We started 2014 in Chamonix, France where we had been for the last year, but we had literally no idea what lay in store for us: little did we know we would visit 23 countries, we would snowboard some of the deepest steepest lines yet, attempt Mt Blanc on splitboard….and fail, but succeed in cycling 10,000km+ in 20 countries – some of which I didn’t know existed, Ed would avoid shipwreck
during a storm on a Caspian sea cargo ship and then cycle across the vast nothingness of Kazakhstan, Marion would explore the beauty of India and we would trek for weeks in the Himalayas, Ed would sleep rough in Abu Dhabi, Marion would practice yoga on the mountainous banks of the upper Ganges and that was just a taster. So this is my very brief month by month memories of 2014 and here’s an amazing song you simply have to listen to while reading it!
January started with the first large dump of snow for the season, the conditions off the top of the Grands Montets in Chamonix, France were ‘all time’ as the cool kids say. This is a Go Pro still showing the mid thigh pow:
February brought fantastic conditions at Brevent in the Chamonix Valley, I was getting countless couloir first tracks all month, but mainly going big(ish) under the lifts just to get whoops 🙂 The picture below is from just one of the amazing Aiguile du Midi Mid-Station laps, this was one that we snuck in as the sun was setting:
March saw us finding powder while ski touring in various places such as Le Tour, St Bernard pass, Pas de Chevre or off the back of Brevent with Andy Daly.
We also headed up onto the Glaciers and over to Italy a few times, this was returning to Chamonix from some Helbronner (Courmayeur, Italy) laps:
April saw a lot of touring starting from the Aiguille du Midi lift at 3800m, it’s always fantastic up here, but some epic powder day laps on the Petit Envers or from the Italian side down the Vallee Noir stick in my mind. WE also ventured onto the Argentiere glacier to explore a few times, this picture was from a great day touring with Ulrika:
We also explored into Italy riding in Cervinia again:
May 2014 saw us still skiing off the Aiguille du Midi but also we had an attempt at Mt Blanc by splitboard, sadly it was just too icy for snowboarding after some warmer weather but it was still great fun just getting up high and staying in the huts:
June involved planning our epic bike trip, I even got some training tours in around the Alps, we also did a lot of evening cragging on the great easy rock around the Chamonix Valley, this was with Carmen:
The mountain biking in June was fun too:
July 3rd 2014 and we set off from Crowfield in Suffolk, UK headed for China by bike as one does! We rode across Holland, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania in July.
During August we had crossed the rest of Europe which involved Bulgaria and Turkey. We were battling the heat for three weeks along Turkey’s huge but stunning black sea coast.
Bulgaria had a few Soviet reminders:
September involved Georgia, Azerbaijan and the infamous Caspian sea crossing to Kazakhstan and beyond.
October was the finale of my Cycling East trip after I reached the Tian Shan mountains on the border of North West China and Kazakhstan, it certainly felt a long way from Suffolk!
From Late October through November I rode in Nepal and met up with Marion and Cindy to trek in the Himalayas, where we completed two fantastic treks before touring India.
December was back in the UK but still riding bikes almost everyday, battling the vicious winter weather in the Lake District:
Bring on 2015 I have absolutely no idea what it has in store, but based on the last year fingers crossed for some fun!