I’m traveling out to the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow today (looking forward to the Maybell shortcut), over the next few days I’ll give you the unique WildSnow.com take on the latest and sometimes greatest gear. For today’s blog I continue retrospective trip reports from my European travels a few weeks ago. The story so far: we’re staying up at a mountain lodge/hut near Sulden, Italy hosted by Dynafit. We’ve been trying to get up over a lower peak called Suldenspitze and continue to a higher mountain called Cevedale. The terrain is moderate but involves quite a bit of glacier travel so we’re using a rope just in case. Weather has shut us down the last two times we tried, third time’s the charm.
|Nothing like a long tour in the Alps to work up a good appetite. Luckily the food is good almost anywhere you go. That’s myself (on the right) and Beni BÃ¶hm of Dynafit (who skied Gasherbraum II last year). Today a bunch of us from the Dynafit event had done a moderately long tour over to Cevedale, made the summit, and finally got a chance for chow on the picnic tables outside the hut. The day was still cold and a bit windy, but bluebird sky made for a beautiful tour.|
|View of Cevedale from Suldenspitze.|
|We’re supposed to be testing gear so Fritz and I grab Dynafit skis from the selection. The ski room is a madhouse as the event converted last night from a sales meeting to a press event. A bunch of European ski journalists showed up and needed skis, so they’re all trying to get their bindings adjusted and get out the door. As a nod to Dynafit’s gracious hosting of the event, quite a few of us are wearing the brown Dynafit T-shirts given out as swag. Better swag was the ultra-light carbon fiber ski poles they handed out — those things are impressive.|
|On the way to the Suldenspitze, Konigspitze holds the moon.|
|Heading up the glacier to Cevedale, now we’re in the Alps I was expecting. Fritz and I are traveling efficiently as a roped pair. Not as ideal as three for safety, but the possibility of a crevasse fall is fairly remote.|
|Finally, the summit of a real alp! View is westerly, lots more peaks to climb and ski, wish I had a few more weeks — or years.|
|Your intrepid traveler on the way down. Jet lag is gone, the cold I was fighting is over, I’m feeling strong and happy. Tomorrow we’ll do some cultural traveling, then I’ll spend a layover rest day in Austria, then back to the states. Nearly every minute of today I was filled with this feeling of being surrounded by mountaineering heritage. After a lifetime of alpinism, getting back to such roots is a powerful experience that’s changed my view of our sport. If I ever had a smidge of doubt about how wonderful and exciting ski mountaineering is and how much value it brings to people’s lives, that doubt has been 100% erased by seeing a small part of the European alpine culture. Thanks goes to Dynafit and the Barthel family for making that happen! I’ll blog another report or two about the drive back to Austria, but that’s it for skiing in Europe (at least for now.)|
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.