May 26, 2013 - Skiing the North Face of Chamonix's Aiguille du Midi (3800m), Frendo Spur route (800m, 50˚, TD+, 5.4/E4) in near-perfect steep powder conditions with the Chamonix Collective family:
English: Ben Briggs
Italian: Luca Pandolfi
Finnish: Minna Riihimaki
Scottish: Ross Hewitt
Washington State: Michael Bird Shaffer
Following a month-long storm the first real blue day we could remember came after a snow cycle hit Chamonix that was unprecedented in the last 30 years. It was decided by Ross and I that we would ski Frendo. Luca, Ben and Minna were also fired up to ride it so we made a team of the Freeride 5.
With four 60-meter ropes we moved smoothly through the rappels and could make big turns on the upper wave and lower faces.
After 15 years in Chamonix, I'm happy to say these were some of my best turns with some of the best people in the world.
After skiing to the mid-station I realized that I still had my speed wing at the top, and had the fullfilling opportunity to speed fly over our tracks and barrel off the end of the hanging ice to meet my team afterwards for a beer in the sun and to admire our tracks.
Still photo credit Ross Hewitt Photography: http://rosshewittblog.wordpress.com/
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