February 2010 Blog

I can not believe February is over already but then I suppose it is the shortest month of the year! The 28 days of February flew by with such speed I have had to take a good look through my archive to remember everything I photographed. Again the weather has proved difficult I have never known such fluctuating temperatures and because of this the build up of blanket of cloud has been regular, with the light very flat most days. Although we have enjoyed some blue sky mornings rarely have these lasted all day, again making my work challenging!

I’ve had some luck though, the day I photographed the Powder White 1850 staff in Courchevel was stunning. To thank the chalet hosts for doing a good job selling my Bespoke Lifestyle Shoots to their clients I treated them to a shoot of their own! It was a fun two hours and we achieved some fantastic shots, not without the odd fall though and some scary moments! We were joined at the end of the session by a few random seasonaires all desperate to get shots for Facebook. Here are a couple of my favorites.You can view the rest here.

The Roc Merlet Chair & beyond towards the Petit Mont Blanc

The Roc Merlet Chair & beyond towards the Petit Mont Blanc, Taking this photo I nearly lost my fingers thank you to the pistures for the tea and sympathy!!!

In mid February I took a trip into Les Avals with some friends, staying over night in the ‘Refuge de Grand Plan’ (Altitude: 2300m Lat: 45.3615, Lon: 6.66025). This is a trip Lee and I normally take with clients for Dynamic Ski Adventures, so it was fun to do it with friends for a change.
We were all meeting at the top of the Chanrossa chair lift after work at 4.30pm. The light was stunning so I headed up slightly early to take some photographs of Roc Merlet in the evening sun. This was to be a decision I soon regretted, it was so so cold I lost the use of my fingers 20 seconds after taking my gloves off,  not great preparation for the hike we were about to do over the  ‘Pas du Roc Merlet’ ridge. Fortunately the securitè des piste invited me into their hut for a cup of tea while I waited for everyone. I recovered by the time the others arrived and got everyone back for being late when they had to wait at the top, as I struggled with the steepness of the ascent. The snow was so soft  it fell away from under my feet as I tried to climb, it was hard going, at -17ºc . If only we had decided to use our skins it would have been easier, it is always a mistake to judge distances as short at altitude! The ski down to the refuge was wonderful fresh tracks in thigh deep powder, it was fantastic snow.

The view at dawn ' Mont Blanc ' and the ski out

The view at dawn ' Mont Blanc ' and the ski out

After a hearty meal, several Vin chaud’s and a sing-song by the fire I retired to a surprisingly warm comfortable bed for a well deserved sleep.
I had to work at 9 am, so a hike up ‘Le Petit Mont Blanc’ in the morning was out of the question. We made the most of the ski out however, enjoying fresh tracks at dawn (7am) in knee-deep powder as light as icing sugar as the sun came up!  It was an awe-inspiring experience that helped me remember why I spend my winters here! I had the biggest smile on my face all day.  You can view my gallery of the ski here. I didn’t take many shots as I was too busy soaking up the atmosphere for myself!

Cubbie... dog or wolf?

Cubbie... dog or wolf?

I have started training for ‘Val to Val’, I am skinning up the mountain two or three times a week and I have a companion who joins me some times. ‘Cubbie’ the resident dog at ‘Le Boulotte’ in Courchevel 1650. Cubbie is very good company and really knows how to cheer a person up, I can’t help but laugh out loud watching him chase me down the off piste to the side of the Chapelets chair. However the punters on the piste are not as amused, he could easily be mistaken for a wolf as this photo shows…’il est très gentil!’ I shout as we slide past at speed, I love it!! See more photos of Cubbie here. Apologies to all those unsuspecting skiers on Chapelets that are not sure if he is a dog or a wolf.

I’m hoping for lots of snow and blue sky days in March so I don’t have to disappoint anyone at Easter…Fingers crossed. I am also heading back to Sheffield for a few days to sort out my studio opening in May and catch up with 2010’s wedding clients…..

Take Care & Ski Safely!!!!!!