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Technique / Safety

Climbers Make First Winter Summit of Highest Peak in Polar Arctic

Two climbers have successfully completed an ascent of Gora Pobeda (Pik Pobeda), the highest mountain in Siberia, in the Polar Arctic Circle, the coldest inhabited place on earth. Tamara Lunger and Simone Moro successfully reached the mountain’s 3003m summit on Sunday, 11th February at 3.37pm then returned to their base within a total time of 11 hours, covering 27.3km and 2047m of elevation gain whilst avoiding the need to camp out in the extreme conditions. Had they fallen, a rescue would have been impossible. “It snowed all day long, but luckily there was good visibility. It was cold but thankfully cloud cover was in our favor, warding off the extreme temperatures. Low wind and -30/35 is what we can realistically

The Weather Extremes of PyeongChang

It was clear as the Olympics got underway on February 8th that Pyeongchang was going to set records for the coldest recorded Games, but initially it wasn’t clear quite how many different ways this would impact on the competitions.  The wind was not immediately factored in to our thinking either but as soon as events started being cancelled due to the wind, rather than the fact that team coaches were reporting skis warping after one run due to the cold, it became clear that was a factor too. (The presence of a wind farm at the Alpensia Olympic ski venue shows that wind is not unusual here) The “PyeongChang Gust” Strong, gusting winds were the main issue for the first

The Skier Climbing Everest To Raise Funds for Snow-Camp and Protect Our Winters

On the 1st April 2018, professional chef, Dave White, whose day job is that of a professional chef on a super yacht, will be boarding a plane from London to Kathmandu in Nepal to take on a life changing expedition, attempting to summit the North Col of Mt Everest. Why? Well apart from wishing to challenge himself, Dave will be raising funds for snowsports charity  Snow-Camp, the snowsports youth charity dedicated to changing the lives of inner-city young people with snowsports. He is also going to be raising money for POW UK (ProtectOurWinters) as well as documenting the changes in the Himalayas on my journey to raise awareness about climate change . “Being on mountains has become a big part

Zermatt To Be Cut Off For Third Day

Tourism officials in Zermatt say that the famous resort will be cut off by road and rail for a third day tomorrow, Tuesday, 23rd January, due to avalanche danger which is currently at maximum level 5, “Extreme” It’s the second time in a fortnight that the resort has been cut off, this time 9,000 guests are reported to be stuck in resort, compared to 13,000 a fortnight ago. The ski area, which closed its rail and road links at 10pm on Saturday 20th January, has been able to fly some guests in and out by helicopter whilst rail and road access has been closed. However its plans to fly out 1500 people today were unsuccessful due to a combination of

Tree wells

Whoever heard of tree wells? Everyone knows about avalanches, but isolated ski fatalities from tree wells don’t attract the same hysterical coverage. Some figures claim tree wells are responsible for a whopping 20% of ski deaths, and in recent experiments carried out in N. America where volunteers were placed in tree wells, 90% were unable to free themselves. Yet they can be avoided. First, check out this very illustrative video below then read on... A tree well is where snow fails to compact around the bottom of the tree trunk, prevented by the lower branches. Extremely common after heavy snowfall, coniferous trees with big lower branches weighed down by snow leave a bowl shaped mini-crater around the trunk. Loose powder,

How to stay safe off-piste and avoid avalanches

[The following post has been adapted from an article Henry's Avalanche Talk] It is safe to say that there are two types of skier or snowboarder. There are those who are happy to stick with the popular slopes and those that crave more excitement. For some of us the lure to adventure ‘off-piste’ will be inevitable. The call to find fresh, untouched powder to carve through in the back country is all to appealing. You are keen to challenge yourself whilst taking in beautiful scenery and avoiding the hustle and bustle of the kept pistes. If the latter is you, it is important to understand the risks of doing so and to prepare accordingly. One false move or lapse in

Snowboarder rescued from a crevasse

This guy was extremely lucky to fall 50 feet into a crevasse in Chamonix and live to tell the tail, via footage recorded while he awaited rescue. The important message from this is to be prepared for the dangers when you're out in the mountains and take the necessary precautions. An extended article on this survival story can be read here. Featured image credit, original author (Brendan K)