Three Chamonix Days From Daniel Rönnbäck’s Perspective
From Monday to Wednesday this week I was skiing with Tyler Cohen from Backcountry Magazine and my old friend, photographer Daniel Rönnbäck. We had an amazing time together in a Chamonix that showed herself from her best side. Here are some of the photos that Daniel shot from our days together. For more of his work and to follow his adventures check out www.danielronnback.com.
An Everyday Mountain Life
The last two weeks has been passing in a normal mountain life pace. When the weather’s been good I’ve been out skiing the steeps and when it’s been snowing I’ve been enjoying the powder. In between that I’ve tried to get back in some kind of climbing shape, hang out with family and friends, celebrated my 30th birthday, spent time at the Salomon office, and practiced tons of yoga.
I used to write about every mountain experience one by one, but now I have come to feel like, how ever special they all where at the time, they still blur in to each other now when I look back at them. The topic for the last two weeks has been to find good and safe skiing without tracks or people and like normally in Cham if you stay fairly creative it’s not too hard to find just that. I leave you with the photos, and even though there is nothing especially difficult about them, they still tell tales of good mountain times with good old and new friends!
The Scandinavian Ski Touring and Heli Ski Course
During the last week I’ve been out in the Swedish wilderness taking the last ski course on the Swedish UIAGM Mountain Guide Scheme. The topic of the week was Scandinavian ski touring and heli skiing in the last real west-European wilderness. We started the course in Abisko and spent our first day training heli-ski guiding and the work around the helicopter. I used to work a lot with heli guiding in this area years back and it really made me want to come back regularly to spend time skiing our precious smorgasbord of wonderful mountains.
We worked our way down south from Abisko, skiing perfect boot deep powder in good speed, working our way through the Abisko alps down south past Kåtatjåkka, Mårma and all the way to the mountains around Nallo, and after a good ski day we had food and camping gear unloaded from the heli and checked in for two night in the Nallo hut.
Nallo to Tarfala
From the Nallo hut we did one good overlooking ski tour that served up with some of the best steep runs I have ever done in Sweden. The next day we continued south towards Unna Reitas and the Pyramid, following the Swedish high route, Jojo Leden, and found a perfect bivouac spot about half way between Nallo and Tarfala. Here we dug out a giant snow cave with comfortable room for 12 people and spent two cozy nights with a long ski touring day in between, before we continued south to the Tarfala hut via the col south of Kaskasatjåkka.
Tarfala to Kebnekaise
From Tarfala our instructors wanted us to get us worked, so we planned a tour traversing the Dragons ridge, then climbed the west ridge of Kebnepakte and continued over Halspasset, traversed the two highest peaks in Sweden – Kebnekaise’s north and south summit and then descended the east route, traversed the Tarfala glaciers and skied down wonderful powder on the Kebnepakte glacier. 13 hours of ski mountaineering in guide pace was not something extreme by any means, but it was a good day out and about as long a good ski traverse in Sweden is without making things too contrived. The following and last day took us over the Tarfala glaciers once again and over Toulpagourni back to the Kebnekaise mountain station where we had evaluations and went through this spring’s exams, finally got to take a shower, a sauna and a great four course dinner.
A great big thanks to everyone on the course for brilliant attitude, impressive skiing and mountain skills as well as for all the good times we got to spend together. Also, big thumbs up to our instructors Per Ås, Stefan Palm and Jonathan Hultén for their great leadership, high mountain skills, humbleness and their sharing of vast mountain experience.
Now it’s once again time for Chamonix and the most fun part of the ski season – the spring! I’m really motivated to come back home and do some Cham adventuring!
This Is Norway – Sail To Ski Filmtrip With Salomon Freeski Tv
Wild fjords and jagged mountains, the best spring weather in 35 years and still great snow, an old fishing boat and its warm captain, a group of skiers coming together from all over the world – add passion for skiing, long days and an hardcore work ethic and you have the last two weeks of filming a new episode for Salomon Freeski TV with Switchback Entertainment, Jeff Thomas, Anthony Bonello, Greg Hill, Chris Rubens, Oscar Almgren and Mattias Fredriksson.
Many thanks to Andreas Skogseth at Fjord Norway who helped us set this trip up and Arne Fagerhaug, our captain, who showed us around his dear fjords and mountains, fed us and acted as the whole crew’s warm uncle. Also many thanks to Knut Slinning at Juvet and Iris Fivelstad at Villa Norangdal for housed us in their beautiful ski lodges!
I’m really looking forward to see the magic Jeff Thomas can do with the material we gathered and in working with the crew on more fun episodes in the future! Now it’s Chamonix time for a few days before I’m off for another guide course in the north of Sweden.
At night I seem to have my most productive hours
The action of day slows down
And give room for unnecessary things
Day is the time of making for continuation
In to the future
Night gives room for space
And space has time for the dripping of water
For thought-streams and useless ideas
And for the play of looking in to all this
Never really getting there
Then, fall asleep
And long for another night
Haglöfs Arctic Weekend 2013
I got to spend this last weekend in the best manner I could think of in the legendary ski resort of Riksgränsen in the very north of Sweden. It was once again time for the yearly event, Haglöfs Arctic Weekend, where the Haglöfs team athletes, staff, clients, journalists and paying clients meet up for four days of action packed mountain activities, meetings, lectures and socializing.
I have spent seven seasons in Riksgränsen in the past as a ski instructor and ski guide and I always have a great time visiting my home mountains.
In a place famous harsh for weather, especially at this time of the year, we were extremely lucky with the conditions. I was ski guiding every day in everything from stellar weather and boot deep powder to snow storms and flat light, but every day with happy and enthusiastic outdoor people from all over Europe with a love for the mountains.
Other activities during the weekend included freeride clinics, cat skiing, ice climbing and igloo building.
Now I’m at the Juvet Landscape Hotel east of Ålesund on the Norwegian east coast and tomorrow it’s time to kick of another filming trip for Salomon Freeski Tv together with Chris Rubens, Mattias Fredriksson, Anthony Bonello, Jeff Thomas and Greg Hill – life keeps on rocking!
How To Enjoy Chamonix
In the latest Nate Wallace edit from Chamonix he’s giving you a picture of what skiing in the valley below Mt Blanc is all about: crazy powder skiing and big mountain ski-mountaineering. Freeride world champ Douds Charlet presenting a secret spot, Sam Favret the goodness of the north facing forests while Seth Morrison and myself take you on a airy traverse of Aiguille du Chardonnet – all in 2,5 minutes. Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy another Nate Wallace production.