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Thursday, July 19, 2012
Updated: August 7, 1:29 PM ET
A look back: Chamonix


Ingrid Backstrom after a storm in Chamonix last January. Launch gallery »

Chamonix, France, is one of those places that I fantasize about all the time. All the big mountains, the history of climbing and skiing crazy lines and the mountain characters who reside there. But in this Chamonix fantasy I'm a super rad skier who has no fear and isn't worried about 60-degree blue ice. Which is the opposite of how I actually ski (lots of powder and nothing too extreme is more my style).

Last winter, we made a last-minute decision to go to Chamonix, and luckily for me you don't have to be a fearless steep skier to enjoy the mountains there. With help from locals Andrea Binning, Stian Hagan and "American" Dave Rosenbarger, I discovered that Chamonix is also powder skier's dream.

Along with Ingrid Backstrom, Giulia Monego and Chris Davenport, we were lucky to get feet upon feet of snow, a few days of sun, and temperatures that stayed cold to the valley bottom.

"Fortunately I was able to be flexible and schedule trips last minute to hit perfect snow," says Chris Davenport. "We nailed a six-foot storm on the first sunny day in a week in Chamonix last January."