Michael and James, a week with ISM, here on Tête Blanche
August last year, Thanks for the feed back and photos Michael:
On behalf of James and myself, thank you very much for an excellent week at the Orny and Dix huts. It was an ideal mix of instruction, rockclimbing, snow and ice experience, and mountaineering on mixed terrain. Mt Blanc de Cheilon was a great way to end the week – a beautiful mountain and a superb, satisfying climb. Thank you especially for your patience and for not only ensuring our safety but taking the time at every stage to explain clearly what we were doing and why. We also greatly appreciated your steady pacing, which provided several first-hand examples of the hare and tortoise principle in practice; I can’t speak for James, but do not underestimate the achievement of getting me to the top of Mt Blanc de Cheilon in (just) under guide-book time, still breathing comfortably and with an acceptable pulse-rate.
Many thanks again.” Michael Firth
James enjoying the views from the summit of Mont Blanc de Cheillon, Matterhorn in the background( above his helmet) - well done team!
Here some memorabilia of Alpinism during the last decade: youtube legendary Doug Ball who spent considerable time climbing with mountain guide Gary Dickson aka Gaz from January 2006 until August 2009.
Doug Ball, 79, on Mt Aspiring, New Zealand
Doug at 80, climbing a few peaks over 4000m in a week in Switzerland
Doug climbing high above the Dossenhütte, Kingspitze in the back ground
Doug had climbed Mt Cook Aoraki with his wife Peggy and many other peaks, but never Mt Aspiring. He got thwarted twice while climbing with Gaz because of conditions and weather but third time lucky and for a brief time he was considered the oldest climber to have sumited. He must have been an inspiration … more
Based at Centennial hut for some more alpine climbing
He sent us these lines just recently …”I use a slide show of my mountaineering photos as a screen saver so that my memories are not lost but are refreshed every day. Alpinism and Ski certainly made an enormous difference to my life. What would have become of me if I had just thrown in the sponge after Peggy died? I have so much to thank you both for and am not likely to ever forget it.”
keep going strong Doug
Our break was having a sailing trip in turkey - fabulous adventure
We have just returned to Switzerland, having a break our selves from the Alpinism and Ski office.
On the agenda coming up in NZ :
1st off is a ski mountaineering course for three keen Australians who are setting their sights on traversing the Patagonian ice cap, so are looking to hone their crevasse rescue, avalanche rescue and technical avalanche and snow pack knowledge in the back country; their ski mountaineering skills etc
We are very much looking forward to getting back to our base in Wanaka, but also hope to get a few more rock routes and socializing done in Switzerland before we hop into the big bird for the journey across the globe……..
Rhododendron flowering amongst beautiful lime stone formations
Guy and Iris climbing lime stone slabs near Diablerets
Trolls and buttercups, left Trollieus europaeus, right a Ranunculus buttercup
While Gary is on ice and snow higher up, Iris is roaming the local hills, rock climbing, mountain biking, sticking her nose into flowers and having a good time on via ferratas:
Via Ferrata at Plan Praz, Leysin
Zoe and Guy, training session between the rain
Guy and Zoe, finishing off the via ferrata in Leysin
Some of the Icelandic team approaching the summit of Point De Mourty, Switzerland
Ivar, Chief guide for Icelandic Mountain Guides enjoying some swiss granite
Some of the team take a refreshing dip after 8 days of training.
Latter half of June, and Gary and Chief guide of Icelandic Mountain Guides, Ivar, spent 8 days in Switzerland with 8 of IMG’s senior guides for some assessment of Alpine trekking skills and knowledge and up-skilling/training of guiding on solid alpine rock. Both the Zinal (Moiry Glacier) and Trient Plateau areas were used and provided perfect rock ridges for training missions and snowy passes and glaciers for assessing skills and knowledge.
The Icelandic team head back to Iceland for another busy season guiding on the dynamic guiding terrain of Iceland with hopefully ” a few more tools in their tool box”.
Gary having a few days off rock climbing with Iris on the local Swiss crags before heading away for a week with an ISM client.
Alpinism & Ski team Gary Dickson and Iris have arrived in Switzerland where summer is just starting. Glacier guiding training missions in Iceland are next for Gary. Alpinism adventures in the Swiss alps start with rock climbing in Leysin and surrounding areas, then off to Chamonix in France for the Mont Blanc.
New this last European season was a guided hiking excursion in the magic limestone hills and towers above Leysin. Nicola came over from Great Britain and the weather was perfect for trekking even though many alpine flowers were past their prime: “Just a little note to thank you very much for an extremely enjoyable few days in Leysin. Thank you for showing me your little corner of the world, and all the plants growing in it. It was exhilarating to get away from London and up in the mountains for a few days. I wish you every success for the coming season and hope to see you again soon. Thank you again for a very happy few days.”