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In Balance

In Balance

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Jöttnar
October 2019 | Read
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This time last Autumn, Jöttnar’s Tim Howell and Willis Morris climbed Mont Blanc du Tacul's Arête du Diable, accompanied by photographer Hamish Frost and videographer Jake Holland. 


They then threw themselves off the top.

Tim went via BASE jump, launching from an exit point likely never to have been jumped before. Willis went by speedwing, all the way back down to the Chamonix valley, and Hamish and Jake by tandem paraglider. 


Watch the video and then check out some of the behind-the-scenes stories below.

The afternoon before the morning after.

Willis in the gondola, heading up to the Torino Hut.

What "no pic-nic" rule?

Tim gets dinner going on the balcony of the Torino Hut.

Willis: "The ice here above the bergschrund at the start of the Arête du Diable was bullet-hard and like concrete. I'm stood here praying the rope goes tight soon so I can get out of this exposed position."

Hamish: "We brought some Scottish conditions to the Arête du Diable! Jake nearing the top of the ridge as the clouds start to roll in. The climb takes you directly over each of the rock towers you can see in the background. As I was reliably told beforehand, hours and hours will pass and you won't actually have moved very far."

Tim opening a new BASE exit off the Pointe Chaubert on the Arête du Diable, with the summits of Mont Blanc and Mont Maudit behind.

Tim's exit point on the Arête du Diable, Pointe Chaubert, marked by the red marker. The summit of Mont Blanc du Tacul is on the left and the Grandes Jorasses are visible in the distance.

"AFTER TIM'S JUMP, NOW AS A THREE, WE CLIMBED THE REST OF THE ROUTE TO THE SUMMIT OF MONT BLANC DU TACUL. I LAUNCHED MY SPEEDWING FROM 4000M, FLYING DOWN THE BOSSONS GLACIER, BUZZING THE SERACS AND CREVASSES BACK TO THE VALLEY."

Tim: "The gearing-up process at the exit point has become a methodical task, where some parts are essential and others almost ritual. The aim is to clear my mind and finalise all of the decision making. I felt sure of this jump, and in the first few seconds of launch I knew that my ability and muscle memory would see me through."


Hamish: "This was my second time shooting Tim jumping. It was only slightly less nerve-wracking than the first, partly from the point of view of making sure I nailed the shot and but mostly around hoping that everything goes fine with the jump. Fortunately the amount of thought and preparation Tim puts in, and the professional attitude with which he approaches his jumps serves to alleviate most of the nerves around the second point!"

Willis: "After Tim's jump, now as a three, we climbed the rest of the route to the summit of Mont Blanc du Tacul. Due to wind direction we bailed from a summit launch and continued further down the hill to find a suitable one. We did and I launched my speedwing from 4000m, flying down the Bossons glacier, buzzing the seracs and crevasses back to the valley. It was epic."

GEAR up like Willis and Tim

Tim and Willis are both members of the Jöttnar Pro Team. Find out more here.


Photographer: Hamish Frost   |   Videographer: Jake Holland

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Jöttnar

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