I extend my approach to summer alpinism to my skiing, and I love mountaineering on skis whether it’s in the Alps, on expedition to Greenland or even in our own back yard here in the Lake District. (I wrote a piece on skiing in the Lake District for the BMG’s “Opportunity Knocks – Best of British Backcountry” feature in Fall-Line 101). I ski for fun with my family, friends and with some of my regular clients.
A typical holiday in the Alps might include a warm up based around the lift system, day tours and itineraries using uplift where possible to reduce skinning times, one day ascents of more full on peaks involving some sustained uphill work, plus a hut trip to access mountains that cannot be climbed in a day from the valley.
Both the Saas/Zermatt and Chamonix areas lend themselves to this approach, with a huge variety of objectives and great lift systems.
I enjoy classic hut to hut trips such as the Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route and touring in regions like the Bernese Oberland. I offer these trips, and more to all regions including the Eastern Alps, on a bespoke basis to small, private parties. A small guide to client ratio is beneficial, for example when it is necessary to do some climbing to reach a summit that might not be possible for a larger group. I am flexible to adapt the itinerary to your needs, for instance to climb extra peaks en route, to allow more days for detours or extensions, or simply to add extra contingency time to a tour as insurance against poor weather.
I have been supported whilst ski touring by Annie Donovan BASI ISTD ski instructor, and I recommend her to anybody who would like the services of a top quality off piste ski coach.
Finally, I have extensive ski mountaineering experience in Greenland over more than ten years leading trips for Tangent Expeditions. My ideal ski mountaineering expedition involves setting up one or more base camps and exploring the mountains surrounding each camp on ski, sometimes with some significant climbing with crampons to reach the summits. This epitomises what I love to do: explore less frequented mountain areas on my skis!