It’s a dream for a climber like me! The run-offs offer us four different lines and a particularly unique light. Like an irresistible cake, I enjoy every piece of it. However, those intense moments of pure climbing joy leave me unaware of one little detail: the weather!
It had been heavily raining the whole day, and we deeply appreciated our waterproof clothing in the cold. Though it’s not exactly British tea, we sip hot ginger and cinnamon tea, which certainly warms the body.
Once back in the valley, we discuss the schedule for the next day over a climbers' favourite dish: pasta with tomato sauce and grated cheese. Everyone scrolls through social media on their phone, and I am no exception to this anti-social rule.
I stumble upon an image recently taken showing the inside of an enormous ice cave. There’s no further information given about its position, but given the surroundings I can instantly guess the glacier it must be hidden in.
For the exact position we’ll need to look around a bit.
We leave intentionally early. Which means after the bakeries open, and we fill our backpacks with fresh croissants, pain-au-chocolat, and slices of pizza.
The ascent is steep, and the breath short. Nobody talks. This is time for me to dive into the past. To a place that recalls memories from the very beginning. Back to when I started ice climbing.
With borrowed ice tools from my uncle, and hiking crampons my father lent me, I embarked alone on a journey to climb those frozen ice daggers. Back then I didn’t have the means to buy ice screws. And anyway, I didn’t even have a climbing partner. But I did have an enormous amount of motivation. My next-to zero knowledge of the fragility of ice pushed me to climbs I wouldn’t even touch today.
Luck undoubtedly plays a significant role when it comes to longevity.