Ross Hewitt

Name: Ross Hewitt

D.O.B: 27/12/1975

Hometown: Chamonix (& Aberdeen)

Sport: Steep Skiing

I grew up in Scotland and started skiing aged 7. My skiing has morphed somewhat from racing and resort skiing into steep ski mountaineering. The ability to travel fast and light through the mountains on technical terrain really appeals to me requiring the right mix of the mental, technical and physical abilities to achieve that long dreamt about project of an aesthetic line on a big peak.

Skiing has taken me around the World to Chile, Argentina, Alaska, Baffin Island, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France, Japan, New Zealand and of course Scotland. My steep skiing experience including descents of several Alpine steeps such as the Matterhorn, the Himalayan West Face of Mont Blanc, the Peuterey Ridge, West Face of the Eiger, Frendo Spur, Brenva Spur, Mallory, etc, aswell a few trips to ski in Alaska. Exploratory skiing lights my fire and I have done 30 first descents in Baffin, 4 in Norway, and 3 major new lines in New Zealand.

Get to know Ross

Tell us about your successes so far?

How do you measure success in steep skiing? Whether it was fun, in good snow, safe, a first descent, with best friends or some mix of them all?

At home in Chamonix I’ve been lucky enough to tick off the majority of the great ski lines from lift access test pieces like the Frendo Spur on the Midi North Face to the wild and hidden Himalayan sized West Face of Mont Blanc. In June we skied the Peuterey Ridge from Mont Blanc, across the top of Grand Pilier d’Angle and down the Eccles Couloir to the Upper Freney Glacier. From there we took to the air on parapentes and flew down to the valley floor in ten minutes, saving us from a dangerous 10 hour descent on foot. A lot of things had to align in the universe for that to work and even as we were about to take off the cumulus cloud was bubbling up and I thought we might end up having to descend on foot.

I had 2 amazing trips to the remote wilderness of Baffin Island, dodging polar bears, battling -30C for weeks on end and skiing around 30 new lines that split the huge big walls there. New Zealand is also close to my heart, the people super friendly and wonderful big mountains. We skied the first descents on the Caroline Face of Mt Cook, Darwin South Face, Elie de Beaumont South Face and a couple of great runs on Cook’s East face.

What are you working on? What are your goals for the future?

Skiing lines that are possible with parapente exits. The wing opens up a lot of lines and also makes it possible to ski lines quickly up high early and very late season, often avoiding the need to stay in a refuge.

This year I flew from Aiguille du Midi to Grands Mulets then skinned up Dome du Gouter before skiing its south face and then flying down the dry Miage Glacier to Courmayeur for a pizza and a beer. Its game changing to do this in 6 hours and save the knees from walking downhill!

Why do you ski? What do you love about skiing?

I think skiing is great for so many reasons. From a young age that simplistic notion of gliding down the sides of mountains was addictive and it never fails to give pure pleasure, from skiing your first green run to making turns off Alpine peaks in deep powder, it all comes back to the same simple concept.

On another note it offers a chance to get out of the valleys on those dark winter days and into energy giving sunshine. Then there is touring, offering the ability to travel through the mountains quickly and cover lots of terrain, or my speciality steep skiing, which uses all the skills from alpine skiing, freeriding, ski touring, and alpinism to enable descents to be made in wild situations.

Which Scarpa shoe is your favourite?

The 4-Quattro XT is a class leading, 4 buckle, hybrid alpine style ski boot with Grip-Walk sole from Scarpa. It offers high downhill ski performance, progressive flex and stiffness and weighs in just above the Maestrale. It’s able to go long distance with a 60 degree range of movement and they are topped with a strong power strap is releasable with one gloved finger for touring mode.

Compared to the Freedom SL, this boot has a narrower heal and I’m able to get a glove like fit and perfect control of skis.

If I want to travel further faster or do something at high altitude then the F1 LT is light, skis well, and is warmer.

Tell us about your best day skiing?

Skiing Couturier Couloir on the Aiguille Verte was a dream that took 20 years to realise. A beautiful steep unbroken ski line from a major alpine summit to the glacier, in my mind one of the best. Its a special moment stepping into skis on the Verte as its 4 faces are all extreme descents.

What do you do away from your sport?

Other sports of course! When I’m not guiding, I have a life long obsession with mountain biking and love doing big missions through the mountains. Joking aside I have a young family and its great spending as much time with them as possible.

Where is your #NoPlacetooFar?

The Antarctic Peninsula by sail boat. Remote, beautiful, wildlife, adventure.

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