Scottish Ice Trip - Day 1&2 February 26, 2009
February 24th. 3.45am.
A bunch of Petzl team members are gathered at the headquarters to get to Geneva airport. An hour and half later, we meet up with the rest of the crew. Its now Ueli Steck, Martial Dumas, Yann Mimet, Mathieu Maynadier, Anthony Lamiche, Aljaz Anderle as well as Petzl Staff Erwan Le Lann, Loïc Tonnot and Cameraman Guillaume Broust. Bertrand Delapierre, another cameraman came from Chamonix to put his filming skills into what should be another interesting Petzl movie.
Final destination towards Inverness, Scotland. Why some of the best ice climbers in the world are meeting up in the middle of such an amazing winter, after having climbed the hardest and highest mountains worldwide, why are they suddenly heading to Scotland ?
The country of legendary tales, also known for its wet, stormy and unpredictable conditions. The mountains are big hills compared to our alps but everyones agree on one thing. Those "big hills" are like the weather, you never know what to expect.
Its a discovery trip for each one of us, it could be either ice or mixed climbing, as well as mountaineering or even bouldering ! For all those skilled guys gathered in scotland for 2 weeks, one word:
Escape!Escape either from the daily mountain guiding routine as well as pure performance...
After a short flight from Geneva to Inverness in the Scotisch Highlands, we discover a pretty grey scenery, sometimes suddenly cut by sunrays piercing through the moving clouds, revealing the colors of the different lakes, fields and mountains.
From Inverness, we head to Aviemore, about 30km further south where we planned to stay for a couple days. After a few pints of Guiness and a good meal to fill our stomachs, we try to figure out the plans for the next day. Yet, as the weather is unpredictable, the plans are as well.
Good night everyone and see you tomorrow at 7.30.
Eggs, Bacon, pancakes, potao eals, coffee, juice, muffins...
Everyone seems to eat like we are going to struggle up Everest. We meet up with Andy Turner, a local guy. Always good to have a local in such trips. Apparently the conditions are pretty stormy (how bizarre...) up there.
We finally switch our plans for an hour drive to the sea shore for some bouldering !
The sky is clearing up slowly, sun is shining, really shining.
Still a little windy though. Everyone is now on the beach spread out in 2 teams, Erwan, Ueli and Aljaz, the mountain guys are up for some route climbing.
Tony, Mathieu, Martial and Yann are on the other side, into what looks like a cave, with some nice boulder problems. The rock is yellow and sticky...
pretty nice start. After a few hours on the different boulders and small routes along the beach we finally all meet on a main boulder for a last fun session.
Back home for the now traditional Guiness briefing time, followed by a fancy meal. Its now 10.00pm and we expect to go to the Ben Nevis tomorrow... It should be a long busy day.
More news & pictures soon... Stay on.
(Photos by Tony Lamiche - Text by Loic Tonnot)