Archive for Bridal Veil

a journal of the plague year [lost September reviews]

Posted in Books, Kids, Mountains, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2020 by xi'an

Read a (red) book I bought in Chamonix last January (sounds like last century, at the very least!) at the Éditions Guérin bookshop, The Bond, by Simon McCartney, translated in French as The Ghosts from Denali. It starts more or less like a traditional mountain climbing story, with a pair of cocky young climbers attacking a new and difficult route and managing the opening despite severe adverse circumstances, which is what Simon McCartney and Jack Roberts did for the north face of Mount Huntington in Alaska, having run out of food and facing the constant threat of collapsing seracs. It however turns into a inner introspection as McCartney gets stranded on the mythical Eiger Nordwand (just like many before him!) after his large group keeps breaking their Charlet Moser icepicks due to the cold (!) and end up being airlifted. He later manages a Winter climb of the Eiger and reunites with Roberts to attempt the south face of Denali, never climbed before. This is when the book takes off, from the sheer difficulty of the route to the amazing unpreparation of the climbers, to Simon’s cerebral embolism building up and bringing him a hair away from death, to the altruism of several other climbers on the mountain to bring him down from the death zone, especially Bo Kandiko, and to a trauma-induced complete break from climbing when McCartney got out of Anchorage hospital. This is gripping and moving and unbelievable. The book received a Banff Mountain Festival award and no wonder. The story told by McCartney is actually seamlessly completed by diary excerpts by Roberts and Kandiko, where they question their own involvement against the very real danger of dying from staying with McCartney, much more than giving up their own attempt against the deadly mountain. A terrific mountaineering book, truly. As a sad coda, Roberts died ice-climbing Bridal Veil Falls a few days before McCartney’s attempt to reunite with him.

Spent several evenings baking fig jam when returning from the Alps as the fig tree was full! And ended up with a total of 35 jars. Resulting into a full “marmalade closet”, as in the past weeks my mom home-made the same amount of peach jelly and my wife’s mom even more rhubarb marmalade jars. Enough to stand a whole year of lockdown, jam-wise. And ate some of the few but tasty peppers that grew in our garden, for the very first time, despite the welcomed tomato and squash invasion! Also ate a terribly greasy risotto in a supposedly highly noted restaurant…

Started watching Dark on Netflix, a German dark time-travel fiction. But while I enjoyed the complex story, the play of the young actors, and the appeal of watching a show (and a Greek play within the show, with Ariádnê and Thêseús of course!) in German, the endless paradoxes of time-travel and the duration of the series made me stop after a few episodes, the town of Winden keeping most of its mystery for me.

shattered

Posted in Mountains, pictures with tags , , , on June 17, 2012 by xi'an

A very personal video of solo ice-climbing by Steve House on Bridal Veil Falls, Telluride (not Provo!):

Actually, when watching the “behind the scene” movies on Patagonia blog, it appears that Steve House was secured most of the way, which is reassuring about the sanity of the film maker, Tyler Stableford. (This short movie is sponsored by Canon, promoting the new Canon EOS-1D X camera. Just forget about the price.)

Bridal Veil fall, Provo

Posted in Mountains, pictures, Travel with tags , , , on December 10, 2011 by xi'an

On Friday, Shane Reese (who so superbly organised the MCMSki III conference early this year and helped us so much for the Adap’ skiii workshop!) took me ice-climbing on one of the most iconic ice routes near Provo, Bridal Veil Fall. There, we met with a guide, Scott Adamson, who lead-climbed both pitches we experimented and belayed us as well.

This was a superb day of climbing where we did about six pitches each, including an attempt towards mixed climbing which was very interesting in its closer connection with rock climbing. Scott was immensely encouraging and it was only towards the end of the day that he told us about the new route he had opened on Moose’s Tooth, Denali, a story I had read in a climbing magazine at that time… (He was trying another route there last spring as well.)

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