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~ Friday 10th January 2014

Mountain guides all over the Alps will no doubt be pleased to hear Peter Hardy has decided not to ski off piste this winter. Hopefully he will now take up brass rubbing or some other "safe" pastime instead. In good journalistic tradition I can't reveal sources, but I have first-hand accounts of how Peter Hardly has used his career to scrounge free holidays in return for a few paragraphs of clichéd rubbish. Skiing for him is more Free-lunch than  Free-Ride...

- To claim guides are playing Russian Roulette is ridiculous. Guides' training, experience and work is all about making good decisions based on fact and sound judgement, not guesswork. 

- Backing up poor arguments with  false claims about victims of recent accidents is unforgivable - the young Swiss guide killed this week would never have described himself as "one of Switzerland's top guides" - he was just a highly trained professional, passionate about the mountains and sorely missed by his family, friends and colleagues. The fact that the accident happened during an avalanche safety course is no more than a cruel irony. 

- The avalanche category was 3 - not "3 or 4"

- Is he trying to imply Xavier de la Rue is losing his nerve? Is he trying to compare himself to Dominic Perret? 

- There's been a large thaw at high altitudes all week, rain, and a freeze is forecast next week...