Have just returned from the Ecrins where a group of us were ice climbing and getting some images for Mammut UK. The forecast before we left was bad , 40 cm of snow in the first 2 days and then snowing continually the whole week . Depressing . The drive over the Montegenvers pass from Turin airport was a pain and snow chains have to be the most fiddly things to put on with freezing cold fingers but we got to Vallouise in around 4 hours to Helens’ place . It was still snowing heavily on day 2 so snowboarding it was . We checked with a local guide for some beta and he suggested a crag called Aiguille near Queryas village which would be safe enough and a place we hadn’t visited before ‘Cerviers’. Colin and John were champing at the bit as there’s a WI VI route there called ‘Le Tube’ which looked as if it was in good condition. Climbing with John and Colin is a bit like tying on with a terrier . They are like machines on the ice and while my forearms are exploding with the burn ,after climbing V and VI routes all day will then go for a 2 hour cross country ski . Even ‘Hiroshima’ a V in the Fournel valley barely kept them awake . Still , they’re good guys to photograph as they can essentially hang around on vertical ice all day as you say , ” just traverse round to the left a little, now move the left foot a bit ” etc etc . Used some off camera flash in the cave of Sombre Heroes and also at Aiguille to give some punch to the lary colours that Colin was wearing. Also the F-Stop bag got its first proper outing , taking axes and crampons easily and all the usual camera gear for a day shooting , very comfortable to snowboard and hike/climb with . The shot of John on le tube was on Mammuts FB timeline and got over 1000 likes which is a first for me but I dont think its my favourite pic of the trip , maybe the Sombre heroes shot framed by the cave walls ? Next trip Scotland for the Exhibition and the launch of my ‘Extreme Scotland’ project .