“Watch this guy, this is a very good technique”, said in heavily accented English during my first alpine route in Chamonix. I was halfway up the route Arete des Cosmiques “mock-guiding” a friend through a technical transition, when a group of Dutch mountain guide trainees caught up with us.

Despite the initial praise from their trainer, I quickly tangled my rope and proceeded to demonstrate what happens when you rush. Quickly turning a slick technique into a cluster-f*#K. Hmm… good thing I’m here early to fluff it now rather than when it really counts!

The past few days have been a combination of training and reconnaissance getting ready for the AMGA Advanced Alpine Guides Course that begins in June.  I’ve been told time and time again that Chamonix is the place to come and get dialed-in on the alpine skills and a week here seems to equal an entire season of lower-48 alpine climbing!


Here is a video shot over the past three days in some very popular zones. The rescue (helicopter) scenes were shot yesterday on the Papillion Ridge below the Aiguille des Paigne. These kinds of training missions are what makes the PGHM the best in the world! Kind of wild having these guys practive short haul drop-offs and technical landings so close.

[vimeo 4843651]