Chamonix Mountain Festival II – Braving the cold with Mountain Hardwear

Walking towards the unknown... almost. (photo L Prosino)

Walking towards the unknown… almost. (photo L Prosino)

Mountaineering with famous alpinists. I guess it’s easy to feel the hype and let our imagination go, picturing ourselves like pioneers of yesteryear.

Back on earth, that is not the case, but dreaming is sweet.  The Chamonix Mountain Festival offered many opportunities to encounter top athletes and mountain guides, test new materials, explore the surrounding area or, like in our case, go across the border and venture from Punta Helbronner.  Mountain Hardwear athlete Vivian Bruchez and mountain guide Seb Foissac were our guides for the day. Photographer Judith Spancken and journalist Cathy Jolibert also accompanied us.

Not disheartened in the least by the foul weather in Chamonix, we made it to La Palud in Italy and up to the top of the cable car.

Snow did not deter us, and it was the perfect opportunity to test our brand new Mountain Hardwear Mixaction Jackets and Sultana Pants (though I tried the Mixaction version), the ultralight but sturdy Summit Rocket™ pack  and, to my delight, the marvellously warm Seraction™ gloves.  I was not disappointed.

Although technically designed for extreme winter conditions, or ice climbing, these gloves fitted well and kept the cold at bay. I adored them.

The Mixaction pants – made with stretch softshell fabric throughout the 
legs, allowing for full range of motion and Dry.QTM Elite waterproofing technology in the seat – felt light but warm, as did the jacket, a stretchable softshell with strategic hardshell protection.

We crossed the Geant glacier and went over a small arête, which was good fun.

We could have certainly done more, had the sun shone all day, but we also learnt that, in the mountains, you sometimes have to make do with what is at hand.   In our case, lots of smiles and a drink at the end of the day.  Plus, of course, not a single dissatisfied face.

Enjoy the ride, whatever you do.

More on Vivian Bruchez

More on Sebastian Foissac

More details on Mountain Hardwear

 

DSCN0384

Francoise Call, the Festival organiser, Vivian Bruchez and Seb Foissac discuss what to do… (photo L Prosino)

DSCN0385

Getting ready at the Rifugio Torino. (Photo L Prosino)

DSCN0390

Getting tangled up… (photo L Prosino)

 

DSCN0391

Cathy Jolibert and Judith Spancken in bright colours. (photo L Prosino)

 

 

DSCN0393

Smile.

DSCN0416

Vivian walking on the arete. (photo L Prosino)

 

DSCN0441

All in one piece.

 

MHW-JS- 122

Stretching with crampons on.. (cop. Judith Spancken / Mountain Hardwear)

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s