Our site works best with JavaScript enabled.

Daring Deeds - real stories, expeditions, road trips and adventure

Alps Massif trip!

By Dan Bradley | 06, Feb, 2009

Dan sees what he can get away with in the snowshoes

Well this was to be one of the most action packed weekend I’ve had without falling off or injuring myself. Despite having a 20 hour drive at the start, with my friends fast asleep for the most of it and my only excitement was poking a camera into their faces to get an unwelcome “go away”! So after a few games on the ferry and an epic drive we arrived at our destination, l’Argentiere la Bessee.

It was early.. ish morning so we got straight on the case setting up the stall and spent the day chillaxing and talking up big stories of what we were not going to be able get up. At about 3 am that night the others arrived via plane and were not best pleased to hear that we were setting off at 6.30 in the morn for ice climbing.

Having done minimal ice climbing before I was a little nervous but after all, how hard can it be? Our guide Murray Hamilton seemed to be a local hero so he quickly got a few top ropes set up. Me and captain shaky (Alex) set to on establishing our own line which proved to be relatively easy work but this was only on easy ground. Later in the day we would prove ourselves to be totally inadequate on the stamina front, we would also come to realise how scary vertical ice is while you are high above your last amazing ice screw.

The next day was to be snow shoeing, I had not tried that and the thought of a days walking in deep snow when I could be climbing was.. well, let’s say I wasn’t that motivated! It turns out snow shoeing is AMAZING! You get to go jumping off two story buildings that have deep snow all round and land with minimal injury! It’s a little hard work but nowhere near as much as what I was expecting so if anyone is yet to try snow shoeing then don’t be shy! Get them booties on and go! That night we had the Ice fest party which was a bivi outside (only –16), a quality band and some good food, a couple others and I may have enjoyed the mulled wine a little too much!

Day 3, this was to be somewhat of a challenge for me, I’ve never tried skiing and thought it would be relatively easy to pick up but I spent most of my day eating snow! After a little while I got the hang of things and made it down a couple of times while Pete and Alex turned out to be semi pro skiers! My knees couldn’t handle much more so I retired to the bar for some gentle relaxation time.

All that was left was the mini epic drive back via Fontainebleau. I only did a little climbing at Font as I felt beaten and was still recovering from the pains of learning to ski! Even still I got a couple of ticks and had a chilled day in Font, a good end to the trip.

  • Google+

In pictures

No Comments

Share your thoughts about this article.

Daring Deeds

Scratch & Win
Ramon heads North for some winter climbing training
Himalayan Adventures: Part 3
Not everything goes to plan in the Himalayas
Mont Blanc in a day
Anna Wells attempts the ultimate "day hit"
Five thousand metres of vertical joy
sunsets and big days in the Alps
Ridges through the Sky
Anna Wells on Scottish Winter
Brewing up in Glencoe
Customer story
A Peruvian Adventure
Customer Story
Jollies in the Dollies
Ice climbing wizardry in the Dolomites

More from Deeds


Anna Wells - Ice Climbing World Cup
UIAA 2015 Lead competition circuit
Winter Getaway choice
A selection of wintery goodies
Careful Torque for Ramon
Ramon climbs Careful Torque M11
Figfour update
Figfour stock update.
Drytool Style final round report
Figfour sponsors DTS series.
DTS drytooling series Round 1
Lates results from round 1.
2010 Rohan Readers Choice Outdoor Innovations 50/50 Top 10
Award for innovative design.
Figfour wins Innovation for Extremes Award
Award winning drytool design.

More from News


Keeshond Hybrid Fleece
Warm, light and breathable high loft fleece
Modifying Figfour Handles
Customise your Figfours with Sugru.
Figfour drytool handle design
In developing Figfour we tested a wide variety of grip types.
A short history of Figfour development 2004 - 2010
A history of innovation.
Figfour design notes
Innovative design.

More from Develop


Top Tips for Winter Climbing
Ramon Marin's winter climbing guide
Scottish Suffering
Customer Support Hero, Fran’s favourite kit for Scottish winter climbing.
Roca Winter Climbing Ropes
A look at the options for winter climbers in the Roca range
Your companion in adventure
Filo the go anywhere down jacket
Figfour inspiration
Get in to dry tooling.
The Figfour DryIce dry tooling sessions
Figfour on DryIce tour.
Indoor drytooling
Train indoors for drytooling

More from Spotlight


More from Kudos

Be the first to hear about our newest products and promotions

Join AlpCol's Espresso newsletter for that hit of Go Nice Places, Do Good Things Greatness


By adding your email you consent to our terms and conditions