Looking Back and Ahead
“The winter is over – definitely. Outside, its raining hard and the big meltdown had begun. Time to have a look back on our ice climbing season, which was long and intense. Already in November, we found great lines in Canada like ‘Virtual Reality’ and ‘Whiteman Falls’.
Difficult to say afterwards what was our best climb in the Rockies during the last season – maybe it was ‘Rainbow Serpent’ in Ghost Valley. We love the Ghost for its rough and true nature. Days there are never lost and the ‘Recital Hall’ (home to ‘Rainbow Serpent’) is a magical place with an overwhelming ambiance.
Coming back mid-December to Europe, we found the finest conditions at home in Cogne. But then the big heat over Christmas came and changed everything – black, wet rock in Kandertsteg, Freissinieres, and Sixt. Nevertheless, on some high and very remote places, we found wonderful lines, like ‘Azimut Brutal’ in the Oisans near Briancon (that was a five hour approach).
Finally, mid-January temperatures settled and it became colder. In Austria, we were lucky and could climb the freshly formed ‘Seebenseefall’ on an extremely cold day with -20 degree Celsius temperatures. Then we drove up to Norway, and right away, not two hours from the landing of our ferry in the Gudvangen Valley, we came upon one of our best lines – the endless ‘Kjerrskredkvelven’ (nearly 1,000 meters high). We climbed a whole day and finished the descent at night. It was a day when we had to overcome ourselves many times and those are the best.
So, looking back, it has been continually up and down, with remarkable highs, but also some deep valleys. We have an extremely motivating outlook on next season for Norway, where we discovered incredible lines, and possibilities for many, many years to come. And also in the Rockies, a new and fresh winter will rise with many dreams not yet realized, and others still to be discovered.”