Sunday, 10 February 2008

K2 and Wildspitze conquered on ski

After five days of powder skiing and mountain climbing on ski, I'm back in business. This is how I looked out-of-business:



My son and I did not meet with Ötzi the Iceman, but we got a few blisters, a lot of Alpine sun, plenty of powder skiing and the experience of climbing more than 1000 height metres to K2 (in Tirol, not its namesake in Karakorum). And we conquered Austria's second highest peak, the Wildspitze at 3772 metres above sea level.



The group consisted of our Austrian mountain guide, four ladies and four gentlemen, all of which were German except ourselves. I was happy to note that although I was clearly the least seasoned on ski, my physical shape was above average. When I was at my most tired going downhill, my son claimed I looked like his little sister when she learned to ski at five, "and that's an insult to her, not to you". Ah, there's nothing like the honest encouragement of one's own children. My excuse is that since discovering snowboarding in 2000, this was my first time on skis this century.

In theory, this is what you see on a ski tour:



However, this is how most of the uphill climbing looked like in practice from my standpoint: The rear end of my son's skis.



Climbing with skis on can get messy when you need to make a sharp V-turn uphill. This is my son Alexander just after a Spitzkehre, in this case a successful one.



I'll spare you the picture of the blisters on my legs. Let's just say that will power helps alleviate pain. Instead, I'll conclude with a picture of Alexander and myself on the K2:

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