Ghosts of Mont Blanc

The crows circle overhead, peering at the breathing mass of Gore-Tex moving down one of the most iconic ridges in skiing. Those black birds have a story to tell, a story of changing mountains and a changing culture below. It’s April in Chamonix, the sun is out, and the Aiguille du Midi’s arete is packed with skiers and snowboarders frothing to get into the icy heights of the Mont Blanc Massif.

Chamonix might be the most famous place in the world for steep skiing, put on the map generations ago by legends like Sylvain Saudan, Patrick Vallençant and Anselme Baud. The local ski scene is unique, something many have heard about but few have truly experienced. Here lives a family of mountain people, those who dedicate their lives to perfecting the art of traveling among the massive peaks surrounding the bustling French valley that is home to 16 villages and hamlets and roughly 9,000 full-time residents. Living the Chamonix lifestyle is walking the often-blurry line between life and death. These days, that line is becoming ever blurrier thanks to the great beast of climate change… 

Buy issue

Subscribe to start your collection of The Ski Journal.


The Ski Journal Mailing List

We respect your time, and only send you the occasional update.