Първият “;кулоар”; and one level higher in my ski career!
Thoughts for new challenge
I am getting scared thinking of the new challenge. Какво ли ме накара да се впусна в това приключение и да кажа “;давай да го направим”;? or, to please my colleague? or, because the last couple of days were the same and some change was needed? or, To expand ideas and skills in skiing? or, just, because they and the conditions are favorable? I still do not know! Or maybe a combination of all.. I just know, that at this point fear grows up in me.
My thoughts seemed to turn into reality and materialize the feeling. The unknown causes your brain to run dozens of scenarios. Can you climb? Will I need a harness and crampons, rope, belaying device? How steep it is? Is there enough snow? Is it wide enough? What if I fell?
somehow, While developed theories of all issues, Most are crowned with failure and collision with incident end. Always, when you are embarking on something new on the edge of your capabilities, something that you have imagined doing, your mind blocks by ignorance and starts to scare you. Sending you thoughts of failure. Though ostensibly to protect you, But in fact, mostly its on your way, setting barrier after a barrier. The difference has always been very thin for me. And still even today I'm not sure, if every time I correctly distinguish when to go and when to stop.
E, we decided with my friend to head to this adventure. The plan seemed to be formed last year, When I look difficult "gully" we began to imagine what it is to be there and successfully descend, leaving beautiful traces on the steep slope.
Всъщност думата “;кулоар”; derives from the French word "couloir", която означава “;преминаване”; или “;коридор”; and can be described as a narrow ravine with steep slope in mountainous terrain.
Да покорим първия си “;колар”; in the Alps was just brave and somewhat distant idea. But this season as if the mountain whispered , that we are ready and it will grant us passage.
Conditions were ideal, and we had already done everything else, which represented interest and does not require special equipment.
The unexpected approach
“;Кулоарът”; located high above the famous ski resort Val Thorens is part of the Roc des Saints Peres. The starting point is about 3360 meters and looks west. After climbing with the chairlifts to 3121 meters we join the limited number of enthusiasts, heading on touring routes around the vast maze in the high Alps. A high line of peaks, highlands, slots and grooves of the ever-streaming waters and blue century old ice fields.
I find a faster way to rush to the site to prepare and get lost in the crowd of ski mountaineers. Alex headed to the side and I lost sight of me. While he was looking for me and probably muttering:
-“;Where did he disappear?
–; Probably he got scared and needs time to assimilate what is happening!
–; Да се подготви психически”;
I however,, seeing where he went, am thinking, 'why does he go there? Пак встрани от всички..”; Perhaps here our perceptions differ. To me I want to be a part of the crowd, to see what others do and how, to judge gear, opportunities and preparation, to see what other are saying and step after step to compare notes. On the other hand, Alex is always away and he himself seeketh to pave the way and to prove, that this is the right time.
While looking for me, I see the habits of local players. I see a guy with a notebook walking around groups, while they prepare cautiously . Walk slowly and writes something in a small notebook. Approaching closer to me and asks two newcomers something in French. Дочувам само “;професионал”; and somehow I strained to hear better and figure out the answer of the colleague. E, I did not understand anything, but it made me do 2-3 steps toward him and inquire about our plan.
I began with enthusiasm:
- "Do you speak English?”
- “;Yes, малко”; –; Shy reply with a French accent.
- “;Мисля да спусна този “;колар”; today!”; –; pointing with a finger, because I do not know the name.
- “;And, you think, that is possible?”; –; hoping people take an interest and my attention as tell about the conditions and the difficulty of the route and the necessary equipment.
I received a dubious:
- "Well, I do not know."
- "It depends on the conditions!”;
And somehow this answer me and made me nervous just to thank him and to make his own way. Whether because of language, whether because of my unprofessional appearance. Here is the moment to mention, all others were well equipped with seats, belts, with ice tube, helmets, ropes, and other climbing gear. The man seemed to ignore my question and thirst for information.
Despite this unsuccessful attempt to understand a little more forthcoming challenge, confidently put skis on his back and paced briskly up the slope, to meet with my companion. He in turn, apparently misunderstood, I'm part of the group, He is looking for me and starts fidgeting. Greets me with:
- "Where have you been?
- Looking it from 10 minutes.
- Нали трябва да се подготвяме и т.н”;.
Certainly I do not like his mood. On the one hand I understand, the other sorry, so ridiculous that we missed, in fact we were no more than 20 meters. No matter what, тръгнахме и въпреки моя небрежен стил и желание да разведря колегата с шеговито подвикване “;Her, Чичак”;, mood was not friendly.
Alex (Chichaka) he needed to calm down a bit and we decided to keep our distance while climbing a glacier. Най-вероятно и той е усещал напрежение от надвисващата сянка на “;кулоара”;, which, no matter how cool, Having this starts, going to caking. I'm sure, that then he gave up, the situation is very ridiculous and actually raised much ado about nothing.
And, advancing boldly in search of the correct approach to the foot of the cirque. With each step jagged peaks rise still further and take more steep and impregnable form. Along the way I start to think, that all these seats and climbing accessories were not pose, a necessity at this location.
Pixel the need to know
After about an hour brisk walking, We are now face to face with osnovata wall and clear, that line to climb there and it's not so terrible, as I imagined. It's like climbing a ladder ledena. Any doubt about the failure evaporates and I am emphatic, that at least will go up and look the beast in the eye.
I begin to move nimbly already vertically. After the first 5-6 moves feel, that cues May it will hinder me and the best is I pickax / ice hand. The slope becomes serious and should go ass maximum. I can think of a replica of Reinhold Messner "if you use your hands, значи маршрутът е от категория за катерене”;. A hands definitely used them. Even at times were key.
The climb was around 40-50 meters, and if you do not have experience with such situations will surely bring you discomfort. We come to the branch just below the highest point and start moving diagonally (traversing) under overhanging rocks. От колега чувам “;Now, where? The road directly through the rocks you pass?”; Fortunately there was a slight approach in snow line and the occasional single rocks off. After another 5-6 vertical meters we find ourselves in advance of the intended saddle. Началото на “;кулоара”;.
The big scrape
The conditions totally changed. Until now, it was sunny, calm and quiet. Suddenly zasvistyava strong wind. The temperature drops, and seemed on the border of two seasons, two realities. We have no more than 2 square to prepare for the deployment of our lives. This is definitely the most daring line for both of us.
When I first saw slope, somehow you feel better. I imagined much steeper, tight and dangerous terrain with obstacles. Further motivate when found, that is not really a place of hell.
On the other hand, Alex expected softer and relatively deep snow and when faced with icy reality a little embarrassed. really, a fall at the top would become rolling down the firnovanata surface for over 600 meters displacement, which very well could be even fatal, given the rocks at both ends and bottlenecks in places. Here is the time to add, that attitude in these moments is very important. Even more important than skills. because, if you are confident, will surpass their abilities and keep cool. Всяка капка съмнение трябва да бъде подсушена и мислите за провал –; grubbed up hole. Otherwise, panic can prevail and lead to unintended consequences.
No few minutes and we're ready to let go of this ice rink. The first meters are always the most difficult. While the place feel. Be adjusted. To relax and to blend with surroundings.
Begins a rasp.. It turns out, the place is pretty uninviting. Заради изложението –; eternal shadow and constant wind made the snow very hard, each bend is difficult. Unpleasant surprise, as we expected this inaccessible place to welcome us with preserved soft snow, which make great turns. alas, There was no sign of soft snow and preserved. Just endless neve (compacted snow with grainy construction, of which are formed glaciers) and more than 40 degrees slope! However uninviting description, kuloaraat provide us with an unforgettable emotion.
It feels strange - on the one hand and the narrow high walls they suffocate, on the other they make you feel alive. Your mind is fully operational. Your eyes are fully focused and assess each snowflake, every angle and movement. majestic beauty. Available only for those who dared to fight fears. Come to think, I wish I had more poostanal there and somehow poopoznaya place and character. And despite, there was no great skiing in soft snow, These were some of the most memorable moments of skiing. Mountain once again allowed us and give us a chance to touch her boundless beauties.
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