Leading a team to an 8000m summit demands impeccable organisation, unwavering commitment, and an affinity for the otherworldly landscapes of the loftiest mountains. Jon Gupta shares his guiding experience on the world’s third highest peak.
The Bianco Ridge on Piz Bernina (4.048m) is a dream route for many climbers. Just like the photogenic west-east traverse of Piz Palü (3.905m). Even better would be to link up both ridge routes and combine them into one long tour. In spite of a somewhat unstable weather forecast the young Dutch Expedition Academy team gave it a try. It all turned out a little different than expected, but was an unforgettable day.
My home is Bergen, Norway – otherwise known as the city between the seven mountains. It is here that I grew up with a family who took me to the mountains or the cabin every weekend and every holiday. With that, I was trained from a very early age to take active breaks from a busy everyday life.
I’m not a big fan of waking up early, yet I seem to have chosen a lifestyle and career where my phone alarm has seven different wake-up calls set between midnight and 6am. It’s the hours of darkness that are the worst bit, trudging across glaciers when it’s cold, but still warm enough for you to work up a sweat that mingles with your sun cream.