New glacier safety film on screen in Chamonix

Working in cooperation with the Compagnie du Mont Blanc, a partnership of a mountain guide and ski instructor has produced a video aiming to reduce the number of skiers falling into crevasses. The 6 minute video will be screened all winter at the Aiguille du Midi and Grands Montets ski areas.

Filmed last winter on the famous Vallée Blanche, it shows the basic principles of skiing on glaciers in terms of crevasse spotting and group management. Directed and produced by IFMGA mountain guide Andy Perkins and Courchevel ski instructor Simon Christy, the film is narrated by Miles Bright who authored a book on glacier safety and rescue for skiers and boarders.

“Every year there are serious accidents and fatalities on the VB and elsewhere due to a fundamental lack of awareness of the hazards of glacial skiing. Every time we see folk heading down there with no packs or harnesses, we know it’s an accident waiting to happen.” says Chamonix-based Andy Perkins. “Simon and I got together at the Adventure Film Academy in Kendal and decided to put our energies into an educational film project.  We’re delighted that the Compagnie du Mont Blanc is supporting its distribution to get the film in front of thousands of skiers and boarders this winter”.

The film will be recommended to people attending the safety awareness days at the transceiver park at the Grands Montets.

More information

Posted by davidof on Sunday, 17 January, 2010 at 09:44 PM

This is a timely film that highlights one of the three big dangers facing off piste skiers and tourers (apart from avalanches and falls) in the Mont Blanc massif. A great effort by two very knowledgable pros.

Posted by davidof on  Sunday, 17 January, 2010  at 10:01 PM

Has some good ideas about skiing on glaciers—and some pretty scenes of doing it.

But perhaps some more editing would help, like ...

* the narrator says to maintain plenty of distance between skiers, but then around video time 4:30 it shows three skiers standing right next to each other.

* later somebody says something like to keep some limits on your skiing on a glacier, but earlier they showed somebody taking air.
- (then landing from air on a bridge over a hidden crevasse puts extra impact on the bridge, which could result in an unnecessary collapse—I remember a YouTube video showing exactly that).

But what I’d most like to see is a “Part 2” which would address planning for safety before even before riding the lift up to the top of the run—questions like:
(a) are some days inherently more risky than others?

(b) are some routes on glaciers inherently more risky than others?

How to choose which day and which route?
- (consider the parallel questions for [I]avalanche[/I] risk)


Posted by  on  Tuesday, 19 January, 2010  at 05:03 AM

I think this is the video you are thinking off

falling head first into a crevasse is not to be reccommended. I will have to post the sad story of a young Chamonix guide that did that sometime. As you probably well know in a V shaped crevasse your body heat will melt the ice a little, this will lubricate your passage and you can descend deeper and deeper into the jaws of the monster. If the crevasse is narrow the only way to get you out is using pneumatic drills - and for that they need to be able to lift the gear to the site by helicopter.

Posted by davidof on  Tuesday, 19 January, 2010  at 05:02 PM

A part deux might be a good idea. I think for public consumption the message needs to be simple, without giving the watcher the impression they have enough knowledge to go and tackle glaciated terrain without a competent buddy or guide. I think that is also a danger with forums where people think they can glean enough knowledge to handle crevasse rescue etc.

Posted by davidof on  Tuesday, 19 January, 2010  at 05:13 PM

Hi Ken

Thanks for your feedback. We recognised the apparent contradiction of grouping together during the editing but elected to keep that shot in. Mountain decision making is less rule-based and more concept-based. You can group together if you make a judgment that it’s safe to do so!

Likewise with Tom taking air - he is a very talented boarder so is riding well within his limits, and the landing site was thoroughly checked beforehand! We don’t want to kill the joy of riding completely.

In terms of part 2, we’re certainly open to suggestions. There are LOADS of great avalanche vids out there already, the best example being A Dozen More Turns which you can see at

Thanks gain, and have a great winter.


Posted by  on  Tuesday, 19 January, 2010  at 09:52 PM
Page 1 of 1 pages

Comments are now closed



Archive Summary

Forum Posts

Wednesday, 11 September, 2013

Mammut PULSE Barryvox Updated Firmware

Posted by ise at 09:53 PM
• (1) Posts • (116) views •

Sunday, 19 May, 2013

Girl survives 4 nights out at 4000m on the Vert

Posted by juice at 11:44 PM
• (3) Posts • (1981) views •


Monday, 29 April, 2013

Colorado's deadliest slide in 50 years

Posted by Simon Scott at 01:41 PM
• (3) Posts • (1606) views •

Thursday, 25 April, 2013

PGHM Officer killed near Ref Argentiere

Posted by juice at 01:38 PM
• (5) Posts • (1673) views •

Friday, 19 April, 2013

avalanche in st christophe

Posted by davidski at 11:32 AM
• (1) Posts • (1427) views •

Monday, 15 April, 2013

Avalanche on the Tete de Chevrette, Vallorcine

Posted by Alan Scowcroft at 04:57 PM
• (1) Posts • (1410) views •