07 December 2022

Mountain Girl Blog: And we’re off…

January 14, 2015

Winter has got off to a well documented slow and stuttering start out here in the Alps but it’s not been all bad. If you know where to look, are ready to get up early and prepared to work for it, there are plenty adventures still to be had on the mountain – they just might be a bit different to the powdery ones we’ve become so used to in recent years.

Sophie-Nicholson-portraitOn my own at early morning skinning club

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve formed my own early morning ski touring club which basically involves meeting at the bottom of the mountain in the dark, putting skins on my skis and heading up to the top before the lifts open. The 1,000m of ascent takes around 2 hours of effort and the ski down only takes about 15 minutes so it’s a great way to get some early morning pre exercise in the bank. The club is yet to gain huge traction amongst local buddies but all of our current members (that’s one – ie me!) seem to be enjoying the adventure so far.

Other recent fun and games have involved welcoming in the New Year by dancing on the tables at the new Folie Douce in Megeve. We ‘local’ types are quite protective when it comes to our quiet little mountain haven but were curious enough to pay visit even though we were fully expecting to detest the whole outrageous après experience. As it was, it turned out to be one of the best afternoons we’ve had in years! We managed to hold on to our resistance for all of about 5 minutes before a couple of cheeky vin chauds lubricated our inner Eurotrash and we joined the rest of the crazy crew dancing on the tables in our ski boots.

Dancing on the tables at the Folie Douce in Megeve

The highlight of the year so far has been the Dynafit International Press Event held in Areches-Beaufort, just over the hill here in France. I was lucky enough to be invited along to join a crew of around 50 journalists, industry experts, Dynafit representatives, mountain guides and big time skiers who converged upon the tiny town of Areches last week to discuss all things snow related. If you’ve never heard of the area and are into ski touring then I can highly recommend paying a visit. Super quiet, no ego and with a huge heritage in the sport, it is the home of the infamous Pierre Menta ski mountaineering race so was the ideal base for a coming together of ski touring nuts.

We spent two days touring, drinking beer, comparing gear and experiences and pouring over the new Dynafit line up for 2015/2016. The company itself is enormously impressive: their dedicated and innovative approach to ski touring is world renowned so it was a real treat to spend quality time with some of the brand’s key influencers and product designers.

The Dynafit gathering on top of the Pointe du Dard (2,489m)

Whether you’ve been ski touring for a while or just getting into the sport, they have some of the best kit in the business and are the pioneers of the sport. Their boots/bindings and skis are infamous for quality and performance and their rapidly expanding line of apparel looks set to continue the theme. It’s also worth mentioning that they make some great looking, super technical trail running shoes and clothes so if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, have a gander at their website. I’m hoping to review some of their kit when I start training for the Highland Cross and Matterhorn Ultraks events that I have coming up this summer.

Right – that’s about all from me for now. Next time I’ll be bringing you tales of sushi and light fluffy powder as I’m off to Japan on Saturday for 11 days of deep powder and culture shocks! Can’t wait.

Sophie Nicholson, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine



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About Sophie’s blog

Mountain Girl is passionate about the vertical wilderness, backcountry skiing, mountaineering, hiking, trail running, biking, and rock climbing. Oh and Prosecco - she really likes Prosecco.


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