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Thursday, January 5, 2012

For our foul-weather friends

Josh Wilson took this photo of a whiteout in the French Alps.

Josh Wilson took this photo of a whiteout in the French Alps.

We’ve seen many photos of the Adirondacks taken on blue-sky days with puffy clouds or during sunsets when the horizon is ablaze with red, orange, and purple. We’ve seen far fewer taken in the middle of a blinding blizzard or horrific rainstorm.

If you have one, you might submit it to Teton Gravity Research’s Gnarliest Weather Photo Contest. The winner and three runner-ups will win some pricey Gore-Tex gear.

TGR, a maker of a maker of ski and surf films, is accepting photos online. The public has a chance to influence the outcome of the contest: the judges will consider only the twenty-five photos that receive the most Facebook “Likes” through February 5.

Skiing in the French Alps. Photo by Josh Wilson.

Skiing in the French Alps. Photo by Josh Wilson.

Josh Wilson, who often shoots for the Explorer, submitted the photo above. He snapped it while on a ski tour in the French Alps in April 2010. Josh and his friends, led by a local guide (“a real bad ass”), had climbed the Col de Aiguille Crochues, descended in a storm, and then climbed the Col du Berard, where the photo was taken. The skier on the right is Matt Young of Lake Placid. The skier in the background is their guide, Yannick Graziani.

Josh, who lives in Saranac Lake, said the second descent ended in Switzerland. “The ski day consisted of a bus ride, a tram ride, a ski-lift ride, skinning, hiking, skiing, and then taking a train back to where we started,” he said.

The whole tour, which took six hours, was done in a whiteout.

Fortunately, the gang enjoyed some good weather as well, as evidenced by the inset photo.

The photo below shows the Le Massif de Aiguilles Rouges, the scene of the whiteout ski tour. The group climbed almost to the summit of the highest peak on the left and then descended the other side. They climbed again to a ridge behind the large rocky peak on the right side of the photo.

But Josh won’t win any prizes in the Gnarliest Weather Photo Contest for these two photos.

If you’re on Facebook and like the whiteout photo, Click here. Or perhaps you have one of your own to submit.

The top winner will receive a Patagonia Primo jacket and Patagonia Primo pants, both made of Gore-Tex fabric. The three runner-ups will receive a Gore-Tex jacket, hoodie, or gloves, all made by Burton.

Le Massif de Aiguilles Rouges in Chamonix. Photo by Josh Wilson.

Le Massif de Aiguilles Rouges in Chamonix. Photo by Josh Wilson.

Phil Brown

Phil Brown has been editing the Adirondack Explorer since 1999. When he isn't at his desk, he's usually out hiking, paddling, skiing, or doing something else important. You can follow his adventures and his musings on the Adirondacks in the Explorer and on this blog.

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