Archiv für den Monat: Februar 2008

Winter times

In summer, you can see amazing limestone formations which are covered by snow in winter. Take a closer look and you can spot ski touring tracks. Don’t take it too easy though – there are huge holes hidden underneath – just like crevasses in glaciers.

Snowy limestone formations

Guess why they build doors that open to the inside.

Snowstep

Hope you don’t mind people walking on your roof. If you do, create some artificial crevasses by leaving a few windows open.

Roofwalk

Hut, cheese, wind and the ice-loo

Back inside the hut, plans were made for the next climbing season. Hang the cloths above the oven and you don’t need any salt for a tasty cheese fondue.

Inside the hut

The ring, Frodo, stop stiring cheese and give me the ring.

Cheese Fondue

Upcoming daddy and the wind of change.

Windproof

Extreme winds challenge our team on the way back to civilisation. Zipflbob Ninjas turned up as well.

Windchill

No moist on the lense – just a little bit windy out there.

Wind

It’s amazing what wind can do. Leave the window open and a stormy night will put up a nice 2cm snow wallpaper. This photo was taking AFTER wiping most of the snow off the wall again. And the lesson for the future – If you don’t want to end up with a frozen toilet, learn to hold your breath, do it outside – in a hole of course – or eat less and always make sure that you shut the bloody window.

Toilet

Clearing up

Conditions got better in the afternoon and the snow storm eventually calmed down. We were already on our way back, carefully avoiding the crevasses and keeping a safe distance from the wall with its huge cornices.

Snow walk

Looking back at the death zone between 7000m and 8000m.
Snowy mountains

And then we saw him. We really did. The Zipflbob God himself.

Zipflbob god

Inspired by our spiritual encounter, we felt ready for another first descent.

First descent

On our way back to basecamp, we gathered for an expedition team photograph. Everyone was still stunned. Zipflbob god was with us all day.

Zipflbob expedition team

We followed our tracks from earlier that day to get back to the hut, already anticipating the fireplace and a warm welcome with fresh sherpa tea from our expedition cook.

Track back

Some didn’t believe that we really knocked off the bastard. They also didn’t believe that we saw Zipflbob god. But we did.

Trust me

Old school skiing

Sick of all the people with the flashest, latest, high-tech skiing gear, jamming all the slopes? If you are, you should seriously consider to turn back to the roots – And I kind a mean it literally.

Old school skiing 2

And you don’t need to have running shoes – some good old mountain boots will do the job just as well. Much more important are your coordination skills anyway. Trust your equipment and most important, trust yourself. Some people reckon, being pissed at least helps the latter one.

Old school skiing 1

Then get ready and go for it. On a side note, jumping is a bit tricky as chances are high you will slip out of the strap.

Old school skiing 3

And if you do fall… Stand up and try again and again and again…

Old school skiing 4

The speed record that day was set by a woman. No fear, no light, no doubts.

Old school skiing 5

Zipflbob freeriding trip

Yeah, there was already a fair bit of snow when we woke up that morning and it looked like there was more to come. We got all our gear together, then found a volunteer to do the hard work and lead the group. When we left the hut, it was snowing pretty hard and we were expecting tough conditions on the upper slopes. We had heard of a Swiss expedition, which had reached the south col earlier this year, but since then, snow storms have battered the mountain and there were no further attempts on this extremely exposed new route.

Group trip

We reached the steep rock face about 2 hours later and Sebastian lead the first pitch. We carefully explored the cracks and structures of the wall as we were confident that it was possible to do a first Zipflbob descend.

North face

We passed overhanding rock faces and started to feel the altitude. The oxygen level at this point dropped down to about 10% of the concentration at sea level. Although it was tough, we did not use any portable oxygen on our climb. Instead, the stronger people in the group used mouth-to-mouth breathing to help out the weak.

Ascent route

Again, we encountered difficult terrain. Lukas had to lead climb a 9c pitch, before we reached the summit plateau.

Climbing

The summit slopes turned out to be even steeper than expected. Step after step, we climbed the 70 degrees slope.

Climbing higher

Just about 50m from the summit, we had to call it a climb. It was just way to dangerous to go any further from here. Avalanches, high winds and freezing temperatures forced us to dig shelter and prepare for our descent. Eddie and Susi decided that it would be best to descent the mountain the most direct route and we were mentally preparing ourselves for the first time ever Zipflbob descent of this mountain.

Break

Guess why it is called Zipflbob („cock bob“)

Zipflbob

Who needs goggles anyway?

Success

… to be continued…