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Photo credits: Mark Seaton collection, Charles Sherwood, John Norris, Jeff Brown & Faerthen Felix.
Site design: Faerthen Felix, 2005.

A Whole Year of Fantastic Alpine Adventures...

The opportunities to climb and ski in the Alps are year round. Often flights from the UK to Geneva are ridiculously cheap. And flying from the US coasts for a week or two can cost significantly less than a ski trip to Colorado.

Not sure what's in shape during a gap in your schedule? Here are some spectacular adventures you may not have thought of, one for each month of the year:

Fresh powder, anyone?

January

Long, long descent ahead from the Col de Fenetre.

February
Klosters: I have spent a couple of weeks each January here for the last 11 years. It has the longest piste run in the world and without doubt has consistently the best off-piste skiing I have ever encountered. Also home to the very first ski tour done in the Alps.
Photos | Story
Megeve: 25 minutes from Chamonix, it is a resort in the shadow of Mont Blanc that has exceptional off-piste and ski touring possibilities, including igloo camping.
Photos | Story

Above the valley muck, heading out of the hut for another memorable day.

March

'Air-Glaciers' drop starts off a phenomenal tour.

April
Chamonix to Zermatt: the magnificent & iconic High Level Route in all its variations can be done early in the season or late.
Photos | Story
Switzerland: ski-mountaineering on peaks & glaciers with helicopter & ski-plane drops.
Eiger Nordwand, in case it isn't obvious.
May
Mark, on the ever-steepening Emosson Dam (John Norris photo).
June
Bernese Oberland: jaw-dropping train through the Eiger Nordwand to Jungfraujoch, ski tour of 4000 m peaks & massive 2740 m descent to Munster.
Photos | Story
Chamonix: On or around the 15th May, the road to the Emosson Dam is opened. The Dam is famous for two things:
  1. The opening bungee jump by James Bond in Golden Eye.
  2. For being the tallest and hardest climbing wall in the world.
But the area also holds the snow and is a marvellous way to extend the ski touring season.
Story

Ski-touring lunch, Italian-style--don't forget the grappa! (photo: Gayle Dana)

July

On the Frendo Spur--a Chamonix classic.

August
Zermatt: eat fantastic Italian food on the "Spaghetti Ski Tour" around the very high Monte Rosa. This trip can be done on crampons or on skis.
Story
Alpine climbing. Knock off a couple of the dozens of absolutely world-class, view-saturated, history-laden ascents around Chamonix & Zermatt. How about the Zinalrothorn, with more vertical than the average Himalayan climb & the Matterhorn for a backdrop?
Photos | Story

Alpenglow on the Drus, Europe's longest pure rock-climbs.

September

Just one of many remarkable needles--how to choose?

October
Big North Face ascents: the weather can be very settled which is ideal for big multi-day projects such as Peutery Ridge on Mont Blanc, Eiger Nordwand, Walker Spur on Grands Jorasses.
Photos | Story
Chamonix: rock climbing on flawless golden granite spires thousands of meters directly above the valley.
Story

Adler Pass, straddling the divide between Zermatt & Saas-Fee.

November

Fairytale vertical ice.

December
Saas Fee: skiing again? It's already high season here, since this is where all the international ski teams go to train. We can use the lift system to catapult us into 4000 meter ski touring peaks such as the Alphubel, Strahlhorn & Allalinhorn.
Argentiere, Aosta Valley: ice-climbing on magical frozen waterfalls & in mixed gullies.
+ Megeve: mountain navigation. Short days, poor weather--not ideal for everyone but perfect for teaching the skills of mountain navigation & use of GPS with European maps. Especially if you want to develop your own personal mountaineering skills.

I can't wait--sign me up! | I have some questions...
(please allow a couple days for a response--I have to get back down from the latest bit of mountain fun!)

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