Summer in the Alps

By 23 September, 2015 Climbing trips

We headed out towards the rugged mountains of the Alps, their language and culture ready for the couple hours of travel, not yet knowing what experiences lied ahead. Swept away by the spontaneity of the trip, we did not have any plans nor had any logistics prepared for anything specific. After our plane landed, we waited for our friend, Daniel. We drank a welcoming coffee and then headed towards the car. Altogether, we headed for Austria-Vorarlberg. Immediately, we were mesmerized by the landscape, we admired this place, where we would spend our next two weeks, enjoying and improving ourselves with a sense of vigor and conviction.

01_Erik_Ratikon

Climbing in the amazing walls of Ratikon

Daniel was eager to introduce us to of the wonders of the Alpine limestone, the culture, and some part of the Austrian cuisine. “Schnitzel” and “Ratler” were all welcoming when we reached Bürs. We met more friends: Rupert, Elena, Jonas, Annalize, Klaus, with whom we would share some truly enriching moments climbing and celebrating.

Zimba

Elena and Rupi climbing the Zimba

We visited some incredible climbing sites in Vorarlberg, the Galtür bouldering festival, and climbed some impressive multi-pitch routes in Ratikon. One friend told me, “the alpine walls are good for my soul.” This was a phrase I felt I could truly identify with.

Galtur_02

Boulder session in Galtür with Daniel and Annalize

 

Fifteen days flew by. Our next stop was France. We made our way through the Swiss Alps and arrived at “Axe-en-Provence,” where we met Hile and Nina. Our next destination: The French Alps. After driving for a few hours, we arrived in the evening, where more friends, Yeray, Tristan, and Franzi were waiting for us.

The next day, we were completely struck in awe by the beautiful mountains, completed surrounded by rock. Again, we were enchanted by the glaciers, the shapes, the colors, and the dreams of climbing.

Yeray_Ailefroide_04Good food, wine and beer were our only priorities while exploring the walls and the mountains. Ailefroide offered us two great weeks of climbing on so many different types of rock-granite slabs, cracks, conglomerates, and both gray ane orange limestones. Routes of all lengths, high-quality sport climbs, via ferrata.Elena_Ailefroide_01Gradually, we adapted to the different rock and the different style of climbing, learning how to accept our limitations, yet excelling, strengthening our minds and keeping calm.

Paquita_Ailefroide_01

During our trip, we found ourselves meeting more partners and friends with whom we shared good conversations with, playing the djembe, and eating our evening meals with good beer, wine and “Piconbier.”

Besides the several days of climbing and some parties that seemed never-ending, I do not know if it was our motivation or the energy of the place that kept us going.

Tristan_Ailefroide_01

It was drawing near the end of our adventure and we had to leave some great friends as we left for the Briançon train station to head to Montpellier, our final destination.

This city has a lot to offer: diversity with many young folks, hidden years of history and art amongst its buildings, it’s close to the mountains, rivers, and lakes where you can bathe. We had few days here before our goodbye. Tired, but happy with all of our goals achieved during our trip, we woke up to some croissants and coffee in the morning. In the afternoon, we had a barbeque at the lake and at nights, we partied with the friends alround the city.

After a month of venturing through the rugged mountains of the Austrian and French Alps, taking long walks to reach the impressive vertical walls, which drew us with a subtle and indescribable force; climbing in spectacular sport climbing areas; partying and celebrating the successes and struggles we all experienced; we were back again at home, inspired to begin the new season and proud of our experiences that were recorded within ourselves. Our memories embodied in photos do everything possible to express our emotions.

 

*We would like thank Tenerife Outdoor for supporting us, as always, by allowing us to use their equipment on this grand adventure. Without their support, this trip would not have been the same!

 

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