Rab holiday, I mean photo shoot, in Aosta…

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I was introduced to the Aosta Valley in Italy last year and from my first visit I loved the place.

It offers every combination of everything that anybody could possibly want! (Does it get better than that?)

Action packed skiing holidays in the winter, walking/camping holidays in the summer, serious climbing trips on Europe’s highest peaks, fun filled adventure holidays, food and wine tours staying in exclusive hotels or long weekends in the sun as quick and inexpensive get aways with short airport transfers – Aosta offers the lot!

The Aosta valley also happens to be utterly stunning and we (the team at Rab and myself) thought it would make the perfect backdrop for the latest Rab photo shoot. With the Rab tagline in the back of my mind at the planning meeting, ‘Rab – For the most extreme conditions in the world’, I knew this photo shoot wouldn’t be a walk in the park. How right I was! ……

Ally Swinton joined us on the shoot. He’s a Rab athlete. I loved him from the second I first saw him on this photograph!!

Introducing Ally Swinton!

One (of the many) brilliant things about what I do is that I get to meet and work with people like Ally. When you head off into the mountains your team are everything. It was me and the boys!

Ben Winston – Rab photographer, Marco Tamponi – a strong and skilled guide from Courmayeur, Ally Swinton – Climbing god and Rab athlete… and Me!

The boys!...& me...
Heading into the Valley

In order to shoot and more importantly test the Rab kit we decided to head out from Courmayeur to the Franco Monzino mountain refugee hut in Val Veny. At 2,590m it was high and also a great place to start from at 4am in the morning to climb the Aguille Croux. I’m definitely much more of a mountaineer than a climber and for my first alpine route this was both incredible and very, very intimidating. it’s not often I get scared. I was, at times, terrified!

The route!
The Aguille Croux - straight in at the deep end!
Good job Ben Winston the photographer also happens to be one hell of a climber!
So scared climbing this face! One felt rather exposed...

It was a full week in Aosta and as I type this photos and footage from the shoot are being edited and soon you will be able to see the results of our trip.

The rain did come... right at the end of the shoot - perfect timing!!