Dynastar News

J.Midol joins J.F Chapuis and A.Bovolenta in the Team Dynastar/Lange!

Riders in this news :  Jean Frédéric  CHAPUIS


During the historical French hat-trick in Skicross at Sochi Olympic Games 2014, they were two, wearing the colors of Dynastar and Lange: Jean-Frédéric Chapuis and Arnaud Bovolenta. Their third teammate, Jonathan Midol, decided to join the ranks of the French brand for next season. His arrival already strengthens a very competitive team.

For me, Dynastar has the best material today. The ski is efficient and playful. The brand is very committed to Skicross and the race department works closely the athletes. The development of the skis is constant.

For more than 50 years, Dynastar looks for the excellence and we are very proud to welcome Jonathan Midol in our Skicross team. Author of two World Cup podiums in Are and Val-Thorens, the racer of the Grand-Bornand shows clearly his ambitions: “I’m very enthusiastic to join Dynastar Team with my French teammates in order to develop the best ski! The ski which will allow us to fetch a new hat-trick in the next Olympic Games.”  The appointment is taken!

Wringing the last from the Alpine Winter

The end of winter is always a bitter sweat thing time to wax and put away the skis but the pleasure we get from the mountains as the snow recedes and the spring flowers push through. Maybe I am unusual but I don’t want to let go until I absolutely have to so when a client said he fancied skiing Mont Blanc in May I thought great I will have someone to keep skiing with.

As it was the when Matteo arrived the weather forecast for the week was pretty pants 2 perfect days followed by rain snow and wind for the rest of the week. With only 2 days of blue bird we needed to make the most of them. We wanted a high peak that would give us a great skiing and something a bit special for those last alpine turns of the season.

We decided to head for Mont Velan sitting on the Swiss Italian border at just under 4000m with some great glacier skiing and a really cool hut we thought it would do the job nicely. The only disadvantage to skiing at this time of year is that you have to walk to the snowline, 2 hours with skis, boots, stove and food on our backs (the hut was closed so were self catering in the winter quarters) put us at the snowline then an hours skinning and we were at the hut. The guardian had finished for the season the night before and gone down so we had the place to ourselves. With just the three of us (fellow Dynastar UK Ambassador Mike Austin had decided to join us) in hut designed for 60 we had the rare opportunity to spread out and enjoy the magnificent views of the Grand Combin and our objective for the next day.

When the alarm went at 0345 we stuck our heads out to a perfect ceiling of stars, we were skinning across the glacier by 4.30 the pool of light from our head torches the only man made light we could see. After an hour the glacier steepens so we had to out on ski crampons, this lead us to a rock band that bared access to the Col de la Gouille. Skis on our backs and the rope out we followed some chains and climbed to the col, then more chains down onto the glacier on the other side. As we gained height the view just kept getting better and better from the summit the panorama is genuinely 360 from Mont Blanc to Monta Rosa then south to the Paradiso and all the way to Monte Viso.

We didn’t linger on the summit as we wanted to get the snow at its best a short slide on easy snow then a bit of careful choice of aspect gave us some awesome turns on perfect spring snow in the high 40’s. Cruising down the wide open glacier with big fast was awesome, it was all going to fast. There were 2 choices on the lower section of the route down a couloir onto the Valsorey glacier or back over the col. We could see there had been a big avalanche gone down the couloir and the lower section looked like we would have to ski through loads of debris so we climbed back over the col and made a short abseil onto the snow.

With a different aspect we got the snow just right with creamy spring snow all the way to the end of the snow. A perfect way to end the season in the Alps now its off to Norway to wrap up the winter.



Riders in this news :   

Left in spring 2014, Damien, Thibaut, Remì and Francois in the dizzying colours od Baffin Island. A special sort of trip, ski, discover beyond the 70° parallel. This is another way to live the adventure.


DEEP IN BAFFIN from Thibaut Lacombe on Vimeo.

Breche Puiseux A Chamonix Classic

In a busy guiding season it can be difficult to get out and tour for yourself. A lucky day appeared in the diary when fellow Dynastar Ambassador and Avalanche Geek Mike Austin and I were both free with a blue bird forecast. We decided on the Breche Puiseux and were on the first cable car to the Aiguille du Midi. The ski down the first part of the Vallee Blanche could best be described as terrible with hideous refrozen snow until we could get the right aspect and altitude to find some sun softened corn and enjoy a few turns. Skins on at the base of the Périades glacier gave a couple of hours skinning then skis on the back for the 450m climb to the Breche. The early start was worth it with the climb being completed before the sun got to hot.


The Breche is a low point on the section of ridge known as the Périades, this spectacular group of granite spires is home to the tiny Périades bivouac hut one of the most characterful and spectacularly positioned over night shelter in the range. We scrambled along to the hut before making 2 abseils onto the upper Mont Mallet glacier.

The position here is amazing right under the North Face to the Grand Jorasses this has to be one of the most spectacular backdrops to any ski descent in the Alps. The descent winds its way through huge crevasses with amazing views all round before joining the Leschaux glacier where perfect spring snow and less crevasses allowed us to let the Cham’s run making big sweeping turns all the way to the train at Montenvers. A beer sitting on the terrace was the perfect place to reflect and a fantastic journey through the heart of the Mont Blanc Massif.


Hut to hut ski touring

With the last snowfall in the Alps over a week ago, and a high pressure that was seemingly not shifting, there was not much choice but to use the Easter holidays as the perfect excuse to go up into the mountains and do some hut to hut ski touring.

April is the perfect time to do this, with longer days making early starts bearable, and the sunny weather meaning that if you hit the descents at the right time, you can experience some great spring snow.

So with sun forecast for much of last week, I decided to head up to the Gran Paradiso area in Italy with three other friends to do a multi day traverse over three of the four valleys, starting in Pont in the Valsavarenche valley (normally the starting point for people to climb Gran Paradiso), and ending in the tiny hamlet of Bonne, in the Valgrisenche valley.

With the sun shining, we begun with a trek, skis on our back, along the high dirt road from Pont searching out the snow line so we could put our skis on. In what turned out to be our biggest day of the three-day tour, we had to start early due to the sun warming the snow at a fast pace. And although the walk slowed things down a little, once we had our skins on, we started moving more quickly and getting closer to our first col, which required just over 1200m of climbing.

After not doing much skiing at high altitude this season, it took a while to get used to skinning close to 3000m, but I found that if I paced myself well, I could quite easily keep on plodding for hours. So once we hit the col, we enjoyed a great mix of powder and spring snow as we descended down into the Val di Rhemes valley. Not sure exactly where we might pop out, we tried to stay as far up the valley as we could, knowing we still had quite a long way to go to get to the Benevolo refuge, our overnight destination.

After having to walk again along the valley, once we put our skis and skins back on, the sun was starting to dip behind the mountains, and we knew that we had to keep moving if we were to get to the refuge in time for hut dinner (normally at 7pm).  Indeed, what we thought would take around 1.5 hours, took us close to 3.5 hours, and we were greeted by the guardian as we wearily arrived at the refuge with minutes to spare, as he grinned asking ‘soup or risotto’. After the long day and 2200m of climbing, it had to be risotto.

After such a big day and a great Italian dinner, it was hard not to have a good nights sleep, so the 6am start the next day was tolerable after being tucked up in bed close to 9.30pm. We were greeted by another clear sky day, and although it started off freezing, we very quickly warmed up as the sun rose up over the beautiful mountains. Our second day was not as epic in length as day one, although our first climb was steep and at times it felt like you were in an oven as the sun beat down on us as we went up and over Col Bassac Derre, in search of the Mario Bezzi hut. After the hot climb, we decided that to search out the best spring snow, we would climb up a little higher towards the Becca Traverse, and we were duly rewarded. We seemed to time our descent perfectly and enjoyed excellent spring snow as we quickly descended the glacier towards the refuge, arriving at a civilised 3pm in time to enjoy a celebratory beer in the sun – the way spring touring should be! 

After another great Italian meal (the Mario Bezzi is quite hotel-like on the comfort scale of mountain huts), we were set up for the final day of our tour. To get back to Bonne we decided to skin straight up from the hut to the Col de Giasson on the recommendation of the helpful hut guardian, which gave us a fantastic descent, but unfortunately brought us out on the wrong side of the lake, which meant a skin/walk up the road back to the car. We didn’t mind though because we had found more great snow on our descent, which was over 1000m and had a fun bushwhack in the trees as well!

Once we had made it back to the car, rather sweaty and pretty tired, our next mission was to find somewhere for a well-deserved drink. We didn’t think the sleepy village of Bonne would be the place to find a cold beer, but we were wrong! As we were packing up our car we were befriended by a local of the Valgrisenche valley, Aldofo, who invited us onto his terrace in the sun. He then proceeded to offer us a beer and give us the history of the valley, which included a good nosy through his photo album, which spanned back to the 1930s.

After a good hour or so we excused ourselves as there was one thing left to do to round off our fantastic trip… so we jumped in our car, a little bit smelly, and headed off to find a real Italian pizza before heading back to France. A perfect way to end a great hut-to-hut ski touring adventure.