Well, I have just landed in Zermatt for 6 days work running a BASI Mountain Safety course. Forecast is clear for tomorrow, then snow, snow, snow and more snow - looks like winter is well on the way.
November has been busy here at 'offpisteskiing towers' - early in the month I was in Zermatt for the BASI Trainers conference - 5 days of interesting workshops making sure our courses and standards are properly aligned for the coming winter, and a great talk from Sir Steve Redgrave - new BASI President, and no mean skier.
2 quick days at home, then a very useful Outdoor First Aid course with React First in Chamonix- highly recommended, lots of activity and good reinforcement of accident protocols. Early the next day i was airport bound for my annual stint as a main presenter at the Kendal Mountain Festival. - 4 days of films, speakers, socialising, and the odd pint of Mountain Rescue Team ale. Highlights for me this year included the film Light Line, Jim Blyths great 1 hour whirlwind tour of ski touring on 7 continents, 2 great short films - one about hound-trailing and the other about Rab Carringtons time in Argentina and the beginnings of his down business.
But of course the main highlight was the Snowsports Session which this year I was MCing - guest speakers Andreas Fransson, Bjarne Sahlen and Mike Douglas were on hand to present their film Tempting Fear, but the surprise crowd pleaser was Kenny Biggin and John Sutherlands Hidden Gully, with reality and a human touch far outweighing any lack of slick production - link to follow as soon as the full version is online.
Meanwhile, out in the Alps the steep season is underway, with an impressive ascent and descent of the Mallory on the Midi (sans cable car) from Luca Rolli & the Italian crew - 2700m of D+ !, and a day or two after, the first descent of the Migot Spur on the Chardonnet by Kilian Jornet and Vivian Bruchez - an impressive and serious descent...