So There I Was... | Team Mammut

Monday, April 28, 2008

So There I Was...






Coming off the 60 meter rapp into Cosmiques Couloir, Adrian Ballinger photo
Letting 'em ride in Cosmiques, A. Ballinger photo
Starting down climb to Pan De Ratu, Tim Connelly photo
Traversing to the Pan, T. Connelly photo
Feeling the snow on the Pan, T. Conne;lly photo
Lots of white out days, A. Ballinger photo

So there I was....reeling on my twelfth cup of coffee, still waiting for the Midi to open and anyone's who has ever been in a european que know it's all about hurry up and waiting. But it is oh so hard when your about to jump out of your skin on a blue bird powder day with a meter and a half of fresh with no personal space from everyone else who has had 12 cups of coffee and no time for the lue because were hurrying up here. Finally, pushing and moving and my feet are off the ground to go with the flow, dam missed the first bin but sitting good for the second, Glen Plake is looking happy also. Last on, first off, but everyone is playing that game today. Fantastic we are out front boot skiing down the arete from the Aiguille Du Midi, throw the boards on and we are off. Fresh tracks down the petit enviers to the mer de glace, far cry from the front four at Stowe and it's totally blower over the shoulder. Keeping my eyes out for the big crevasses is hard when Les Drus,  Aiguille Verte and Geant command attention. This is a day ski dreams are built on with 20 grand in two runs, one a mellow broken glacier with absolute alpine views to the village the other a more technically engaging run all the way to the Mt. Blanc tunnel. These are the days that make me thankful for the lifestyle we all choose to live that prioritizes a commitment to be Free in the mountains.  

Hello Folks This is Mark Puleio dropping a note from Chamonix France to let you all know that i Passed my final ski mountaineering exam to become fully certified with the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA/UIAGM) and received my Pinn. Some of you may or may not know that this has been a focused pursuit of mine for the last five years. Though the dream was planted in the mid 90's it became easy for me to obtain work as a mountain guide in our country which i did for a decade before embarking on my certification process. This pursuit has been challenging on a personal level, a financial level and most difficult on a family level. I wanted to extend my Thank You to all of you for all the help and good energy along the way and I realize that i couldn't have done it with out the support you all have giving me over the years, Especially Mammut for being amazing all these years at keeping me be warm and dry!

Aside from passing with my buddy Adrian Ballinger i couldn't have asked for a better end to our exam as we skied 2,000 meters of fresh knee deep powder down into the village of Le Tour. During the decent i couldn't help but reflect on the weeks process of challenging trail breaking with whiteout navigation, short roping/short pitching rock and ice peaks, technical cols to pass, endless nights of tour planning, mitigating objective hazards and managing stress a wave of euphoria came over me for my success, but perhaps it was just the pow pow! Then reality set in as we came into the valley realizing that everyone here who works in the high mountains have been through this process and that this is just the beginning for me as a mountain guide. In the U.S. there are only Forty something guides who have completed this training and examination process and i feel fortunate to have received my Pinn in a venue where i am just another snowflake in the vast icefields that embrace the mountains we love so much. Once again thanks for being there for me over the years and i will look forward to continuing to become a better guide and partner with the help of all of you in the years to come.

My special Thanks go out to my Sweet Kimberly Dawn for encouraging all my countless weeks and months away from her, Stokely and Harper to pursue my mountain adventures. And many many Thanks to my Mom and Dad for turning me onto the mountains at such an early age, especially with skis on my feet!

Team Mammut you are all so motivational and inspirational keep getting after it and sharing your stories about Being in the mountains.
Cheers,
Mark Puleio