It’s Timmy O checking in from the Alps, that’s right, Europe’s biggest mountain range. I am currently in Chamonix – France, an insanely beautiful and precipitous alpine valley, that’s an acrostic fondue of LOL, OMG and WTF. Last week I was in Kandersteg (K.steg), Switzerland attending the ‘Ice Climbing Festival’ as a speaker not a competitor, luckily for me as I would have destroyed my left shoulder, having just had surgery 7-weeks ago.
Early one morning I walked up hill in powder snow, carrying my ‘slim in mind’ designed, yet roomy Talon 22
for about 1.5-hours to a massive frozen lake that sits in a gargantuan alpine cirque at the base of towering limestone walls striped with impossibly long ribbons of jagged glistening ice. Imagine: a handful of Ames Ice Hoses, a few Bridal Veils, a couple of Fangs and another baker’s dozen of middling sweet-ass climbs and you get the potential of K.steg, the ice flows were biblical, in fact, I’m sure I saw Cain there and now that I mention it…he was only carrying one axe.
The Swiss enjoyed my show, finding inspiration and beauty in my ironically recounted story of climbing El Capitan with my brother Sean. The climbing finals were held at 9:30pm following my talk and the competition route was like a construction site debris meets frozen monkey bars, consisting of a series of precarious hanging stumps to a 5-meter vertical wall with plastic holds, and then a splintery bear hug across a 3-meter horizontal telephone pole to a few final sticks with picks across a 6-meter ice wall – it was speed based, no, not like ‘up against the wall with your hands up’ speed, more the “against the clock” kind with the first place in men’s and women’s each taking home 500 Euros and after a few glasses of steamy Gluhwein, one another.
I partied with the Swiss, gyrating under the flood lights in front of the ice climbing wall in 0-degrees F to classic AC/DC – I was then ‘shook all night long’. ACDC, after which I woke up in neighboring town, then took the train back to K.steg in a daze grateful for life, mostly for my lips.
– Timmy wanted to post a link to Paradox… So here it is.