It’s been a busy month for work- which is good as I still need to pay off the debt from Everest and pay for my upcoming trip to Pakistan. But thankfully ‘work’ takes me in to my favourite alpine playground so it’s not all that bad.
I’ve been shooting for Cotswold Outdoor for quite a few years now and it’s the only catalogue that I actually shoot for. I remember when I was younger flicking through catalogues as they were essentially a free magazine with lots of nice glossy pictures. But your standard Outdoor retailer catalogue is about as far removed from real alpinism as possible, and that’s natural given how many clothing changes you have to make. However in the last few years it’s been great working with Matt Farrar from Cotswold and see the catalogue change from the ‘fake’ format to a very real one, and now I can proudly say that when you flick through it the images you see are from real climbs and not just taken 10 meters from the lift station. Matt taught me alot about product placement and I showed him what I felt was real alpine photography, and somehow we’ve found a perfect middle ground that I’m very happy with.
It’s always a hard balance though as I’m not going to shoot on the Jorasses- you have to shoot something that the clients can relate to. Even so, climbing around the Tacul is a far cooler thing to be doing than sitting at the Midi. So this year we went over to the Oberland and climbed the Monch and then did various climbs around the Tacul with stunning results. Get next year’s catalogue, buy their stuff, and fund my next shoot….!
Off to the Midi Col and we spent two days climbing around the Tacul and drying to get the most out of some very snowy weather. Thankfully the sun did its trick and we got some cool shots in the bag.
The next morning was up on Left Edge of Triangle du Tacul. It’s a relatively easy climb but the location and surroundings are stunning.
I also headed out for Petzl on a fun photoshoot with good friends Jeff Mercier and Ally Swinton. The brief was pretty open but it had to be genuine and some kind of a traverse. So we opted to link up the Aiguille Chardonnet, Aiguille Argentiere, and Tour Noir. This is just the kind of shoot I love as the onus is on capturing a real climb without posing or anything else- the terrain alone was big enough that there wouldn’t be an opportunity to pose down for shots anyway. So we headed off, bivy kit packed, for a fun two day mission.
The first day saw us climb the Forbes arete on the Aiguille Chardonnet, down the backside, and up the Aiguille d’Argentiere.
A cold night beneath the Argentiere led to another early start and a very moody sunrise on the Tour Noire. Job done and excellent couple of days out.