost fell asleep on the drive to bozeman…it was now clear I would not be driving 10hrs back home and straight to work.  So; I opted for the only logical option and sallied out against 2ft deep powder off a sick ridge at another wee montana gem of a ski hill all next morning, the  hit the road.

inspired by my  new sword to slash sabre slice(this chute)

inspired by my new sword to slash sabre slice(this chute)

mmm nevada

mmm nevada

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big sky.  deep snow. no sleep. dont care.

big sky. deep snow. no sleep. dont care.

headwaters! an amazing training ground at moonlight basin

headwaters! an amazing training ground at moonlight basin

for a dry continental climate, big sky gets hammered!

for a dry continental climate, big sky gets hammered!

tim cowie, big sky, camera shy

tim cowie, big sky, camera shy

tim cowie, big sky

tim cowie, big sky

a wee spell back at work, with an impromtu weekend touring at rogers… the most memorable day being riding sifton main couloir,,then right back to valley floor, in the cloud with laidback ski madman CJ Wright at 6pm.  I had a frayed kayak tiedown as a webbing harness,   borrowed, ill fitImageting…Image… semi auto crampons(do no really work on Sb boots!), no ice screws and one borrowed snow axe(the day before, our destination changed from kicking horse to rogers, mid drive.  then I met Jules, a mate from revy, and dint take much persuading to stay!)… Cj was not much better off…and our planned descent involving 1 times water ice crux was hastily changed!!

Off to taos.  not much to say except that I was doomed to repeat my nz season.  this involved crashin on the first tiny air of my first run, and coming dead last! I was however knocked out of the comp and although this was a bit blue, I was able to really enjoy the company of Sam lee, Tess Carney and Colin Boyd… team (kind of ) NZ… and enjoy some truly awesome riding, and spectating.

Hot sprImageings in a canyon under desert stars aint half bad either, or being put up while hitch hiking in a classic…Image

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Image adobe house, with the finest of californian wine and new mexican cruisine!  A good week was had by all.  Plus;  Colin Boyd slayed it on his final run; it went something like cornice cab 5, two hug 3’s at speed, a rib ride to indy cliff and a slick back 3 tail!  brian bozack and jesse also really impressed me with their charging, tess  carnage stepped it up to a whole new level, dominating the comp more or less, and the skiiers… wow.  NEW LEVEL.

Then at louise, back home in the rockies, I continued my trend, stupidly crashing out to 6th place.  grr.

Last I looked I am qualified for the world tour 14′ but will probably be knocked out my one of my fellow competitors travelling to europe for the last two FWQ events there.  cant bear to spend so much to go there, for a chance, and miss so much snowboard mountaineering here both due to time/money for a few comps. ah well. spring here is proving sick;

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soph stoked on the propect of many lines like this on her new nordica touring outfit…she is moving fast and skiing steep!

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weeping wall, icefields parkway, canada.

with keiran lyon

keiran lyon racks up. kiwis love canada for good reasons

keiran lyon racks up. kiwis love canada for good reasons

keiran leading pitch 2

keiran leading pitch 2

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mt ishbel slab colouir

 

keiran lyon, cutting his teeth on slab skiing.  photo copyright ruari macfarlane

keiran lyon, cutting his teeth on slab skiing. photo copyright ruari macfarlane

 

this photo shows the true angle. the chokes were steeper.

this photo shows the true angle. the chokes were steeper.

ImageImageHere is Couloir that had enticed me for a full year.  However.  On Feb 8th 2013 Keiran Lyon and I set out with a very rough hiking topo of the whole of banff national park, and despite some merry route finding mishaps…damn those parks canada animal trackers and their rambling skin tracks-  we eventually made it into the correct drainage and away from any signs of human travel.  A mellow 5 hours of heavy facet wading…even for Keiran on skiis..put us at the couloir base.  it turned out stuff was way more burly than appeared from  the highway.  The one clean rock step I’d envisioned was in fact a messy system of 3 boney ones,(even in a virtual cave off the side at one point, where on the climb my board knocked a rock from the roof onto my helmeted head!), negotiable with some serious billy-goating up higher, and mandatory rap or air (my choice as not very high) on the last drop.  the climb from the first rock step to the top was a ridiculous facet wade, bellybutton deep.  ice axe was no good at all, and it was a puckering climb with no support anywhere.  I cam upon an old crown at the top choke but it was severely eroded and stability tests proved the slab had since faceted itself right out.  right on!

A stellar sunset lit the couloir for a very spicy descent, perhaps the best I’ve had in the rockies so far!

I was nervous as this was my second day on my new board, the Rossignol Experience.  They do sponsor me but I swear the following account is exactly how I felt.  I started off down and the boards float helped catch the nose catching in the facets.  I expected the extra 3cm over my previous board, plus super stiff flex, to slow turn initiation, not so.  The slight rocker outside the feet plus the upturn of tips kept the nose and tail swinging so frreely I had no need to commit choppy jump turns. I would think about initiating a turn and the board would come around like that.  On a descent like the upper section though, there is no chance to let it run.  One I’d passed the final step i opened it up down the consolidated steep powder, which was formed in weird sluff cones/banks within the walls.  This is when I realized what an amazing plank the experience actually  is.  I mean it, you’ll see in the video.  she isn’t perfect for cruising around groomers, I’d felt the previous day but here, I could do no wrong.  Keiran will attest to it- I didnt shut up about the ride for quite some time!

And  it was off, though the forest in the twilight, to an incredibly bright sky of blazing stars aove the van, and coronas and free peanuts at the stump and magpie.

Cant find any info on this line having a prior descent, however definitely am not ruling it out as it is in view of the highway,and I fnd it very visually appealing.  However same with the slas, and no-one I’ve asked knows of rock routes there.

If it has been done, my hat off to the first descentionists.  If not, I’;d like the call it ‘The Mason’s Mistake’

Thanks keiran for a ripper of a day out.  Inspiring to have such confidence in a partner. I SEE THIS LINE EVERY DAY ON THE WAY TO WORK, AND I SMILE.

ps there will be footage coming out here, within a month, in a couloir edit.

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Rossignol hookup

Im very, very excited to announce that I will soon be riding a rossignol experience 163, one of the hardest charging big mountain decks in existence . Thank you rossignol Canada, I am stoked to ride the experience in the upcoming weeks (and in the north face masters , squaw valley California, feb 14-17) . This will be the most big mountain specific board I’ve ever ridden 

 And I deeplyanticipate that it will allow to push further torwards my potential here 

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Rocket pocket with mike hall

Look up chasingsnowflakes.com/blog/ for more from mike hall

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the coldest, darkest winter

Canadian Rockies, early season 2012/13

photo by Andy Wells / Sweet PhotographyThanks Andy!

photo by Andy Wells / Sweet Photography
Thanks Andy!

sophie, mt buller chutes

sophie, mt buller chutes

sophie , mt buller chutes

sophie , mt buller chutes

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ah wind. No wonder I feel oddly at home here. altostratus lenticularis in K Country

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'his', early season

‘his’, early season

not warm or nice.  the climatic conditions that is, not keiran diamond

not warm or nice. the climatic conditions that is, not keiran diamond

grotto canyon

grotto canyon

my first true Water Ice climb was cascade falls here, multi-pitch at night.  At least it's not very steep in profile(rezlly, side-on tells true story).  a very mediocre climb for these parts.  cold is good for somthing,eh!

my first true Water Ice climb was cascade falls here, multi-pitch at night. At least it’s not very steep in profile(rezlly, side-on tells true story). a very mediocre climb for these parts. cold is good for somthing,eh!

ptarmigan peak...keiran diamond and I descended couloir in shade line down centre of peak.  nice and alluring from work every day, so had to be done!

ptarmigan peak…keiran diamond and I descended couloir in shade line down centre of peak. nice and alluring from work every day, so had to be done!

sundog, mt temple, from work

sundog, mt temple, from work

keiran , ptarmigan peak

keiran , ptarmigan peak

couloir on ptarmigan peak, late 2012

couloir on ptarmigan peak, late 2012

''I can't wait''

”I can’t wait”

keiran D exiting Ptarmigan peak couloir

keiran D exiting Ptarmigan peak couloir

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bad snow at surprise pass, but a nice sunset at 5pm to compensate on the way home! lake louise

bad snow at surprise pass, but a nice sunset at 5pm to compensate on the way home! lake louise

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howes and cephron.  We rode couloir on L shoulder Cephron... just right of centre of photo

howes and cephron. We rode couloir on L shoulder Cephron… just right of centre of photo

cephron couloir, Icefields Parkway

a cephron couloir, Icefields Parkway

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Mt Footstool – a first descent on the E face

Deep respect for Geoff Small who first descended this face of footstool via the E couloir, skiiers left of our line.  video to come. sep 2012

fabian lentsch dropping in

fabian lentsch dropping in

the bivvy hut was buried so after fruitless late night probing, this was our bivvy/  september 2012

the bivvy hut was buried so after fruitless late night probing, this was our bivvy/ september 2012

breakin trail, upper E face

breakin trail, upper E face

fabian lentsch on the face

fabian lentsch on the face

line is down the spines. smallys line is couloir on lookers right.

line is down the spines. smallys line is couloir on lookers right.

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HELP SAVE FIORDLAND

A tunnel is proposed directly below the beautiful valley you see in my photo below.  The whole area will be opened up far vaster hoards of tourists, impinging on one of the southern hemispheres greatest tracts of spectacular wilderness. this is the correct email address to contact our new Minister of Conservation 
nick.smith@national.org.nz

It would be great if you would send him a message voicing your opinion against the Milford Dart ltd Tunnel.

also, sign the below petition.

://www.change.org/petitions/stop-plans-to-dig-up-fiordland-national-park-in-new-zealand-for-a-private-use-tunnel?utm_source=supporter_message&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=url_share&utm_campaign=url_share_before_sign

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below is a letter I sent to  the previous conservation minister, maybe you could do similarly now if you care for the future of such stunning places;

Dear Kate Wilkinson,

I must say I fail to understand how anyone can lead a government department dedicated to conservation to plunder that which really makes New Zealand unique. Not only are the planned develpments in Fiordland an outrage, an irrepairable disruption of all we hold dear as Kiwis, and indeed with such a stunning setting , as world citizens, but it also impinges upon our long term economic outlook. It is easy to be blinded by short term profit, but the more our remaining wild landscape is impinged upon by man, the less attraction it will hold compared to other destinations worldwide, especially as we have the opportuity to have the drwcard of a civilised Western country, but with unusually large tracts of (comparatively) untouhed raw landscape.

Anyhow; Money is fleeting, and is not everything. In particular, it does no bring true peace, contentment or happiness. I hope one day you will learn this. 

The damage you will do to our country, in particular if these ventures are allowed to proceed, is permanent and will not easily be undone, if ever.

As a Southlander, with a real appreciation and connection to these places, where I get upto all sorts of adventures, I feel like you will be taking a vital piece out of me.

I wish you too could sit atop Emily Peak or Mt Somnus in the dawn light, the beauty of fiordland an enchanting tapestry before you, or explore the crytsalline waters and world class of the Hollyord River or Eglington in a kayak, dwarfed all the while by savage citadels of rock or snow. Then you would realise what a crime you will permitting allowing furthur tarnishment of this area. You wil not be cherished in history by ew ealand. You are doing the wrong thing. If these plans go ahead, we will be forever poorer as a result.

Yours,

Ruari

PS if anyone feels the same, sign th petition on change.org, email j.key@ministers.govt.nz and kate.wilkinson@national.org.nz, and find other ways to get involved in the struggle

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Chill comp video edits

 

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Snowboard Mt Aspiring, Footstool etc

A snippet of my 2012 spring; a hint of the video edit to come. stay tuned…

view from the top of our line on footstool.  Full gopro descent edit to come

view from the top of our line on footstool. Full gopro descent edit to come

GoPro-logo-white-flat

arrowsmith mountains.

arrowsmith mountains.

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with alwin heiler on aspiring

with alwin heiler on aspiring

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sw ridge crux

sw ridge crux

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sophie norton approaches jagged-upham couloir, arrowsmith range

sophie norton approaches jagged-upham couloir, arrowsmith range

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mt aspring on left

mt aspring on left

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alwin heiler fresh off riding the west face of aspiring, sunlit in background

alwin heiler fresh off riding the west face of aspiring, sunlit in background

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Garden of Eden Splitboarding

http://colinboyd.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/splitboarding-in-new-zealands-remote-southern-alps/

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shredding videos – The Clubbies, by Riley Bathurst

photo Riley Bathurst - Film Inc

photo Riley Bathurst – Film Inc

from 2:20.   hiking olympus with friends. Colin Boyd goes first and destroys it!  Im wearing all black except for a blue/white beanie.

-I’m all GoPro footage, plus all arthur’s pass b/c shotsGoPro-logo-white-flat

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2012 selection- scotland, snowboard, climb, surf

soph, uig, outer hebrides

soph, uig, outer hebrides

never go to scotlnd without a rope

never go to scotlnd without a rope

saw a basking shark 10m later

”back where I belong.  Where I’ve always been” – Van Morrison.  saw a basking shark 10min later

wye creek, copyright ruari macfarlane

wye creek, copyright ruari macfarlane

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on isle of sky

on isle of sky

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rannochmoor, scotland

rannochmoor, scotland

view down W face of Cascade, solo descent early 2012

view down W face of Cascade, solo descent early 2012

seals and a waterfall

seals and a waterfall

pic matt decarufel.  near surprise pass, lake louise

pic matt decarufel. near surprise pass, lake louise

surfing mangas.  photo sophie

surfing mangas. photo sophie

cosmiques arete, which I climbed jan 12 with liam brophy

cosmiques arete, which I climbed jan 12 with liam brophy

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curio bay, copyright me

curio bay, copyright me

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sand.

sand.

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catching my breath after riding off mt blanc

catching my breath after riding off mt blanc

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bits n bobs 2011 ish

back at curio bay at last, ahh.  back where things began. photo ben svehla photography

back at curio bay at last, ahh. back where things began. photo ben svehla photography

a photo I like, of absorbing one of my favourite places. photo ewen rodway

a photo I like, of absorbing one of my favourite places. I was home after a confidence destroying time in the USA, as usual, and took a few months out on the south coast.  Every day I would jump in my wee car and head out for a crisp, clear days surf, with plenty of time by for refelction.  It’s also a time I felt quite close to god, and is it any wonde when surrunded by serene scenes like this?  photo ewen rodway

270193_2259681850992_5831624_n these other surf shots by ben svehla photography, he is very, very good… google him264375_2271369143167_3357025_n

liard hot springs, yukon. photo O'sean

liard hot springs, yukon. photo O’sean

are these really the same people as the other shot?

are these really the same people as the shot below?

are these really the same people as the other shot?new years in a welsh manor

are these really the same people as the above shot?
new years in a welsh manor

atop rolleston

atop rolleston

sophie, rolleston

sophie, rolleston

about to descend this lovely coloir I discovered on Mt Stewart, arthurs pass nZ

about to descend this lovely couloirr (hey, I’m from southland) I discovered on Mt Stewart, arthurs pass nZ

sophie and seal pup

sophie and seal pup

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NW in the waimak.  love this wx

NW in the waimak. love this wx

bealy subpeak.  probabl first descent of that couloir with shane O, nick s and Tess C

bealy subpeak. probabl first descent of that couloir with shane O, nick s and Tess C.

for footage to clubbies ep 3, in my ”shredding videos-clubbies” post ,slightly more recent

surfing mangas.  photo sophie

surfing mangas. photo sophie

seals and a waterfall

seals and a waterfall

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Fiordland first descents – different medium!

our usual camp by manapouri.  good good times

our usual camp by manapouri. good good times

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the lead-in rapid to Percy Burns gorge.  boat at top.  christmas 2009

the lead-in rapid to Percy Burns gorge. boat at top. christmas 2009

een rodway during Prcy Burn, fiordland, first descent 2009

een rodway during Prcy Burn, fiordland, first descent 2009

looking serious, lake monowai, autumn 2011

looking serious, lake monowai, autumn 2011

ewen, looking even more 'serious', electric river

ewen, looking even more ‘serious’, electric river

electric river, (very partial) first descent.  the real deal still awaits up there in the back, with a chopper!

electric river, (very partial) first descent. the real deal still awaits up there in the back, with a chopper!

all pretence of seriousness gone

all pretence of seriousness gone

first descent electric river, fiordland 2011. photo ewen rodway

first descent electric river, fiordland 2011. photo ewen rodway

first overnighter.  this palnned 2 day trip turned to three, with an extra frigid, hungry bivvy...and mayb e almost for!  stay tuned to cumec mag for article.  E eglington first descent June 2011, photo ewen rodway

first overnighter. this palnned 2 day trip turned to three, with an extra frigid, hungry bivvy…and mayb e almost for! stay tuned to cumec mag for article. E eglington first descent June 2011, photo ewen rodway

 E eglington first descent June 2011, photo ewen rodway

E eglington first descent June 2011, photo ewen rodway

 E eglington first descent June 2011, photo ewen rodway

E eglington first descent June 2011, photo ewen rodway

. looking for rocks to plug a hole in my boat. E eglington first descent June 2011, photo ewen rodway

. looking for rocks to plug a hole in my boat. E eglington first descent June 2011, photo ewen rodway

 E eglington first descent June 2011, photo ewen rodway

E eglington first descent June 2011, photo ewen rodway

best mates, fiordland, success.  the only thing that could (did ) make this even better was beer and chips!glowing after coming unscathed out if east eglington first descent

best mates, fiordland, success. the only thing that could (did ) make this even better was beer and chips!
glowing after coming unscathed out if east eglington first descent

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plus a few from mt blanc

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4810m and feeling every bit that high

4810m and feeling every bit that high

chilling outside our ruined wee cabin the previous evening, spring convection

chilling outside our ruined wee cabin the previous evening, spring convection

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still aways to go to valey floor,   lonnng day, esp with akll the deadfall in the forest below

still aways to go to valey floor, lonnng day, esp with akll the deadfall in the forest below

p will boucher

p will boucher

p will boucher

p will boucher

it all going wrong for one of our party.  read my article a fw posts below, 'heavy' for more

it all going wrong for one of our party. read my article a fw posts below, ‘heavy’ for more

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The Fastest Learning Curve. CHAMONIX.

My most successful month ever, in my eyes.  Both as a progressing, and a proving ground, in the most intense single month of my life, where I explored my mental and riding limits further than ever before, while pushing my climbing limits fast. photos featuring me, when not obviously self portrait, are credited to Liam Brophy..cheers mate!  I tell you, the Irish make the most dependable mates, whether in town or the mountains…and climb HARD!

These photos are from just a few days when camera was present, but managed to capture at least line photos of quite a bit of what was done(most notable missed line is N col, aig de telefre…belayed first 4 turns)  there were definitely down days; exhaustion, weather, italian hitch-hiking holiday and alot of cragging!

Read related post ”mortality and the mountain”, same month as this, for my thoughts during this time…

NE face Mt Blanc du Tacul.  climbed lower crux with Liam, then climbed to summit ridge at very top of triangle du tacul(rocks)..rode skiiers left of face back down. abseils back through lower crux...wished v much for a rope longer than 30m!

NE face Mt Blanc du Tacul. climbed lower crux with Liam, then climbed to summit ridge at very top of triangle du tacul(rocks)..rode skiiers left of face back down. abseils back through lower crux…wished v much for a rope longer than 30m!  can you see where I skittered on hidden alpine ice for 30m on the lower fan?

jager couloir on right never truly came on, but on May 29, my last alpine day in cham, I climbed Mt blanc du tacul nice and early, to hit Gervasutti Couloir (on left).  I had several glorious hours on top as the sun rose over europe. a blancing act between softening snow(yay) and softening serac/cornice(nay).  came off ok, bloody sustained, scary ride.  angle never eases out of somewhere in 50's till bergschrund!Rode into Italy and spent day lying in meadows by a roaring alpine steam... bueno!

jager couloir on right never truly came on…photo is too bright to show all the ice… but on May 29, my last alpine day in cham, I climbed Mt blanc du tacul nice and early, to hit Gervasutti Couloir (on left). I had several glorious hours on top as the sun rose over europe. a blancing act between softening snow(yay) and softening serac/cornice(nay). came off ok, bloody sustained, scary ride. angle never eases out of somewhere in 50’s till bergschrund!
Rode into Italy and spent day lying in meadows by a roaring alpine steam… bueno!

my tracks into midi poubelle.

my tracks into midi poubelle.

 

up late may mer de glace in skate shoes.  homage  to snowboardings roots?  I dont think so but....

up late may mer de glace in skate shoes. homage to snowboardings roots? I dont think so but….

strolling up the via ferrata to couvercle refuge with graham pinkerton

strolling up the via ferrata to couvercle refuge with graham pinkerton

for some reason no-on  bothers with these.  wx was terrible up high, so after a restless night at top of midi /i headed down and had a nudge,. backed out of R one halfway up, downclimbed around and did left one.  both were horrible conditions

for some reason no-one bothers with these, which are here photographed from the upper span of the aiguillle du midi. wx was terrible up high, so after a restless night at top of midi /i headed down and had a nudge,. backed out of R one halfway up, downclimbed around and did snowboard left one, though with riding abseil through crux at bottom. both were horrible conditions
on the N face tour ronde from right below.  porr angle. scary face.

snowboarding on the N face tour ronde from right below, just starting to look for an anchor. poor angle. bit scary face but not very big at 350m vert.

my probab;ly first descent on les courtes, into couloir angelique.  not exactly the most aesthetic line, but stuff has been fairly picked over.  That said, the main couloir angelique, where my line runs into halfway down, was only first done about a decade ago

my probable first descent on les courtes, into couloir angelique. not exactly the most aesthetic line, but stuff has been fairly picked over. That said, the main couloir angelique, where my line runs into halfway down, was only first done about a decade ago

...but as usual I find myself alone...NE face mt B du tacul

…but as usual I find myself alone…NE face mt B du tacul

graeme pinkerton and myself start up NE face, Mt blanc du Tacul

graeme pinkerton and myself start up NE face, Mt blanc du Tacul

backd out here, and downclimbed.  steep rough ice.  learning to check the reality of things!

backd out here, and downclimbed. steep rough ice. learning to check the reality of things!

midi couloir poubelle.  An entertaining way to pass a solo eveing camping at the midi, if not a recommended one. .  2 rappells were neccessary or this scrappy descent

midi couloir poubelle. An entertaining way to pass a solo eveing camping at the midi, if not a recommended one. . 2 rappells were neccessary or this scrappy descent.  my tracks visible on sunny rib top right

snowboarding anyone?

snowboarding anyone?

mt maudit and kuffner arete

mt maudit and kuffner arete

the view before riding N face.  petite gervasutti drops to Left

the view before riding N face. petite gervasutti drops to Left

compelling future project in backgroun d...this is what xvier and jeremy bcked off.. however right time, right place is everthing, so maybe someday...

compelling future project in background…this is what xavier and jeremy backed off in ‘deeper’.. however right time, right place is everthing, so maybe someday…  Liam however has other matters on his mind.  By the way he’s a machine..skiing the 52 degree, sustained petite gervasutti to wrap up his first season on skiis!! phew.  John McCune’s progresion was also pretty phenomenal.

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dropping into N face tour ronde

myself, tour ronde.  photo L brophy

myself, tour ronde. photo L brophy

liam pitch 1, tour ronde N face

liam pitch 1, tour ronde N face

first ice lead ever.  tha ks liam! photo liam.  featured in Climber magazine, with my article 'reality checking', spring 2012

first ice lead ever. tha ks liam! photo liam. featured in Climber magazine, with my article ‘reality checking’, spring 2012

liam brophy using gaelic fire to surmount a crumbly wee schrund

liam brophy using gaelic fire to surmount a crumbly wee schrund

N face tour ronde. photo r macfarlane.  climbed w/ liam brophy.  rode N face solo. (another day we did petite gervasutti off W side)

N face tour ronde. photo r macfarlane. climbed w/ liam brophy. rode N face solo. (another day we did petite gervasutti off W side)

May 2012

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