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I'm just happy to be here

My name is Brian Monetti, and I enjoy having fun. If you want to join on the next adventure, shoot me an email at brianmonetti@gmail.com 

Winter 🇨🇦🇫🇷🇨🇭🇭🇷

Winter 🇨🇦🇫🇷🇨🇭🇭🇷

Other than a few days at local Pennsylvania mountains, I hadn’t skied in about ten years. I also had no idea that there was reason to wear a harness while skiing, or how to put skins on, or that my crampons fit on ski boots. Basically I was ready to go!

Viktor was convinced I would be able to ski Mt. Blanc with him within the season, which seemed like telling a first time gym climber that they should try El Cap the following month. But I dove right in, and I think I’m hooked.

We spent a few days warming up on local hills in PA and NY, and headed for a week in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia, basing ourselves in Revelstoke.

We kicked off the trip skiing the sidecountry off the Revelstoke resort. 2000m of vert meant you could spend half a day on a single sidecountry tour!

We kicked off the trip skiing the sidecountry off the Revelstoke resort. 2000m of vert meant you could spend half a day on a single sidecountry tour!

We joined up with Greg Hill for a day in Roger’s Pass. A few years ago he did 2,000,000 vertical feet of skinning/skiing in a single year, a world record. I have about 1,992,000 feet to go to break his PR!

We joined up with Greg Hill for a day in Roger’s Pass. A few years ago he did 2,000,000 vertical feet of skinning/skiing in a single year, a world record. I have about 1,992,000 feet to go to break his PR!

#earnyourturns

#earnyourturns

"Im pretty sure there is no overhead hazard, we’re good”

"Im pretty sure there is no overhead hazard, we’re good”

Booted to the top of Mt. Mackenzie and got treated to some incredible views

Booted to the top of Mt. Mackenzie and got treated to some incredible views

I’ll be back, BC!

I’ll be back, BC!

After 8 days skiing in BC, we were ready for Cham! Viktor and I were heading to Croatia for work, and Jeff had a last minute cancellation from a client, so we were able to team up for several days with the goal of skiing Mt Blanc.

First day skiing in Cham! Virginia tore her ACL earlier in the season, and was having surgery the following week, but that wasn’t going to slow her down.

First day skiing in Cham! Virginia tore her ACL earlier in the season, and was having surgery the following week, but that wasn’t going to slow her down.

For our first off-piste of the trip, we took a lap on the Vallee Blanch, a 20km super popular run from the top of the Midi lift. Even though it was really busy, the route is so long and there are so many variations that we felt almost alone once we got going.

Mt Blanc from Midi

Mt Blanc from Midi

Congo line! The route starts with a super slow walk down from the Midi station, with lots of people not wearing crampons (!) and everyone roped up.

Congo line! The route starts with a super slow walk down from the Midi station, with lots of people not wearing crampons (!) and everyone roped up.

Wait your turn!

Wait your turn!

Once we got moving, the crowds thinned and we were in the mountains!

Once we got moving, the crowds thinned and we were in the mountains!

We brought the whole crew, 9 in total

We brought the whole crew, 9 in total

In Eiger Sanction style, we put the beers in Nika’s pack. We shall continue with style!

In Eiger Sanction style, we put the beers in Nika’s pack. We shall continue with style!

We’re not in Pennsylvania anymore…

We’re not in Pennsylvania anymore…

Vallee Blanche Beers, the perfect warmup to crevasse rescue practice

Vallee Blanche Beers, the perfect warmup to crevasse rescue practice

The route ends at a train station that brings you down to Cham. Just like the L train!

The route ends at a train station that brings you down to Cham. Just like the L train!

#chamonixselfie

#chamonixselfie

We were feeling good, and somehow I was managing to pretend to be a skier, so we booked a heli to take us up on Mt Blanc. Unfortunately, the winds were incredibly high on the day we were set to go up, so we bailed. Our backup plan ended up being the best skiing day I’v ever had, so absolutely no complaints! We chose to do some ski mountaineering in the Berard Valley, skinning and booting up Pointe Alphonse Favre and skiing the Glacier Mort. The route ended up involving 500m of vert, both skinning and in crampons, 1600m of descent, and 13km horizontal.

Are we at the top yet?

Are we at the top yet?

We’re still not at the top?!

We’re still not at the top?!

Ice axe, crampons.. This isn’t skiing!

Ice axe, crampons.. This isn’t skiing!

Finally! Standing on Pointe Alphonse Favre with Jeff and Bero

Finally! Standing on Pointe Alphonse Favre with Jeff and Bero

So I guess this is the point where I have to remember how to jump turn…

So I guess this is the point where I have to remember how to jump turn…

On my way!

On my way!

Viktor showing how it’s done

Viktor showing how it’s done

On to the home stretch. Still another 8km to go but out of the steep stuff

On to the home stretch. Still another 8km to go but out of the steep stuff

Using the handrails to plant my poles, made for a great photo op…

Using the handrails to plant my poles, made for a great photo op…

But it turns out we weren’t supposed to cross that bridge, and had to cross the creek to make it back to the proper trail

But it turns out we weren’t supposed to cross that bridge, and had to cross the creek to make it back to the proper trail

Skiing to the bar… I can get used to this!

Skiing to the bar… I can get used to this!

Après Ski!

Après Ski!

With some time left, we headed to Verbier to see what Swiss skiing is all about. The mountain is enormous, over 400km of trails, lift access to some serious backcountry, and really good food!

Incredible views! Oh. hey, we climbed that pointy one last year!

Incredible views! Oh. hey, we climbed that pointy one last year!

Not your Pennsylvania ski mountain fare

Not your Pennsylvania ski mountain fare

Not a bad commute back to the van

Not a bad commute back to the van

Of course, you don’t travel all the way to Europe and not bring some climbing gear along!

Busy day on Lillaz Gulley! By the third pitch we had passed this crew, and were the first party on top

Busy day on Lillaz Gulley! By the third pitch we had passed this crew, and were the first party on top

Top of pitch 6. Italy ain’t too bad lookin

Top of pitch 6. Italy ain’t too bad lookin

Is this how you mix climb?

Is this how you mix climb?

You have to walk through a farmers vineyard to get to the crag. Just like home!

You have to walk through a farmers vineyard to get to the crag. Just like home!

A little sport climbing is a “gneiss” way to warm up for the season!

A little sport climbing is a “gneiss” way to warm up for the season!

And we didn’t limit ourselves to just the Alps! A little multi pitch runout sport climbing in Paklenica, Croatia.

And we didn’t limit ourselves to just the Alps! A little multi pitch runout sport climbing in Paklenica, Croatia.

Gaining a little altitude on this climb

Gaining a little altitude on this climb

6b+ traverse, which felt a ton easier than the 6a+ slab higher up

6b+ traverse, which felt a ton easier than the 6a+ slab higher up

Pitch 6, getting there!

Pitch 6, getting there!

All told, not a bad winter! Picked up a new sport, skied some incredible lines that I never would have thought possible a year ago, swung some tools, pulled down on some sport climbs, and ate some amazing food!

Chamonix 2019

Chamonix 2019

The Alps

The Alps