As of 1.15am GMT Ben Saunders and Tarka L'Herpiniere have officially completed their world-record breaking return journey to the South Pole & back following in footsteps of Captain Scott.
This is the first time Scott's route has ever been completed; and marks the end of the longest polar journey on foot in history.
Huge congratulations to Ben, Tarka & The Scott Expedition Team from all at ME #historyinthemaking
Check out more at: www.scottexpedition.com
Wednesday, 8 January 2014
Guest blog post from friend of the brand and Whitedot skis Team member
"There is always great motivation to get some decent early season ski touring ‘in the legs’ so it becomes a bit easier later in the season when the longer routes come ‘in condition’.
There also the added bonus of escaping the New Year crowds and hours of queuing for lifts!
It usually involves some cunning route selections, first lift (if you are going for lift assists), or heading straight out from the back garden into the forest trails. But this season has been especially difficult, in terms of route selection, with what has proven not only a thin snow base but where it has snowed a high avalanche risk. Although, Schumacher has unfortunately grabbed the headlines over the last week, the Swiss Guides press release concerning avalanche fatalities did not make good reading. There have been far too many ski tourers caught out on medium and high mountain areas on 35-45 degree pitches who have lost their lives.
And the snow pack doesn’t look like it is going to get too much safer just yet.
Fortunately, we have had some good local advice and our own experiences which has kept us, fingers crossed, training and testing in the right areas in and around Chamonix over the last 10 days or so. We focused on some of the glacier bowls which do not breach over the 35 degree gradients, or forest skiing where snow levels have permitted.
We even ski toured up forest tracks upto lift areas and then skied the patrolled areas! The key was to stay safe and have the patience that the pack will stabilise….eventually.
And, as always, we have skied with ABS airbags, 1st Aid kit, shovel, probes and transceivers.
Some areas we covered:
Col D’Argentiere – Glacier d’Argentiere basin (bottom and mid-section avoiding large crevasse area below the col. Although, traditionally this are is left alone until February….the even gradients and accessibility made this area very inviting as it gives a great ‘remoteness’ feel to the day.
Vallee de Berard – Although the ‘bush-wacking’ at the valley floor is tiring, the terrain thereafter is open and therefore the avalanche risk areas can be avoided.
Glacier de Blatiere approach/surrounds – The ski touring terrain above the mid-station of the Aiguille du Midi lift is vast, and relatively easy gradients allows easy route selection. The descent options are also safe as you quickly fall into forest terrain and forest trails... Mark"
Friday, 13 December 2013
Daily Avalanche Information Reports for all 5 operational areas will start Thursday 12th December 2013
Avalanche hazard considerations should always be part of any winter hill goers daily plans and we would recommend that climbers, walkers and off-piste skiers currently venturing into the hills, continue to note snow and weather conditions in respect of any potential avalanche hazard. Be prepared to modify your plans accordingly.
The SAIS publish daily forecasts of the avalanche, snow, and mountain conditions at the 5 most popular areas of Scotland during the season.
Torridon Pilot: A pilot SAIS Avalanche Information report service for the Torridon area will commence on the 24th December 2013, and will run for limited periods during the winter. (24 Dec - 29 Dec 2013 - In 2014, Jan 1- 5th, wkend10-12th, 31 Jan - 2 Feb, 14 - 22 Feb.)
Mountain Equipment are proud to be the official clothing supplier to the SAIS Team.
For further information and all the latest reports head to - http://www.sais.gov.uk/
Wednesday, 20 November 2013
Finally, after years of big mountains, injuries and full time winemaking, the stars have aligned and Jens Holsten is feeling the pressure to get it done. Featuring a proud new line in the beautiful Icicle Canyon outside of Leavenworth, WA.
Film by Max Hasson - http://maxhasson.com
Who knows how long I’ll paint houses to pay my student loans. How many more trips to new skylines will fit on the odometer. What the changing climate will do to the snow that starts high, fills in the runs from the summit down. And just like the nonsense that will always be there, the freedom and identity found on pair of skis remains steadfast. From Denali to Nelson to the hill I grew up skiing in Montana, there’s certainty. Buzz in the parking lot. Stoke on the skin track. Joy as I’ve ever known it, free as every flake that falls.
Film by Jarig Media
Film by Jarig Media
Friday, 25 October 2013
Were psyched to welcome one Britain's most talented female climbers Natalie Berry to our pro partner team.
Natalie discovered climbing at the age of nine and it quickly took over her life. Having joined the Glasgow Climbing Centre kid’s club she soon progressed into competition climbing where following numerous comp wins she was asked to join the GB Youth Climbing Team (aged 11). This gave Natalie the opportunity to compete at an international level all over the world, culminating in a win at the European Youth Series in Slovenia in 2007.
Having achieved so much as part of the GB Junior Team Natalie became increasingly drawn outdoors and started sport climbing intensively at age 18. This took Natalie on numerous trips to top sport destinations across Europe including Céüse, Siurana and Gorges du Loup.
By 2012 she was onsighting 7c and had climbed up to 8b, one of only a handful of British women to do so.
Now aged 21 and based out of Edinburgh, Scotland Natalie continues to push her climbing with moves into to trad and winter disciplines being her focus over the coming months, as well as continuing to climb for the GB senior lead team.
Natalie's competition climbing highlights so far:
· 8 Times British Champion (Including BRYCS, BLCCs and BBCs)
· EYS Kranj 07 (1st Place)
· World Youth Championships China 05 (5th Place)
· World Youth Championships Austria 06 (4th Place)
· EYS Veliko Tarnova 06 (5th Place)
· EYS Annecy 06 (3rd Place)
· EYS Kranj 06 (2nd Place)
· EYS Warsaw 07 (2nd Place)
· EYS Edinburgh 09 (4th Place)
· 3rd Overall EYS 2006 and 2007
· 1st British Youth Open 2010 EICA Ratho
· 1st Scottish Youth Climbing Championships 2010
· Scottish Universities Champion 2011
· 2nd Place British Universities 2011
· 1st British Universities 2012
· Championne Départementale Isère 2012
· 3rd Departmental Speed Championships Isère 2012
· 4th Coupe de France Valence 2012
Wednesday, 16 October 2013
First Ascent on Heiligkreuzkofel – Dolomites
Route: Wüstenblume (400m, 9 pitches, VIII+)
During this summer Ulli & his climbing partner Josef Hilpold made a successful 1st ascent of a project they have been working on the west face of Heiligkreukofel in the Dolomites.
The Westface of Heiligkreuzkofel has a breathtaking 600m face – known from the first ascent of the ‘Mittelpfeiler’ (middle spur) by Reinhold & Günther Messner in 1968.
Ulli & Josef worked on their route ‘Wüstenblume’ for several days this summer – and made their 1st Ascent on Sep 28th climbing the route in 8 hours.
Here's the report from Ulli...
Abenteuer – ALPINISMUS pur
Erstbegehung am Heiligkreuzkofel – Dolomiten
‘Wüstenblume’ (400m, 9 SL, VIII+)
"Südtirol ist bekannt für seine außergewöhnlichen Kletterer und Alpinisten. Zwei von Ihnen sind Ulrich Viertler und Josef Hilpold. Für beide ist mit der Erstbegehung der ‘Wüstenblume’ am Heiligkreuzkofel ein lang ersehnter Traum in Erfüllung gegangen.
Die Liste seiner extremen Wiederholungen ist lang, doch für Ulrich Viertler zählen weniger Grade und Leistungen als der ästhetische und emotionale Wert seiner Touren.
Der Heiligkreuzkofel, 2908 Meter hoch, befindet sich in der Fanesgruppe in den Dolomiten. Durch seine atemberaubende - zugleich majestätische Form und der bis zu 600 Meter hohen Westwand, zählt er sicherlich zu einem der eindruckvollsten Berge in den Dolomiten.
Nicht zuletzt wurde die Wand 1968, durch den von Reinhold und Günther Messner eröffneten Mittelpfeiler bekannt, eine der damals schwierigsten Routen überhaupt.
An sechs Tagen im Sommer 2013 gelang es den beiden diese unglaubliche Linie zu eröffnen. Abgesichert wurde ausschließlich traditionell mit Schlaghaken und mobilen Sicherungen, wie es am Heiligkreuzkofel üblich ist. Die Route verläuft in der Hauptwand am rechten Pfeiler zwischen der Mutschlecher - Großrubatscher Gedächtnisführe und der Mayerl - Verschneidung.
Am 28. September war es nun schlussendlich so weit und es gelang ihnen in 8 Stunden die Route an einem Stück frei zu klettern. „Es war alles perfekt, es passte einfach alles. Ein großartiges Erlebnis mit vielen Emotionen geht zu Ende.“
Den beiden Südtiroler Alpinisten ist es ein großes Anliegen das Alpinklettern in seiner ursprünglichen Art und Weise zu erhalten und insbesondere die Tradition am Heiligkreuzkofel, wo noch ausschließlich mit Schlaghaken und mobilen Sicherungsmitteln ohne Zuhilfenahme von Bohrhaken geklettert wird, zu respektieren und diese Werte auch weiterzugeben. Mit dieser außergewöhnlichen Erstbegehung ist Ihnen das sicherlich gelungen!!
Es ist ein Ort,
der glücklich macht.