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KolmapΓ€ev, 20. veebruar 2019

Gas gas gas.... tranquilla

Another week survived. An intense, variegated but anyway rather pleasant and fun week.

Keep going basically the same way as some previous weeks with some additional activities. Longer I stay, more life I see around - it will be caused by first signs of coming spring or more probably by the fact that with every day I know more people and thanks to them I find more to do. Lately I havent felt boredom in evenings, time is passing fast and I feel that I would need an additional hour every day (so I have returned to normal life rhythm).

I have promised to try every week something for first time in my life, so last week it was my first time to be dog-sitter... or dog-walker? We were practising both activities.

walking with polar wolf... yeah, there is a bike road

Just touching the rock to not forget, some travers... no rope this time, no verticality
...and another nice thing- combination of skiing on the piste, off the piste and rock climbing. Big thanks to Renzo who introduced me this nice rock-spot... We´ll be back! 

My off the piste skiing skills are near zero, so... Renzo says "lets go from here, there shouldnt be risk of avalanche here", passed two seconds and while trying to do inversion i got stuck in the snow with one ski (ski remained in direction down the slope πŸ˜‚) and off we go.... "Eeeeh....I think I will cause an avalanche now" I was screaming. Sliding down on my back and bottom are my streghts in skiing. Some 50 meters i wasnt able to arrest myself πŸ˜–πŸ˜°πŸ™ŠπŸ™ˆ. Sorry, I wasnt able to make video of this fun.
cold desert ahead... just need to cross it to get to the rock

And of course i couldnt have finished the week without ice. This time we were iceing in Val di Brenta near Madonna di Campiglio with Giulio, Isabella, Elisa and Massimo (no, not my bike, another Massimo). Ayee, there was also a nice piece of verticality to get arms more tired. On the pic you will also see a nice fragile ice curtain which I prefered to avoid. Still top-roping... but looking forward to an occasion to try opening some route. I am experienced now - tried ice climbing already 5 times πŸ˜‚πŸ˜ˆ. LOL, even 50 times I wouldnt consider as experienced.
Hold on and go up (actually it was not too hard... you know, if you are used to keep yourself up, holding some not existing corners of rock then holding ice axes is not too tiring... but holding is not enough if you want to get up, obviously

... I still reached to top without major problems

Turning back to parking. Giulio with unbalanced backpack. What is he carrying in the bag... i have never understood... nobody has

I am really not sure whats the name of this beautiful peak... I dont trust what my friends say. Sometimes they are not serious.

Got back home from waterfalls I read a message from another couchsurfer living nearby - there was a concert happening in Dimaro. Miracle!! United for Dimaro (there was a landslide and some flooding caused by heavy rains in the end of october... damages were notable and now there was a concert to support community...). Unfortunately there was not enough public so im not that dure if the money from ticket sale covered organizational expenses. Live music has been really missing from life for some time. Now i got recharged.
Nextdoor blues. They made me dance on my chair
Sunday was a normal skiing and bouldering day. Yes, I think I almost have some weekly routine.... fridays and sundays I finish skiing a bit earlier and go to the small friends´ handmade boulder corner to get my arms destroyed. Big thanks, Tiz!

The week I ended with gas gas gas by Goran Bregovic πŸ™‰πŸ˜‚

PΓΌhapΓ€ev, 10. veebruar 2019

First ski alpinism (read: ski excursionism) in my young life ;D

Finally I got some shoots of Ice climbing. Thanks to papparazzo Luglio. Saturdays fun in Bletterbach

New week.... woke up at 5.30 with my dear couchsurfers, had caffe and went back to sleep to get up again at 7. Strong breakfast with Davide and allez! To the pistes! Unfortunately Pejo 3000 was still closed because of too much snow and the danger of avalanches. Poor Davide! No fun for him 😈
Sun was shining and it seems that it attracted quite some people. I was sunbathing with t-shirt

Would like to go up....
Tuesday, 5-th of february. Late afternoon ice climbing. Late because at first Luglio was breaking my neurons and when he stopped and we still decided to go I still needed to hitchhike to his place (its not the easiest destination... a bit illogic way). While hitching I made friendship with a donkey (in my opinion they are super sympathetic)
4-feet donkey. I didnt take a photo of 2-feet one.

...and then I needed to survive a car ride with a 2-feet donkey (an older middle age guy from Albania who believed that we shoud go to eat pizza some evening... because he is divorced and needs some copmanion sometimes :D. We didnt arrive to consensus, but fortunately we got to Dermulo and I left the car). Actually I shouldnt complain... he picked me up and transported towards destination.
I am sorry but again I didnt take any photos of ice climbing because I dont have space for phone in my pockets when i am wearing harness. It was short climbing because we were really late. 3 climbs and back we go... in the darkness with head light

Wednesday. Ayee, long and quite intense day. Started with missing my skibus. It happens often because of a bit weird organizing... my destination Peio is not important enough to guarantee connections between different bus lines. Effort is put on Madonna di Campiglio and Marilleva-Folgarida as they are a bit more chic and touristic resorts.... there are more moving wallets hanging around. But I dont care, i arrive faster by hitching. Nice weather, hard skiing till afternoon

View from Pejo 3000 (yeah, 3000 m high). Finally I tried the highest piste of Pejo... It made me sweat (the weather was warm and some parts of the piste were steep enough for a beginner like me)

...and then, ayeeee, maestro Renzo proposed to do a short bite of easy ski mountaineering. First time to try this sport and ski skins to not move backwards. You see, I keep trying something new every week πŸ‘☝. Yaah, ski mountaineering is for people who love to make some effort... and who prefer to see some nature instead of cablecar. Its not that easy to keep balance in somebody elses traces... wrong steps sometimes made me sink into the snow... and i bended my ski poles (not mine actually πŸ˜†) quite a lot.
mountain house on our way

Forest and snowy peaks... almost looks like winter

And here we go, Renzo much faster than me πŸ‘Ί. That was one of the easiest sections of the way up. Almost flat and so wide path
...the day ends always with fire
I won again. Managed to make fire in the stove (I have became much faster in that)
Thursday: Trying to ski with "real skis"... hmm I dont know whats wrong wit my rental skis πŸ˜πŸ˜‚πŸ˜” but Renzo borrowed me a pair of real skis... much longer than my 150cm yellow things. Anyway first day with those "real skis" was a bit wobbly (they were like wild horses), but next day was already much better.... need some time to tame those skis.
Sitting on a rock, resting feet before sliding down on "real skis" 
On friday evening I had again the joy of hitchhiking to Val di Non because there were some Icey waterfalls near Bolzano in program for saturday. Aargh, this bloody darkness on the road near Male. I still made it to Cles and Luglio picked me up from there.... so we were ready for early morning ride to Bletterbach.
Some of us walking towards ice walls

an example of climbable ice and group of mountain rescue guys having some training

Bletterbach, a Canyon-like place with many waterfalls

basic position
Changing hand to move left

Concentrating. "More anger and hate, please!"

Luglio and Flavia at work

"Luglio, make angry face, because anyway I cant convince you to pretend to have fun!", "Buona sofferenza!"

Our group + Andrea and Flavia

After-party. Sun started to escape, we did the same.
Sunday... today. Low energy, I am an hunger with feet. Morning skiing, afternoon bouldering in Tizianos hand-made gym. Fingertips are not used to this stuff anymore but I fought until the end of arm muscle power.... anyway I think I need a big fatty pizza.

Personal best in couchsurfing

Monday, tuesday, saturday and sunday....
Life is not only skiing, ice axing and biking 😬. There are also some other daily activities like fighting with stove (its not always easy to start the fire). In the end i have always won but sometimes it has taken many rounds (fortunately never ended with knock out. I wouldnt be happy without stove either).
Relaxing after victory over the stove. The temperature will get almost livable in my room in 2 hours.
Ofcourse its also important to take care of wood to burn

...and as we got a lot of snow last friday (1st of february) there was another activity for sport loving people - cleaning paths from snow, just to get back home or out of the house. First time i saw/heard/felt some excitement in Dimaro. Buses blocked the main road to Madonna di Campiglio (another ski resort which felt too snob for me) and there was traffic jam for many many hours. Skibuses were late about 2 hours etc.... of course i was hitchhiking to start skiing before all children groups arrive...

But... more snow means some off the piste skiing and possibilities for skialpinism (even though i am a bit too beginner to do or even talk about real stuff). Anyway I really enjoyed skiing in this super snowy day - few people, fresh snow and interesting/new conditions to get used to. Its not fun if everything is optimal/perfect. The most fun I have when I can learn something, push myself, make some effort... sweat and maybe cry for some moments... and laugh about it.
Mountain skiing technique on fresh snow differs quite a lot from usual technique on the piste. Speed is lower, feet closer to each other, to change direction you need to work more (even jump) to not get stuck in snow) and while turning skiis dont need to be that much on edges because snow is making counter force anyway. Big thanks to Renzo Turri, a maestro di sci, who has given and hopefully keeps giving good tips to learn adequate technique. πŸ˜πŸ˜‚ Citing my friend Luglio: "Sopravvivere non significa sapere sciare" (surviving on the piste doesnt mean knowing how to ski).
Near rifugio "Scoiattolo" (squirrel)

You cant say that Sun is missing. It was super day for skiing. Because of heavy snow previous day it was few people, lot of fresh snow and lot of energy

"You are all disgusting" written grammatically wrong. Should be schifo... or maybe with scifo they want to say sci di fondo (crosscountry skiing) πŸ˜‚.... so it will be "you all do crosscountry skiing". Yes of course we do.

Life is arriving to Val di Sole... its february, days are getting longer, the ski season is on its peak - I got my first couch request during my time in Trentino. It was 4 travellers from Russia. They were traveling by car, photographing Dolomites and found themself from couch emergency. Ofcourse it was one of the busiest days... I was skiing all day, then had a dinner in a house of two local couchsurfers and I also hosted my dear cave mate Davide who came from Brescia to ski a bit. Whaaat, how can I put 5 people and myself in my room???
Basically thats my office... and if i put two mattresses on the floor it becomes a 7 stars hotel room (actually now I have a table-like thing for my laptop insted of chair.
Where there is a will, there is a way. 2 mattresses for 4 person, a couch in the kitchen for 5-th and my bed for me. Like sardines. Those guys were super awesome. Real travelling spirits, easy to get along and improvise with.

EsmaspΓ€ev, 28. jaanuar 2019

Downhilling will start

21. january
Hitched to Peio Fonti to check out the skiing place and look for part time job...
afternoon in Peio Fonti, the end of ski route. Base camp. Start of cable car
Drivers told me that there will be nothing for evenings because of lacking night life but who knows, I still decided to try. In Cogolo I just entered to bar of an hotel to get some warmth and a cup of caffe macchiato. I looked the map and it seemed to be quite (ice)climbable zone so I asked the barman (who was also the owner of the hotel) if he knows some waterfalls nearby for ice climbing. Resulted that he knew - he was also practising this kind of weird stuff. OK, he marked some waterfalls on the map... then I got to the topic of job seeking and voila! he told that he was just looking for somebody foor room service/ cleaning.... What a luck, I thought. So we changed contacts etc, but there was a little but - they already had a good candidate but they didnt believe she would take the job.... but she did... so just 4 hours after finding job I already lost it πŸ‘€πŸ‘‚πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜‚πŸ˜“πŸ˜žπŸ˜’.
Anyway I went up to Peio Fonti just to feel the atmosphere of the skiing centre...

...I liked it. Not too many people, also served by skibuses for free, the real mountain environment and sympathetic people (compared to Nonesi - people from Val di Non; and Solandri - people from Val di Sole in general). Decision made, I would do my skiing studies there. Also prices of seasonal skipass were more convenient (390 euros) compared to Madonna di Campiglio (695 euros) and Marilleva-Folgarida (575 euros). Another interesting thing here is that there are no discounts for students (even though iam not a student anymore i would at least pretend to be one!? but there is no point to even pretend here). Now the last question was where to buy/rent cheap but valid equipment. Googleing, etc for second hand stuff. I found some ski boots for 30-40 euros, some skis for 40-50 euros etc... but its hard to contact italians by e-mail :D... OK, wait.

22. january
Wanted to go to Tuenno to get my bike and cycle up to Dimaro, but I found another activity - arrange wood, making nice towers of wood (well, we need wood for heating and it was for free, so why not). But I was still missing training. This problem got fixed at late evening by nice night run along the river or actually torrent Noce... 40 minutes of leg killing.

23. january
Finally I went down to get my dear bike Massimo, put some air in back tube and try out icey bike road which follows the Sun Valley almost in full lenght. But before that a good friend of mine took me to a small ski fix/rental place where I got a super offer for whole season - all needed stuff (skis,helmet, boots, glasses, poles) for 80 euros, till the middle of april. Deal!!
In october/november there were some heavy rains and storms in Italy and damages in Dimaro but also in other places were quite big. Actually the bike route is closed in many places because alluviations left too much mud behind. The bridge on the pic was also not realy happy - 1/4 of it has escaped. There and in some places I needed to go around, good for me that torrents are frozen right now (in warm Italy :D)

Actually I was a bit bored of tranquillity of Val di Sole for that moment. At evening I escaped to visit Luglio... anyway there was ice climbing in our program for next day (even though I wouldnt recommend to practise this sport while having bronchitis, but some people dont listen... and also I cant hold myself back). Hitchhiking from Dimaro to Dermulo was easy, but bloody hell, how to get to Fondo in darkness. There is quite narrow, dark and a bit curvy road. Ffancul!! I still managed.... risking a bit.

24. January
2nd Ice climb in my life (yeah, im still counting as its new experience for me, dont worry, I will get tired of counting after 6 or 7 πŸ˜‚). The place was same as first time. Near fondo, near rock climbing crag "Marino Stenico".  I almost remembered the basic technique, but fortunately there was a bit more ice than previously, so we got to try a bit harder "routes", a bit more verticality than first time. Yaah, now i even got my arms a bit tired in addition to legs that are not used to trust the front points of crampons. I´m sorry for lack of pictures but I was having fun so I forgot to take pics.... and after it was cold enough to not spend time without gloves. πŸ’©πŸ˜ˆ
I think I should buy crampons and ice axes.... i like this stupid sport. Looking forward to more verticality. Maybe in Val di Rabbi next week (oh, this week I mean)
Hitching back was nice. I met Paolo, a guy from Peio (my skiing place), a super welcoming guy who seems to know everybody in his valley. He gave me some contacts of local alpine guides and masters of ski. So maybe I dont need to die of lack of climbing training? 

25. january
Ayeeee, first day of mountain skiing! When was the last time you did something for the first time in your life? I think I am not hopeless case. Thanks to crosscountry skiing and some slacklining experience I have some balance at least. Ofcourse I´m probably using some mistaken technique while turning and zig-zaging but i can get down, having fun.... and sometimes I lose control over my speed, start chickening and put down my bottom.... for safety reasons :D 
Doss dei Cembri

rifugio.... place for sunbathing, eating, drinking etc

So I spent almost 2 hours on the blue route "Scoiattolo" to gain some self-confidence and feeling. Of course i´m not able to keep things easy, so I wanted to try some harder stuff. Some red routes as "Doss dei Cembri" and "Tarlenta. First try on "Doss dei Cembri" was almost successful.... second and third try already without falling (but my technique is s**t). On Tarlenta I lost control at least 4 times πŸ˜”. Actually its super that Doss dei Cembri and Tarlenta are attached so I can just go downhill 5 horizontal km and 1 vertical km without any obstacles (if we dont count my bottom and hands which were touching the ground more than wanted). Challenge for next day.
Boots are killing my right foot because of a bone which is a bit out reaching... weird ankle. Welcome to my life dear blister!
BTW, if you happen to go skiing in Pejo visit also Bar Sandwich - welcoming staff and as clients both locals and visitors. Nice pre and after skiing place.

26. January
Working in the morning. Yep, the hotel where i found and lost job called me for change of saturday. Better one day than nothing! Chop-chop-chop, move your ass if you want to go skiing!! Hehe, strasimpatici :D. Making up beds, washing windows, taking away dust, vacuuming etc. We were 4 + boss, everybody had own logic and everybody tried to teach.... muhahaa what a chaos. I hope I learned something πŸ˜†πŸ˜‚. They told me: "You see, you made a mistake here, you cant go skiing".... well, we still finished at normal time 12.30 and deffinitely I went to have fun on ski routes. I even got ski trousers from Melissa, another globetrotter working in the bar. Thanks a lot... mi salva il culo letteralmente... yeah she saved my ass literally. Tried some new challenge "Saroden". Almost lost my phone there - it fell out of my pocket while i was busy with falling and sliding/rolling down.
view from beginning of route "Saroden"

...and this

And... from Paolo I got a contact of the guy who has a small handmade boulder gym so we went to have small session. Aiii, it was cold there of course, but I still managed to work out till my arms were dead. There was only one problem - I already sent a small hedgehog in my throat... and the last skibus had already left. Have a good hitchhiking!!

27.january. Hedgehog has grown bigger. No skiing. I dont want to talk about it. πŸ˜“πŸ˜’
At least it started to snow.