March 14, 2017

Climbing a frozen waterfall in Switzerland....



... with no experience but a trusty guide.

14 comments:

madAsHell said...

I'm 60, and last month I finally laced up the cramp-ons, and walked out onto a glacier. I don't expect to do that again. There is just so much that can go wrong out on the glacier.

Rob said...

Not enough cuckoo clocks in Switzerland to get me out on that ice.

Achilles said...

What could possibly go wrong...

traditionalguy said...

Slippery Characters. But they need something new for the stale old Winter Olympics. The Russians are our friends now, so no more USSR to Miraculously defeat.

I always liked Curling with the broom persons furiously sweeping the ice. But thanks to Global Warming all we get to see is shuffle board played by men in shorts.

tcrosse said...

Look out for Moriarty.

D said...

Dont go chasing waterfalls.

The Drill SGT said...

He'd be better off if the rope was above him rather than below :)

Tari said...

Not for all the money in all the Swiss banks. I am much to chicken for ice climbing, and my blood is much too thin.

And even with a guide, things can go wrong - and then, perhaps, others have to risk their lives to rescue you. That's one of the things that has always bothered me about more "extreme" outdoor activities, especially when undertaken by neophytes. I grew up in the mountains and knew too many of the people who (gladly) headed out to save the idiots to ever want to actually be one of the idiots, thankyouverymuch.

MadisonMan said...

Didn't sit through the ad.

Not much of a view while you're climbing.

Chris Rohlfs said...

Ann, next time you drive through Colorado during the winter I'll take you ice climbing

Ann Althouse said...

@chris

Thanks.... for the offer and the laugh.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I think it reasonable to assume that if I ever had business atop a Swiss glacier, I could afford the helicopter ride.

Larry Day said...

Understandably, the climbing featured in this piece is pretty tame stuff. When I was active on the Colorado ice climbing scene back in the mid to late '80s we were already climbing big free-hanging ice sickles, and verglas covered alpine walls on which the ice was so thin that ice screws were often worthless. Guiding full time allowed me and my friends the scheduling freedom to pursue our own climbing interests. Something that a "regular job" never would have. Those were great days, I never had a client suffer anything more than the most minor injury, and for a very long time no one that I knew got killed. Toward the end I started thinking more about the issue of "informed consent" and decided that my clients didn't really have it. Sure they all signed the release but they just "knew" that ol' Lar would keep them safe. I don't think they understood that I was going to do everything I could to keep them safe, but that death by stonefall, ice fall, avalanche, crevasse, lightning, exposure, drowning, medical issues and, yes, even falling could happen. For real. Eventually I left for a job elsewhere in the outdoor industry. I quit counting when the death toll among former friends and acquaintances reached 20. I simply didn't have the stomach to keep track anymore.

Larry Day said...

Correction: I wasn't sure my clients were truly giving their "informed consent". They only way the could be truly informed was to spend years climbing. Then they'd really know what the hazards were.