Flowing and floating

Even if this year winter seemed a bit shy at the beginning, by the beginning of December changed its mind. It was definitely in a rush to arrive and take its place in the mountains after autumn. It started hitting hard with about a meter of snow in the valley, and sent few more dumps over the following two weeks. Courmayeur was first to open and gave me the opportunity to ski and ride lines that normally are not in […] Continue Reading…

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The log cabin

After that first stay, I visited The Long Cottage regularly. In fact, I was there so regularly that at some point Simon asked me if I wanted to leave there my surf boards – an offer too kind to refuse. Simon and Karine have cleverly, and beautifully, designed and renovated their long cottage in a way that allows them to run a portion of it as B&B, but at the same time maintain their own independent living space. Their […] Continue Reading…

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The Long Cottage: a unique place in North Devon

I went to North Devon for the first time in the summer of 2007. Although surfing was the main reason for my trip, waves were not all I was looking for. I needed healing landscapes, fresh air, solitude, and I had the desire to experience the horizon as an unbroken line. I was going through major changes in my life and craved beautiful and quiet places where I could, literally, immerse myself in and reflect. When I saw the […] Continue Reading…

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Blending rational and intuitive decisions

It did happen to me many times. Whether I was part of an expedition in a remote corner of Greenland or just touring with my friends around Chamonix, there was at least one person in the group who had a good feeling about skiing a particular slope. When questioned about what evidence made him feel so confident about a particular line, although he did mention a couple of relevant signs, for instance the lack of recent avalanche activity, and no […] Continue Reading…

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Low risk and high consequences in the Cosmique couloir

The Cosmique couloir is one of the classic Chamonix ski descents: 800 m long, steep, sustained, and constantly very exposed. Although in the past it was considered extreme skiers only territory, today’s insane Chamonix standards have progressively pushed people’s limits to the point that, on a good day, it’s full of tracks by lunchtime.

Depending on snow conditions, entering the couloir normally requires one or two rappels. When there’s a lot of snow though, and it’s stable, you can drop in right […] Continue Reading…

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Gear review – Snowpulse Airbag

Rucksacks with an airbag system are designed to increase the chances of survival if you are caught in an avalanche. They contain an airbag that is inflated with a pressurized gas canister. If you are about to be caught in an avalanche, you pull the handle, and in a few seconds the airbag inflates. Once inflated, the airbag helps you floating on top of the snow, reducing the chances of being buried.

Statistically, avalanche airbags are the most effective product […] Continue Reading…

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Simpler the process, richer the experience

My friend Daniele and I learn through experience, and like to share what we learn. We are inspired by wild landscapes, and excited by the opportunity to experience the planet by foot, bicycle, snowboard, rope, sailing boat, kayak, or any other self-propelled mode of transportation. We have a disdain for any outdoor activity, that often people call ‘sport’, which requires the use of an engine. We firmly believe that there is not good or bad weather, but only good […] Continue Reading…

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Snowboarding, powder, and friends

Warm temps, clear skies, stable snowpack and longer days, normally make April an excellent month for ski touring. This year was different. After an unusually warm and dry March, over the past four weeks, a seemingly endless cycle of cold low pressure systems has brought heavy precipitations to the western Alps.

This is an image I copied from the Meteo France avalanche bulletin website. It shows that during the third week in April only, about a meter of snow has […] Continue Reading…

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Snowboard Mountaineering in La Grave

Photos and article have been published on the American on-line magazine Outdoormindedmag. You can read it here.

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Chamonix, Vallée Blanche

Chamonix is the birthplace of alpinism and big mountain skiing. Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc (4,810 m), majestically reigns over the Chamonix valley. It has inspired poets such as Shelley and Byron, and generations of mountain lovers. Today Chamonix is the undisputed international capital of mountaineering. It’s a mecca for climbers and skiers who come from all over the world to test their skills on snow, rock and ice surrounding the Mont Blanc massif.

Chamonix is not only for serious, […] Continue Reading…

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