27 August, 2009

Be a Winner in our Autumn Competition!

Win up to £800 worth of BERGHAUS kit for your next adventure in our Autumn Competition!

Plus 3 runners-up prizes of £100 Mountain Tracks vouchers.

To enter, all you need to do is answer the following 5 questions and email your answers to Email us or send a postcard to Mountain Tracks, 250 York Road, London SW11 3SJ. Please include your email address and a contact telephone number.

Question 1: Gulmarg is a ski resort in which Indian State?
Question 2: Which of these 3 mountains in the Alps is not a 4000m peak – Mont Blanc, Eiger or Matterhorn?
Question 3: From which French resort would you access the famous Vallee Blanche ski run?
Question 4: What is the English translation of 'Via Ferrata'?
Question 5: On what frequency do all (post-1996) Avalanche Transceivers operate?

Closing date is Sunday 25th October 2009 and the winners will be drawn on Friday 30th October 2009.

Good luck!

26 August, 2009

Atop the Matterhorn

Keeping up the success rate, Tjalling Halbertsma, summited the Matterhorn 2 weeks ago with Tomaz Jakofcic as his guide. Congratulations Tjalling. Here are a few photos he sent us of his trip.

Tjalling and Tomaz on the top

One happy climber

Summit of the Riffelhorn

24 August, 2009

A Mountain Tracks first...

We were contacted earlier this week by Ben Slee with some news that we think warrants a blog entry! Ben was a guest on one of our Off-Piste Performance courses in March 2006. Also on the course was a young Aussie skier called Vanessa from Sydney.
Fast forward 3 years and Ben and Vanessa are now married and living in Oz.
We're delighted to have been the catalyst for Ben and Vanessa and so for anyone else out there looking for love...one more reason to ski with Mountain Tracks ;-)

21 August, 2009

More Summit Success

Congratulations to Damon Marshall and Scott Quincey who made a successful ascent of Mont Blanc yesterday in wonderful conditions.

A perfect day, blue skies, blazing sunshine and light winds gave them ideal conditions for the climb. Klemen lead them safely to the summit and back down to the Tete Rousse hut.

13 August, 2009

Mont Blanc Summit

Last week the Mountaintracks team summited in perfect conditions. We began the week with warm up ascents of Mont Tondu and the Dome de Miage. These are big days out as the walk to the Conscrit hut is not to be underestimated. This was no obstacle to our fit team of runners! After a brief night in the valley we headed up to the Tete Rouse with a near perfect forecast. As the team were fit and fast we decided on a 5am get up (usually 1.30am). We sprinted up the Goute ridge in 2 hours and stopped for a brief snack break. The conditions were perfect, no wind and warm. We arrived on the summit around 9.30 and spent a good ten minutes taking in the views (usually too cold for this). We descended to the Goute and then on to the Tete Rouse arriving at 3pm. One of the fastest Mont Blancs ever! A great effort by everybody!

More pictures can be seen at


10 August, 2009

Summer Highlights

Since our last update we have had lots of further summit successes! Nick and Adam have lead 2 guests up the SE ridge of the Eiger; Jeremy Paterson and his group of 5 have summitted Mont Blanc last week despite some poor weather at the start of their trip - fortunately the summit morning dawned bright and blue!

On Thursday last week Olly and Adam also reached the summit of Mont Blanc with a further 3 guests! All in all we have had a great success rate so far this summer, everyone has enjoyed some great climbing and been enthusiastic and motivated and coupled with some fine weather have been able to achieve their summit goals.

In the meantime I have been out and about walking, mountain biking and paragliding around Chamonix and the neighbouring areas this summer. In July I survived a week’s mountain biking at the Mega Avalanche race in Alp D’Huez. This is a crazy mass-start race from the highest point in the resort, the 3300m Pic Blanc, right down to the valley floor in Allemont at 700m. The race involves riding your bike (or trying to – is more apt!) from the glacier over snow, ice and rock 32km down to the valley floor negotiating some crazy steep drops and scary rooty switchbacks on the way.

Negotiating the snow...

Nick and I had an amazing flight on our paragliders from the top of the Grands Montets in Chamonix last week, taking off on the glacier on the Pas de Chevre side, and flying close to the Dru overlooking the Mer du Glace. It’s a truly amazing flight climbing in the thermals so close to the famous South West Piller of the Dru.

The view from 3400m from my paraglider...

I have also been out enjoying some long walks around Chamonix, a couple of notable ones are the fantastic walk up to the Gare de Glaciers, which is the old lift station of the original route of the cable car to the summit of the Aiguille du Midi. These old buildings still have the cable cars hanging in them and all the old workings of the lifts. The top station right under the Midi itself is a testament to the builders and their determination to get to the top, getting all the materials up there by hand cannot have been an easy task.
Gare de Glaciers in the shadow of the Aiguille du Midi...

The Bel Oiseau at 2650m above the Emosson reservoir in Switzerland is a great day walk, taking the path that contours along from the dam wall above the righthand side of the reservoir. You turn off and take an easy path towards the slopes of the Bel Oiseau, around 500m from the summit the path pretty much disappears and it becomes an easy “off piste” scramble across the rocks and boulders towards the summit ridge. The views are amazing down to the reservoir and back across to the Aiguille Vert and Mont Blanc. A must walk for anyone wanting a truly wild remote experience.

Emosson Reservoir...