Thursday, October 23, 2014

Verkauf Eisgeräte & Eisschrauben plus Freeride / Touring Schiausrüstung

Black Diamond Cobras & Eisschrauben

2 BD “Cobras” mit 2 neue Laser Picks, Plus zusätzliche Teile: 2 neue Laser Picks, 2 Competition Headblocks, 2 Leashes, 1 Schaufelkopf
€425,— inkl. Versand

Sechs 16cm BD “Turbo” (neue Model) Eisschrauben mit BD “Screwup” Schutztasche
€150,— inkl. Versand

Geräte & Schrauben sind in eine Top Zustand.

Freeride Skis & Bindung

Line “Prophet” 115 (2012) 186cm - 153/115/142 mit Marker Duke & G3 Felle
nur im Set, €350,— (plus Versand, Abholung in Stadt Salzburg)

White Dot “Preacher” (2013) 189cm - 155/112/133 mit Dynafit TLT Radical FT, Harscheisen & G3 Felle
im Set, €350,— (plus Versand, Abholung in Stadt Salzburg) / nur Bindung, €200,— inkl. Versand

Dynafit TLT Radical Bindung

Dynafit TLT Radical FT Freeride/Touring Bindung (2013)
€200,— Inkl. Versand

Freeride / Touring Schischuhe

Dynafit “Vulcan” Freeride / Touring Schischuhe (2014)
MP 26.5cm / 297mm, Schuhgroße ca. 42
nur 1/2 Saison im Frühling 2014 verwendet
€425,— Inkl. Versand

Lange RX130 L.V. Freeride Alpin Schischuhe (2012)
MP 26.5cm / 306mm, Schuhgroße ca. 42-42.5
€200,— Inkl. Versand


Mehr Infos und Kontakt verwenden die Formular Rechts

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ice & Ski Equipment For Sale

Black Diamond Cobras & Ice Screws

2 BD “Cobras” with 2 new Laser picks, plus additional parts: 2 new Laser picks, 2 Competition headblocks, 2 leashes, 1 Adze headblock
€425,— incl. shipping

Six, 16cm BD “Turbo” (new model) ice screws with BD “Screwup” protection case
only as a complete set
€150,— incl. shipping

ice tools and screws are in great condition!

Freeride Skis

Line “Prophet” 115 (2012) 186cm - 153/115/142 with Marker Duke & G3 Skins
only in a set, €350,— (plus shipping, pick-up Salzburg city)

White Dot “Preacher” (2013) 189cm - 155/112/133 with Dynafit TLT Radical FT, Ski Crampons & G3 Skins
in set, €350,— (plus shipping, pick-up in Salzburg city) /  Binding alone, €200,— incl. shipping

Freeride / Touring & Freeride / Alpine Ski Boots

Dynafit “Vulcan” Freeride / Touring Ski Boots (2014)
MP 26.5cm / 297mm, Shoe size ca. 42
only used for 1/2 a season, in Spring 2014
€425,— incl. shipping

Lange RX130 L.V. Freeride / Alpine Schischuhe (2012)
MP 26.5cm / 306mm, Shoe size ca. 42-42.5
€200,— incl. shipping


For more information, use the contact form on the right!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Kalymnos Climbing Courses


Kalymnos From the Gym to the Crag - XXL
Learn or refresh your skills to safely climb outdoor sport routes on Kalymnos!


safety, rope technique, climbing technique, lead climbing, improve your level, etc.

COURSE 1: 20. August - 27 August 2014, €500,— per person

COURSE 2: 27. August - 03. September 2014, €500,— per person

Kalymnos Multi-Pitch Sport - XXL
Learn or refresh your skills to safely climb multi-pitch sport routes on Kalymnos!

Safety, rope technique, retreat & basic partner rescue, topi reading, equipment, etc.

There are many sectors with 2-3 pitch routes and multi-pitch routes over two hundred meters long on Kalymnos from 5a/b to 7a+

03. September - 10 September 2014, €500,— per person

Book both Kalymnos From the Gym to the Crag - XXL & Kalymnos Multi-Pitch XXL for €900,—, Save €100,—!

Kalymnos Climbing Instruction & Guiding Rates

€35,— per hour, minimum booking two hours
€100,—half day / 4 hours (each additional participant, €50,—)
€150,— full day / 6+ hours (each additional participant, €50,—)
€500,— per week per person

Multi-Pitch Guiding €250,— (full day)

Kalymnos Program Overview:

Kalymnos Connection - Full-Service Program for Sport Climbers of all Levels
Kalymnos Climb! - Basic Climbing Service for Sport Climbers of all Levels
Kalymnos Beach & Climb - Holiday Program for Teens and Young Adults
Kalymnos From the Gym to the Crag XXL - Sport Climbing Course

Kalymnos Multi-Pitch Sport XXL -Multi-Pitch Sport Climbing Course

Full Information Here

Use the Contact Form on the Right to Learn More!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Awesome April

Looking back from the prospective of mid-May, I am still a bit overwhelmed with how fantastic the month of April was for me. Simply awesome. The two highlights were completing the Chamonix to Zermatt ski traverse and a three-week sport climbing trip to Kalymnos.

I was very fortunate to guide five excellent and top-fit skiers on the "Haute Route" from Chamonix/Argentiere to Zermatt. The group was a private group from the Salzburg Alpenverein.

exiting the coulior at the col du passon
We had relatively good weather. At times it was very windy and cold. On the last day, our stage to reach the Schönbiel hut above Zermatt, the weather turned and the visibility was restricted with strong winds and light snow.. The ski traverse was really exceptional because of the fantastic mountain environment, the time spent together in the huts hanging out with all the participants and the wonderful feeling of jointly succeeding in reaching a shared goal.
skiing down from the col du sovereu to lac des dix

Personally for me what was a great lesson in life was how the trip became a reality based on a simple conversation between myself and two of the participants during a rainy fall day in the climbing gym. Two long-time friends mentioned how many great experiences we shared as a group that was regularly underway over the last seven/eight years as I guided them on many trips in the mountains: Grand Paradiso North Face, Hoch Tirol ski traverse, ice faces in Tirol and Salzburg, Mont Blanc from Italy, etc., etc. I mentioned that I would love to do the Chamonix-Zermatt traverse this season and they said that would be a great excuse to get the group together again.
on top of the pigne d'arola, 3790m
I was determined to see that I saw the tour through to Zermatt from the germination of a seemingly simple comment. I believed in our success as step-by-step small signs would materialise giving me indications that the mountain gods where aligning and giving us the chance to realise a special life-long goal.

I was back in Salzburg for a brief week before flying to Kalymnos. Like the Chamonix-Zermatt traverse, the germination for a sport climbing trip to Kalymnos came from an off-handed remark a client, Martina, made while training in the Anif climbing gym. She was saying that the wet early spring weather was making it impossible to climb outdoors and she would love to go to Kalymnos again over Easter. "I'd go in a minute", I responded, adding that I was serious and lets do it. 
at the schönbiel hut with the matterhorn in the background
A few weeks later, four of us were sitting on the train to Munich on our way to our flight to Kos and ferry transfer to Kalymnos! I had a fun week with Martina and Sophie, then a second week together with Jennifer and the third week I was able to set up the cooperation with a partner organisation on Kalymnos to instruct and guide sport climbing and put up some new routes with my friend Claude.

On Kalymnos, I was able to climb with my friends Nicola, Claude and Yannis as well as meet and climb with a handful of Italians and Greeks that are distend to become friends as we certainly will reunited on Kalymnos in the future.

As I become more and more aware of how life really works, I am just learning how what seems as an insignificant thought can be channeled into actions and behaviours that bring meaningful, true fulfilment in life.

Monday, May 12, 2014


On-site, professional, flexible, customer-oriented service for climbers on the Greek island of Kalymnos and it’s neighbouring island Tolendos

In 2003, Climbing Magazine (USA) labeled Kalymnos as a paradise for sport climbers. Since that time, Kalymnos and Tolendos have developed as one of the top European vacation climbing destinations for sport climbers of all ages, abilities and desires.

As a climbing destination …
More than 2,500 routes!
More than 50 climbing sectors
Short approaches to the climbing sectors
Concentration of climbing sectors that are reached by foot or a very short drive (5-15 minutes)
Stable Weather from April through October
Shaded sectors and crags or unlimited summer climbing

As a holiday destination …
A simple, beautiful, island next to Kos
Wonderful beaches
No mass tourism! An authentic Greek experience
Variety of tavernas & restaurants
Locally run nightlife: clubs, cafes, bars, discos
Perfect balance of active climbing and sea-side relaxation


I am your local, on-site, expert an email, phone call or sms away!

Step 1: Book your flight (suggested arrival on Kos)
Step 2: Inform me of your arrival date and time
Step 3: You will receive a question form from me outlining the services required & accurate transfer information from Kos to Kalymnos

Step 4: I will meet you in the Kalymnos harbour of Pothia for your taxi transfer to your hotel or studio

Step 5: Island overview and orientation within 24 hours after arrival, arrange climbing times, book extra services, coordinate activities, etc.

What’s left is to enjoy your holiday climbing time without stress or worries!


Tourist Related Services
  • Island orientation and overview
  • Pick-up in Kalymnos harbour and transfer to accommodation
  • Assistance / Organisation with hotel, studio or other accommodation booking
  • Assistance / Organisation with scooter or car rental
  • Kalymnos Resque Card - discounts on shops, restaurants, cafes, etc.
  • Organisation of ferry tickets and taxi transfer to Pothia (Kalymnos harbour) for departure
  • Non-Climbing excursions and activities as requested (at additional cost)
    • sunset cruise
    • visits of neighbouring islands
    • beach visits by land or by sea
    • “Top of Tolendos” mountain hike
    • restaurants & tavernas
    • dinner cruise
    • etc., etc.

Climbing Related Services
  • Professional care and safety in all climbing activities
  • Instruction and training
  • Enjoy and improve your climbing in appropriately chosen climbing sectors and routes for your ability
  • Personal training for individuals and small groups
  • Multi-Pitch guiding and instruction
  • Video analysis
  • Consultation regarding training, nutrition, mental aspects, etc.
  • Equipment rental if needed

Cost & Fees:
First Week Charge €800,— per Person (Adult), each additional week €600,—
Family Discount - Children (15 years and younger), €400,— per week

Price Includes:
Pick-up and transfer to and from Kalymnos harbour
Island orientation and overview
Organisation & Booking of Accommodation
Organisation & Booking of rental car or scooter
All climbing activities
Equipment rental if needed
Kalymnos Resque Card

Price Does Not Include:
Transfer to Kos harbour of Mastahari
Ferry transfer to Kalymnos
Accommodation cost
Food & Drink
Car or Scooter rental


Beach & Climbing Holidays for July & August 2014!

First Week Charge €800,— per Person, each additional week €600,—

Price Includes:
Pick-up & transfer to and from Kalymnos harbour
Island orientation and overview
Hotel organisation & booking at Plaza Hotel ( or Continental Hotel ( Kalymnos
Scooter reservation & booking
4 - days of climbing per week
Equipment rental if needed
Kalymnos Resque Card
Beach & Taverna visits
Tolendos excursion

Addional climbing, services, activities available at an extra charge!

Price Does Not Include:
Transfer to Kos harbour of Mastahari
Ferry transfer to Kalymnos
Hotel cost
Food & Drink
Scooter rental

Monday, March 24, 2014

Climbing Courses & Events

Outdoor Climbing Events

APRIL 2014

"How-To" Climber Series: Seminar 1 - Multi-Pitch Rope Technique
Learn or refresh rope skills for basic multi-pitch sport routes
Friday,11. April 2014, 14:00-17:00
Rif Climbing Tower (by bad weather Kletterhalle Salzburg)
€60,-- per person, registration & more information: use contact form on right
Afterwards group climbing and practice

"How-To" Climber Series: Seminar 2 - Retreat & Rescue
Learn or refresh rope skills for rappelling and basic partner assistance
Saturday, 12. April 2014, 10:00-13:00
Gaisberg (by bad weather Kletterhalle Salzburg)
€60,-- per person, registration & more information: use contact form on right
Afterwards group climbing and practice


Kalymnos Spring Training Week
outdoor personal training for individuals and small groups
Sunday, 27. April 2014 - Sunday, 04. May 2014
rates for half-day, full-day & week
single & multi-pitch sport climbing and more!
Registration, Prices & More Information Over Services: use contact form on right

MAY 2014

Outdoor Sport Climbing: From the Gym to the Crag
Learn or refresh your skills to safely climb outdoor sport routes
Saturday, 17. May & Sunday 18. May 2014
10:00 - 15:00 Saturday & 10:00-15:00 Sunday
Outdoor Climbing at Crags in the Salzburg Area: Gaisberg, Plombergstein, Pass Lueg, etc.
€180,-- per person, registration and more information: use contact form on right

Maltatal Climbing Event (Malta Valley, Carinthia Austria)
4 days of single and multi-pitch sport climbing in Carinthia's newly developed granite climbing valley!
Thursday, 29. May - Sunday 01. June 2014
€250,-- per person, children 14 years and younger, €200,--
Overnight possibilities in camp ground, pension or hotel
Registration and more information over services: use contact form on right

JUNE 2014

Outdoor Sport Climbing: From the Gym to the Crag
Learn or refresh your skills to safely climb outdoor sport routes
Friday, 06. & Saturday 07. June 2014
14:00 - 18:00 Friday & 10:00-16:00 Saturday
Friday: Rif Climbing Tower, Saturday: Gaisberg
€180,-- per person, registration and more information: use contact form on right

Outdoor Multi-Pitch Sport Climbing
Learn or refresh your skills to safely climb multi-pitch sport routes
Sunday, 08. & Monday, 09. June 2014
Sunday: Gaisberg, Monday: Mitterfeldalm, Berchtesgaden
€250,-- per person, registration and more information: use contact form on right


Alpine Multi-Pitch Sport Climbing
Practice & expand your skills on multi-pitch sport routes in the mountains!
Thursday, 19. - Sunday, 22. June 2014
Blaueis Hut, Hochkalter Area Berchtesgaden
€250,-- per person, registration and more information: use contact form on right

Kletterkurse & Events

Outdoor-Klettern Events

APRIL 2014 

"How-To" Climber Serie: Seminar 1 - Multi-Pitch Seiltechnik
lernen oder auffrischen Seil Grundkenntnisse für Mehrseillängen Sportrouten
Freitag, 11. April 2014, 14.00 bis 17.00 Uhr, Danach Gruppe Klettern und Praxis
Rif Kletterturm (durch schlechtes Wetter Kletterhalle Salzburg) 
€ 60, - pro Person, Anmeldung und weitere Informationen: Kontakt-Formular rechts 

"How-To"-Climber-Serie : Seminar 2 - Retreat & Rescue
lernen oder auffrischen Seiltechnik zum Abseilen und Partner Hilfe 
Samstag, 12. April 2014, 10.00 bis 13.00 Uhr, Danach Gruppe Klettern und Praxis
Gaisberg (durch schlechtes Wetter Kletterhalle Salzburg) 
€ 60, - pro Person, Anmeldung und weitere Informationen:  Kontakt-Formular rechts


Kalymnos Spring Training Week
Outdoor Personal Training für Einzelpersonen und kleine Gruppen, 
Sonntag, 27. April 2014 - Sonntag, 04. Mai 2014 
Preise für Halbtages-, Ganztages-und Wochen 
Einzel-und Mehrseillängensportklettern und vieles mehr! 
Registrierung, Preise und weitere Informationen über Dienstleistungen: Kontakt-Formular rechts

Mai 2014 

Outdoor Sport Klettern: Von der Kletterhalle in der Klettergarten
Erfahren Sie oder aktualisieren Sie Ihre Fähigkeiten, um sicher zu klettern Outdoor-Sport Routen 
Samstag, 17. Mai und Sonntag 18. Mai 2014 
von 10.00 Uhr bis 15.00 Uhr Samstag & Sonntag 10.00 bis 15.00 Uhr 
Outdoor-Klettern in Klettergebieten in der Region Salzburg: Gaisberg, Plombergstein, Pass Lueg, usw. 
€ 180, - pro Person, Anmeldung und weitere Informationen:  verwenden Kontaktformular auf der rechten Seite

Maltatal Kletter-Event (Maltatal, Kärnten Österreich)
4 Tage Single-und Multi-Pitch-Sportklettern in Kärnten's neu entwickeltet Granitkletter Tal! 
Donnerstag, 29. Mai - Sonntag, 01.. Juni 2014 
€ 250, - pro Person, Kinder bis 14 Jahre, € 200, - 
Übernachtung Möglichkeiten Campingplatz, Pension oder Hotel 
Anmeldung und weitere Informationen über Dienstleistungen: Kontakt-Formular auf der rechten Seite

Juni 2014 

Outdoor Sport Klettern: Von Der Kletterhalle in der Klettergarten
lernen oder auffrischen Ihre Fähigkeiten, um sicher Outdoor-Sport Routen klettern
Freitag, 06. & Samstag, 07.. Juni 2014 
von 14.00 Uhr bis 18.00 Uhr Freitag von 10.00 bis 16.00 Uhr Samstag
Freitag: Rif Kletterturm, Samstag: Gaisberg 
€ 180, - pro Person, Anmeldung und weitere Informationen:  Kontakt-Formula rechts

Outdoor Multi-Pitch Sport Klettern
lernen oder auffrischen Ihre Kenntnisse Mehrseillängen Sportrouten sicher klettern
Sonntag, 08. Juni & Montag, 09. Juni 2014 
Sonntag: Gaisberg, Montag: Mitterfeldalm, Berchtesgaden 
€ 250, - pro Person, Anmeldung und weitere Informationen: Kontakt-Formular auf der rechten Seite

RABATT sowohl für Urlaubs-Wochenendkurse! ANMELDUNG FÜR BEIDE KURSE UND ZAHLEN SIE NUR € 380, -, sparen € 50, -! 

Alpine Multi-Pitch Sportklettern
Praxis & erweitern Ihre Fähigkeiten auf Mehrseillängen Sportrouten in den Bergen! 
Donnerstag, 19. - Sonntag, 22. Juni 2014 
Blaueis Hütte, Hochkalter Berchtesgaden Bereich 
€ 250, - pro Person,  Anmeldung und weitere Informationen: Kontakt-Formular auf der rechten Seite

Thursday, March 20, 2014

New Start

Dear Friends

I have had the good fortune of being able to work with you, helping you learn to climb, further your ability and accompany you on some great climbing adventures.

I have embarked on a new and exciting endeavour. I have now begun to carry out all of my mountain sport activities through my own personal business.

I will be offering many interesting climbing events: courses, personal training, trips, etc.  We are now coming up on the start of the outdoor season and I will be focusing on events that will help you start climbing outdoors, refresh or further your knowledge and abilities with outdoor climbing or to learn or try something new.

Of course, I am also still independently active in the Salzburg Climbing Gym (Salzburg Kletterhalle) and other indoor facilities. I am also working in a cooperative partnership with the Salzburg Alpenverein Alpine Ausbildung Programm (Alpine Training & Education), the Sport Climbing School denkundstein and the Kalymnos Adventure Center.

Here’s what to look forward to:

“How-To” Climber Series: Seminar 1 - Rope Technique for Outdoor Sport & Multi-Pitch Climbs

“How-To” climber series: Seminar 2 - Retreat & Rescue, Rope Technique for Descents and Partner Rescue

“How-To” Climber Series: Seminar 3 - Self-Belayed Climbing, Rope Technique for Training Alone

Kalymnos (Greece) Spring Training Week, 27. April - 04 May, 2014

Outdoor Sport Climbing Courses, May & June (Salzburg, Berchtesgaden, Malta Valley, etc.)

Outdoor Multi-Pitch Climbing Courses, May & June

Multi-Pitch Sport Climbing Tours

Kalymnos (Greece) July, August mid-September: Personal Training for individuals or small groups, Multi-Pitch Course, Kids/Family Week

As you know, I offer a customer-oriented professional service. Through our personal contact, you know I care about you reaching and surpassing your goals with a meaningful climbing experience.

More information, schedule of events, and registration will be found at my website or contact me at

Neuen Pfad

Liebe Freunde,
Ich habe das Glück mit euch arbeiten zu können, helfen beim Klettern lernen, beim Fördern eurer derzeitigen Kenntnisse und auch euch begleiten bei einigen großartigen Kletter Abenteuern.
Ich habe mich auf einen neuen und aufregenden Pfad begeben, indem ich gerade begonnen habe alle meine Berg Und Kletter Sportaktivitäten durch meine eigene selbständige Firma zu organisieren.
Ich werde viele interessante Kletterdisziplinen anbieten: Kurse, Personal Training, Reisen, usw.
Wir kommen jetzt zum Beginn der Outdoor Saison und ich werde besonderes Augenmerk auf jene Kurse legen, die euch helfen werden im Freien zu klettern, eure Kenntnisse und Fähigkeiten aufzufrischen und zu erweitern, eben besonders auf das Klettern im Freien bezogen oder wir werden versuchen etwas Neues zu lernen oder auszuprobieren.
Natürlich bin ich immer noch aktiv in der Salzburg Kletterhalle und in anderen Sporthallen, auch als Freiberufler. Auch bin ich Partner des Salzburger Alpenvereins Alpine Ausbildung Programm, der Sportkletterschule denkundstein und Kalymnos Adventure Center 
Darauf können wir uns freuen:
“How-To” Kletter Serien: Seminar 1 - Seil Technik für Outdoor Sport & Multi-Pitch Klettern
“How-To” Kletter Serien: Seminar 2 - Rückzug & Rettung Seil Technik für Abstiege und Partner Hilfe.
“How-To” Kletter Serien: Seminar 3 - Selbstgesichert Klettern, Seil Technik für Training Allein
Kalymnos (Griechenland) Frühlingstrainingswoche vom 27. April bis 4. Mai 2014.
Outdoor Sport Kletterkurse: Mai und Juni (Salzburg, Maltatal, Berchtesgaden, usw.)
Multi-Pitch Sport Klettertouren
Kalymnos (Griechenland) von Juli, August bis Mitte September: Personal Training für individuelle Personen und kleine Gruppen, Multi-Pitch Kurs, Kinder/Familienwoche

Wie ihr wisst, biete ich ein kundenfreundliches professionelles Service an. Durch unseren persönlichen Kontakt, wisst ihr, dass es mir wichtig ist, dass ihr unsere Ziele mit Hilfe von sinnvoller Klettererfahrung erreicht oder oder sogar noch übertrefft.

Weitere Informationen, Termine, sowie Kontakt und Anmeldungen für die verschiedenen Kurse findet ihr auf meiner Website: oder

Friday, March 7, 2014


When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.  When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I wrote down ‘happy’.  They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.
– John Lennon

Get this: Happiness breeds success > Success comes after you are happy. You do not first become successful and therefore develop happiness.

If you are not happy climbing at the exact moment you are climbing you will not be successful. The feeling of dissatisfaction due to lack of success will eventually eat away at you to the point in which the activity of climbing will become mundane, frustrating and disappointing.

The art is how to create happiness in your climbing over the long term. Do this with me:
  • What 3-5 things are you grateful for in your climbing?
  • What do you want to accomplish in your climbing today? In this session?
  • What kind of climber do you want to be?
  • Write down 3-5 positive, inspiring, empowering affirmations about your climbing
Do this in your climbing/training journal. You do have a journal, don't you? Do this for the next three to four weeks or so of your climbing life. That's just 21 to 31 days. See what happens. Get back to me.

oh, don't forget to put the check in the mail.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


It was snowing when I got to Kandersteg, it was snowing upon departure. In between my two guests and I could do two great ski tours and three days of ice climbing.

The weather pattern for our stay, 26.02.2014 through 03.03.2014, was like clockwork. Snow daily with accumulations from 10-20cm followed by three to four hours of clearing and sun (with accompanying warm temperatures) before the next small weather disturbance would move in. Ice conditions were sub-par, but there was always something to climb.

We only had one semi-clear night in which the ice could build up. Luckily the temperatures would always hover around zero Celsius which somewhat combated the negative effects of the damp air masses that would bring in the snow showers.

I was again housed at the apartments of Adams Alpine Eden ( in the center of the village. It is great to be able to access climbing and skiing right from the accommodations front door. Cooking for ourselves and sharing the four-person space makes a climbing trip to Switzerland relatively affordable.

The highlight of the trip was the great skiing. By far the best powder of the season. The avalanches level was always at "3" so we skied appropriate terrain and were very defensive. There is a lot of snow! and due to the frequent föhn winds up high, many slopes were fully loaded with wind-blown snow.

It is just so nice to get out of the northeast Alps around Salzburg and get to a location that has snow, ice and real winter-like conditions.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


from the last belay on "stella"
The large jet-black raven sat on the thin post just being. The tiny finch fluttered in the dwarf pine with its needles glistening with snow melt in the warm winter sun. "Look at my little friend!", my relaxed and happy wife said. She had found the perfect spot in the sun for a break to rest, read and have a snack while I did another lap on the Untersberg.

Skiing powder through the trees must approximate what a bird feels as they swoop and cut through the air picking their line between the tall evergreens.  What about the startling, "Swoosh" as a bird zooms by your hanging belay in a mist enshrouded rock wall?

Of course birds, and particularly ravens, can be quite mischievous. Like any lively character, they can be rascals but they never mean any harm.  But they know what's inside that Powerbar wrapper.

The French say that the black birds circling the peaks represent the souls of all the mountaineers, skiers, climbers, etc., that have not returned. This could be. I like to think of the birds differently.

"Hey, Dad! What do you want for your birthday?" us kids would ask. "I want a bird I can walk on a leash", he'd always reply. His joke meant that he was telling us he didn't really need or want anything. He had his wife and his healthy kids. What more do you really need anyway?

My Dad has now moved on and is not with us. It's been a few years now.  When I am in the mountains and see a bird, I seem to always think of him.

The one female starling I watched feeding her young from the last belay of "Stella Artice" in Cogne. A perfect climb, in perfect weather, in the perfect location. The bird that flew overhead as I made the approach to solo something on Mont Blanc du Tacul. A good omen. The little bird that is entertaining the love of my life as she sits contently in the sun. The bird dancing on the thermals, darting in and out of the swirling mist as my partner and I hope the weather holds for the next three pitches above. It will.

I think of birds as embodying the spirit of my father, He is smiling down, watching out for me and saying, " I don't need a leash now!".

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cogne Ice Trip, Days 5 & 6

Our fifth day in Cogne was a pre-planned rest day. The weather forecast was for heavy snow and we didn't want to be standing under an ice climb as the build up of new snow would eventually come pouring down as the inevitable avalanche would release.
Snowy main street in Cogne
We slept in on our fifth day, took our time at breakfast and did equipment maintenance. Crampons and tools were brought back to a useable state and optimal performance. I did a extended movement & mobility workout: knees, lower back, hips, and other problem areas needed attention after an extensive amount of skiing in the previous months and the past few days of ice climbing and carrying a heavy pack.
crux pitch of "tutto relativo" WI4/5 (nice free-standing column on the right),180m
On Day six we went into the Lillaz valley looking for a steep line that wasn't threatened by avalanches. I described the conditions in a previous post. Simply, the snow had settled quite quickly and the avalanche danger was surprising low.

After walking around looking for a steep line that was free, we ended up snow hiking for around two hours being frustrated that our first, second and third choices were already full of climbers. The hanging ice on steeper lines was warm and relatively soft - easy to climb but also dangerous to stand/climb under.

We settled on the climb "Tutto Relativo" and climbed the 3-4 pitches without event, just enjoying our last climb for this trip.

We ate our "farewell" dinner at the fantastic French bistro in the center of the village. After dinner we got back to the pension and shared what was left of the whiskey and reminisced about the climbing and our trip to a part of Europe that was actually in Winter conditions with plenty of snow and solid ice conditions.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Cogne Ice Trip, Days 3 & 4

Day 3 in Cogne saw us making the longer approach in the Valnontey to the "Patri" sector ice falls. These climbs are well frequented and deservedly so. The bottom of the climb has a 45 meter bulge at around WI3+ before moving up a long snow coulior with an ice step. This brings you to the upper snow bowl which has two steep ice branches of two pitches each at WI4 and WI4+.
upper part, "patri de gauche" wi4/250m & "patri de droite" wi4+/220m
We had heard that over the previous weekend there were 40(!) climbers in the area. We were there on a Tuesday and there were around 5-6 rope teams. On the left hand side at the start of the main flow, an impressive 30 meter pillar had formed at around WI4+/5.
first pitch of "patri" on the right
After making the 90 minute and 300+ meters of elevation gain in the Valnontey, we waited our turn behind a French couple to start up the main fall. The weather was clear and cold after she following day's storm. The ice was somewhat brittle and crusty. It took a bit of care to insure good placements.
on one of the upper branches of "patri"
There were some bottle-necks and rope-crossing/standing under falling ice from other climbers, etc., that comes when inexperienced people are climbing a mid-grade waterfall. I tried to pick the steepest, most well-shelters line possible and time my climbing not to be under any other climbers and reach the belays when the team above was just ready to set off.

"Stella Artice" WI5 was on the program for day 4. This is the much-loved harder classic route in the Lillaz valley.
first two pitches of "stella article"
It was one of those absolutely perfect days on the ice: blue skies, high-pressure, cold temps. The ice was perfect and there were only 3 climbing teams dispersed throughout the 180 meter climb.
french climber ahead of us seconding the column on the crux pitch
The second pitch is the crux of the climb. A column forms for the first part of the pitch. There is a belay possibility just above the column after the ice eases back to the left on a tree with in-siutu cord and slings. You can also continue to the fixed stance further up, using almost all of a 60-meter rope, to get to the piton and sling belay/rappel on the left in the rock. Regardless, the first 12 meters of the pitch are 90 degrees with little overhanging curtains and steps. Very pumpy and demanding of the skill to read the ice line and use the structure of the ice to your advantage.
wolfgang coming up the first pitch 
There is a snow gully that leads to the last two ice pitches at the top of the climb. We got to enjoy a rarity while ice climbing - climbing in warm sun shine!
beginning of the third ice pitch, moving into the sun!
The rocks to the left and above the ice were glistening with droplets of water. The new snow from yesterday that had clung to the rocks was periodically sliding off. I watched a bird continually go into a crack between rocks feeding its newly born young. Only the second week of February and already winter was transforming into spring. At the final anchor, belaying Wolfgang up, I thought of what a perfect climb it had been and how fortunate I was to have been able to do it.
last rappel, capochinos?
We rappelled off, packed up, and leisurely walked out to the parking lot. It had been Wolfgang's first WI5 route. He had climbed the crux pitch well and led the third ice pitch. Clearly a bit of an ice milestone for him. Another thing to add to the experience of a great climbing day.