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.

Teasing The Rat

The last week has been a constant spree of beautiful mountain days. I have kept on combining short roping, ski-touring and steep skiing and without doing anything new or hard, just been spending some great days in the mountains with awesome people. The English say that you are “feeding the rat” when you are doing things on the edge meeting yourself. I have been no-where close to feeding my rat, but rather been out among the hills just enjoying life, slowly getting into mountain shape and letting my rat get hungry for all the dream adventures I have in mind for the spring.

The highlights from the last two weeks has been:

– A chilled out traverse of Aiguille du Chardonnet with Nate Wallace and Seth Morrison. We had a perfect weather day and climbed up the south couloir, traversed the Forbes arête and then skied the esthetic S couloir on the north west side. Nate was shooting Seth and myself for his webisodes (he’s doing a great job! Have a look at his work on his Youtube channel here) and I think we nailed some of the prime ingredients of what ski mountaineering is all about: A good day out with friends, some really exposed climbing on the arête and then a nice and steep ski down a beautiful couloir.

– The day after I went up and did the Brèche Nonne-Èvêque couloir with Mark Sears. The goal was to get some nice shots of the couloir with photographer Tero Repo shooting it from the other side of the valley. The weather was, once again stellar, and even though the skiing in the couloir wasn’t perfect we had another good mountain day and Tero was happy with the photos.

– After this I took three days rest from skiing and focused on getting back in to climbing mode for the spring’s guide exams, climbing down valley on both the Swiss and French sides of the border.

– A low-pressure system hit the valley after this and I skied a bit on Aiguille du Midi in fair weather and good snow. I love being up there then the weather is keeping the hordes away and you get to have 3000 vertical meters of good snow and no-one around. The day after I had one of the best powder days of the season at Helbronner, Italy, with Thor Husted and Nate Wallace.

– The last days I’ve been ski touring in the Aiguille Rouges and in the mountains behind Les Houches in the search for great snow and loneliness together with Mark Sears and Magnus Kastengren. We got rewarded with both awesome couloir skiing on Encrenaz and humbled by the mountain forces on Chamonix’s backside, but whatever the outcomes when the pen hits the paper, we have been out there enjoying what we love doing.

Now I’m on my way up north to Riksgränsen, Sweden, for the Haglöfs Arctic Weekend and then to the Norwegian coast for a Salomon Freeski TV project together with Chris Rubens, Greg Hill, Mattias Fredriksson and Switchback Entertainment. More updates will be coming soon.

A Dream

I was living in an animated reality. It helped me realize that the sign over there, the rock and the tree were as much alive as I am at every given moment. If the movement of time were to be stopped, I would be as static as metal, a rock, or a plant. Lying here slobbering on my pillow just like in a photo.

When time give life to things the rock probably don’t even notice me in the same way as I’m not noticing other realities on other frequencies that are to fast for myself to take in. Reality seems to work that way, and even though infinite actions are taking place in every instance I only experience that which I’m sensing right now.

An animated fox was leading me through the world, introducing me to the spirits.

I’ve always wanted to talk to spirits, so I had uncountable questions to them, asking them the secrets of the universe. They gave me nothing but childish answers, and I dubbed them stupid.

The fox got upset and roared at me in anger. Who was I to judge them? The plants, as he saw it, the wisest of all the spirits of the universe, was living in perfect balance with the world – and I dubbed them stupid, just because they couldn’t put beauty in to a flat order of words. You can be a poet in many ways, he said, but the most beautiful one is the poetry of action.

Look at yourself he said: an amateur of words and a child of action, and you call them stupid?

Mr. Fox took me back to his house, which was located on a pole on a meadow, and he left me down on the grass as he went up to sit on his balcony. He left a string of cord in between us as some kind of visible connection. And there we sat. Things changed, sceneries changed and he disappeared in the changes. The only thing I had left was that cord in my animated hand. The dream became a dream in the dream and ended up as a grain of sand in a dessert. Every time I look at the memory it changes, and I’m not sure if it changes automatically or because I sometimes take a look at the drawer in my mind, but I guess it doesn’t matter.

For me the massage of the story is that; in between haze and normality lays clarity sometimes hidden. This is not a clarity filled with substance and answers, it’s more just a word in itself and an out-blow of relief in a never-ending search for something we long ago forgot what it is.

dream 1

Alignment – Joy In Adventure

The goal of society is in the action of getting somewhere, but to never arrive. When I live in a circle of everyday achievement my ordinary goal is to solve problems. I live for the friction in between “things” instead of for the steady flow of the river of life.

I live for walking, climbing and skinning up mountains and then getting down them, preferably on skis. In fact, it’s my job to do so: to solve problems, achieve goals, realize dreams and then communicate these actions.

There is just one catch. My job is not to get somewhere; it is to keep the enterprise rolling, just like the vast majority of the jobs out there.

Everyday life is just games within games, spectacles within spectacles that, if we win, will go on in infinity until we loose and finally quit trying to win. If we stop trying to win we’re ending the never-ending circle and maybe, we (I) could start just enjoying the ride.

The question I get to ask myself is: When I get to the top of that mountain, or achieve that goal, then what? There will always be another mountain to climb and another quest to fulfill, but if that is becoming my argument for not really dancing the dance, then I’m participating in a dangerous game.

As there are no ends, there are no means to them either, so if I can’t win with the style of joy, flow and a smile, then there is really no winning.

I get a good receipt on which path I’m on if, when I have accomplished a long fought goal, I’m full of joy or just plain emptiness. Looking back at the games I’ve played, those danced with good style, friendship, humbleness and joy bring out more of the same at the finishing lines. The ones fought with ego, anger and pride have usually been ending the party with a black hole.

Light bright more light and dark swallows that which shines.

I saw an old man in the lift the other day. White hair, bent by age, old ski clothes and skis, guides badge, wrinkles, worn by the years. But one thing made him stand out from the rest of us in the bin. His eyes were shining of life and I imagined them smiling at us with gentleness and understanding. He had no great goals to fulfill and nothing to prove. He was just going out there in to the mountains, enjoying the sun, the warmth, the beauty and the empty space high above the world. He seemed grateful, content and full of life.

What if we are able to let ourselves go out there and keep on aiming for the stars, but at the same time know in our heart that we are already exactly where we want to be next to our own sun. And whatever we might do, it make no sense what so ever, if it’s not filled with joy. Living that wisdom, that would be to live in alignment with life.



Chamonix Adventuring

Lately the weather has been great in Chamonix. Memories of a past season of powder skiing are slowly fading away and the high mountains have been calling out for alpine adventures.

I have done my best to use the weather windows combining my passion for mountain skiing with training for the upcoming guide exams this spring. Within the span of a week I’ve been on Aiguille Verte (100 meter from the summit), Aiguille Argentiere and Aiguille du Tour – not to do anything extreme, but to just spend time up high, do some turns and practice my short roping skills.

Usually a streak of days spent up high tends to lead to some interesting outcomes, and yesterday was not an exception from that tendency. It actually came to be my best ski-mountaineering day in a very long time, including some of the tings I really love about being in the mountains; esthetics, surprises, mind games and good company.

I set out with Isaac Doude van Troostwijk to do some short roping training on Arête de Rochefort, one of the most esthetic ridgelines in the Alps. Situated between Dent du Géant and Aiguille Rochefort and just below 4000 meters it lingers it way on the French-Italian border giving birth to space on its flanks.

We effectively scaled the ridge with snow well above our knees, and then, did a climbing traverse over to Mont Mallet’s north ridge. From here we did seven short rappels down to her shoulder and skied the couloir that lies hidden on her northwest face.

Knee deep perfect powder awaited us as we skied down the couloir at sunset down to Glacier des Periades and then further down the Vallé Blanche down to Chamonix.

This is the ultimate ski-mountaineering day for me, combining first class easy alpine climbing, with a most probable new variation to one of the most sheltered and esthetic couloirs in the massif. It’s great to reinstate that there is always powder somewhere if you search for it and for my own experience I’m really happy to still, after all this time in Chamonix, being able to find new surprises in the Mt Blanc massif.

Our Great South America Adventure – Here Is The Movie

In the autumn of 2010 Bjarne Salén and myself took of for one of the biggest adventures of our lives. The goal was to climb, ski and film the highest mountain in every country in the South American Andes from Ecuador in the north to Chile in the south. Those of you who have been following our adventures have maybe seen many of the webisodes that Bjarne put online during that autumn, and some of the material that we used for ‘Tempting Fear‘ from that trip. Here is the full movie from our adventure, with our time in Chile excluded for story reasons (you can read about the Chile story here)

Truth is that Bjarne made this film last spring and it has been ready since then, but because of our work with ‘Tempting Fear‘ we choose to delay this release until now. So I hope you’ll enjoy this movie and keep on following our adventures in the future!

The Andes Ski Adventure from Bjarne Salén on Vimeo.

If you want to read the blog posts from this trip, click here. And to see more of Bjarne Salén’s great adventure films, visit his blog at




Streets of light and grey
And a history of darkness

People without normal hope
But with longing for this moment’s sharpness

Life here is about creation
The fixation of avoiding loathing

Most are longing for the stars
But mainly through detail in clothing

Openness for that which differs
Keeps the odds for creation vast

Possibility for materialization of dreams
Makes everything but time go fast

Some walls are broken some are still there
A sensation can be felt of big meeting small

Berlin is timeless and born out of silence
Here, the goal of the work is to enthrall