Sooner or later every adventure hits its challenges — and that's proving the case for Greg Hill. The ski mountaineer is almost half way into a 31 day mission to ascend 100,000m and he's been averaging a vertical ascent of over 4,000m a day since the beginning of the month. While lots of snow is good news for those big smile-inducing descents, it's been making the ascents a lot less fun for Greg.
“Days five to seven were really bad and hard days,” he says. “The temperatures were a little warm and the snow very wet, the mountains were going through a state of change and avalanching regularly — some very large. I needed to play it very cautious and stay in the trees. The options were limited and some very uncomfortable days happened.”
One of the biggest problems, as Greg's recent Instagram post makes clear, is the build-up of snow under the skis.
“It added massive weight and progress was hard. I was screaming really loud obscenities to make myself feel better!”
On Sunday Greg took a much-needed rest day to allow for the avalanche danger to subside. “When the dust cleared the skiing has been great. The last two days have been off the charts! Great powder skiing, glaciers, summits and loving the days.”
So far Greg is on track but uncertain weather next week is a cause for concern. The body is also holding up for now. “It's as hard as I imagined, requiring me to dig deep. For 10 hours a day I pretty much hike all day with small intervals of great skiing. The body is feeling the repetitive motions —I'm having to do lots of stretching and eating.”
Top picture ©Bruno Long.