olly alkema skiing

North-east couloir, Pointe de la Terrasse

With the ski season not officially open until mid-December here in Chamonix, everything is a bit.... slow. The ski lifts are closed and the high street is empty. The sun manages to get above the high peaks for just a few hours each day. Most restaurants are ferme until the crowds arrive. But I like … Continue reading North-east couloir, Pointe de la Terrasse

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col des cristaux

Col des Cristaux

I went for a solo soul searching mission into the Argentiere basin and ended up on Col des Cristaux, the 'easiest' line on the north face of the basin. I'd been here before, last winter, and it was nice to give it a shot on my own (although there were a couple of other people … Continue reading Col des Cristaux

Simple joys: Val de Tré les Eaux > Col Corbeau > Col de la Terrasse

After finally picking up a tent and a Jetboil (portable gas cooker) Camille and I made plans to go and test out the new equipment in the wild. We decided to explore the Tré les Eaux valley in the Mont Buet region of the Aiguilles Rouges as neither of us had been there before. We'd … Continue reading Simple joys: Val de Tré les Eaux > Col Corbeau > Col de la Terrasse

Mont Blanc grands mulets

Mont Blanc via the Grand Mulets Route

3.2, E2, AD Time was running out for our 3 musketeers' attempt to ski the north face of Mont Blanc. Luckily we saw a weather window in the forecast for the 28th and 29th April so we decided to go for it. We easily settled on the Grand Mulets route to follow in the footsteps of Jacques … Continue reading Mont Blanc via the Grand Mulets Route

Cunningham (Passerrelle) Couloir

5.2, E2(?), TD (Number 1) The Cunningham, also known as the Passarrelle couloir lies beneath the main bridge on the Aiguille du Midi. It's a steep, hugely aesthetic couloir with around 400m of skiing at 45 to 50 degrees before you reach the Glacier Rond. The couloir has a unique entrance in that you must … Continue reading Cunningham (Passerrelle) Couloir

Col des Cristaux

5.1, E3, TD- Today we decided to go for Col des Cristaux in the Argentiere basin, a line I've been wanting to ski for a while. The Argentiere basin is world famous for steep skiing with many extreme lines on offer for those who dare. The Col des Cristaux is the easier of the north east … Continue reading Col des Cristaux