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La Grivola, 1942: a rope cut
by an avalanche La Grivola, 1942: a rope cut by an avalanche  by Roberto36

La Grivola (m 3969) is a pyramidal shape summit situated in the mid Aosta Valley at the end of Gran Paradiso massif.

After the first ascent on 1859 this mountain begun a prestigious aim among the classical climbers of XIX century as a training for most difficult ascents on Mont Blanc, Matterhorn and so on. The great view on the valley and the solitary environment unfortunately wasn’t rewarded from a good quality of rock, except perhaps for the East-Nord-East ridge, known as “Arête des Clochettes”. The attempt performed in 1928 by Valsavarenche’s mountaineering guides to equip the South-West face with fixed ropes in order to enhance a possible alternative standard way was completely unsuccessful because climbers preferred the most comfortable route (nevertheless a bit more dangerous), discovered in 1861 by Abbé Chamonin, priest of Cogne.

However the real esthetical route of Grivola was until 1950, the icy North ridge, named “la scimitarra” (“the scimitar”) for its shape. Nowadays less followed cause the climate changes which has quite completely erased the snow leaving large sections of crumbling rock, this route will be the protagonist of a story a bit legendary, quite similar to some actual alpine and Himalayan enterprises: “a rope cutted by an avalanche”.

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Mont Blanc: Why so many
deaths? Mont Blanc: Why so many deaths?  by PAROFES

Mont Blanc or Monte Bianco as it is known by Italians. Commonly known as the Death Mountain or the White Killer. The Mont Blanc kills so many people every year that it's difficult to keep track of its numbers, it is quite difficult to find a site online that determine "this is the total number of deaths up to date." Not easy to find and I think there isn’t one. This is a quick analysis of the mountain and its frightening numbers that made the Swiss Alpine Club rethink about safety on the roof of the Alps this year.

The accident this year put everything back on the table. The deadly avalanche that killed nine experienced climbers made everyone in Europe recall, and made things more than clear that when it comes to avalanche risk, doesn’t matter the experience of the climber, doesn’t matter how well-made is a protection, it will be dragged down the mountain, the protection, the climber and everything that stands on its way. His lifeless body will be torn apart and it will be buried under several feet of snow. Fact. We just have to remember the great names of world mountaineering that found their demise with a big avalanche. Otherwise, they would continue their brilliant achievements, bold routes and aggressive approaches up in icy alpine slopes, north american, canadian, Hilamaia and the andes.

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The scariest moment of my
life The scariest moment of my life  by PAROFES

The old saying goes: "Nobody knows your body better than yourself." Since January this year I noticed several changes in my body that made me uncomfortable, and because of that I decided to investigate, and then I’ll use another old saying to illustrate this different story: "He who seeks, finds". Here is the result...

It all started in january this year with out of control pimples, when I went off the last job I loved, and was the first which actually I got fired in my entire life. Pure politics. Canker sores worst of all I've ever had in my life (since a kid), some took approximately 25 days to close and hurt so much I had to take painkillers to be able to eat while I was with Lilianne in my honeymoon. That was just the beginning, during the trip to the Andes, commemorative trip for the anniversary of my mother in law, and at the same Lilianne was with me to see the Andes mountains, and to know my beloved city: San Pedro de Atacama. The weather was bad, the mountains were accumulating meters of snow, and with access roads closed, daily rainfall in the city, flooding, then all associated with a heavy flu made me anticipate the flight and come home.

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How much is too much? How much is too much?  by mvs

I'm a beta hound. You've got some info on a peak I want to climb? Gimme.

Gimme, gimme, GIMME!

Thank you so much! Now I can definitely climb it.

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Diamond
Couloir: sunset of a world famous ice-climbing Diamond Couloir: sunset of a world famous ice-climbing  by AlbertoRampini

The Diamond Couloir’s first ascent was realized by Pete Snyder and Thumbi Mathenge in 1973, avoiding the steeper high section by a ramp on the left; this impressive upper section, named “Headwall”, was pioneered in 1975 by Yvon Chouinard and Michael Covington, who made famous the Diamond Couloir as one of the world's greatest ice climb; this magnificent line crosses the SW face of Mount Kenya, the second highest peak in Africa after Kilimanjaro, and surprisingly lies only 20 kilometers south of the Equator!

Yes, the Equator… Notwithstanding this fact, Mount Kenya is high enough to have various glaciers and receive conspicuous snowfalls. As a matter of fact we can’t consider it as a single peak, but rather as a complex massif, consisting of several smaller peaks, composed by syenite, an excellent kind of rock to climb, surrounding the two main peaks named Nelion and Batian.

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“Thirty
rope parties of Alpine soldiers on the Matterhorn’s top “Thirty rope parties of Alpine soldiers on the Matterhorn’s top"; 30th July, 1938  by Roberto36

It looks like a tale, but the most famous peak in Europe for a day become a “war game” scenery. Really? Have a look to this fragment of history hidden in the pages of an Italian newspaper very popular in the last century called “La Stampa”. Unfortunately the rhetoric typical of articles about sport during the Fascist dictatorship has darkened a bit the fascination of this ascent by the Italian Normal route, performed with minimum mountaineering gear, according to the spirit of first ascents.

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The Fall of
the Alps The Fall of the Alps  by ericvola

In 2005 an event stunned the mountaineering community way beyond the French Alps: the Bonatti pillar on the Drus was totally washed away by a series of huge rock falls between June and September. Succeeding to 2003, one of the driest and warmest summer of the century, with constant rock falls all over the Alps ranges, an ‘annus horribilis’ for all climbers, with many routes totally impracticable as far too dangerous, including the ‘classic’ approach to Mont Blanc by the Gouter couloir, banned for most of the summer, this exceptional event put to light the damaging impact of the Global warming on the Alps and consequently on all mountaineers. Hence this question: and what about the future?

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The Fly and the Climber The Fly and the Climber  by ericvola

The Groupe des Grimpeurs Marseillais was created by 'The Greek', Georges Livanos following the example of the G.H.M. The poem was published in the 1961 G.G.M. bulletin. Its author, André Tête, was a climber with whom I did in 1960, at 18, the North face of the Vignemale in the Pyrenees in a week-end. We left Marseille early Saturday morning, on a small motorbike (mine. My mother bitterly regretted to having let my father buy it for me and sold it off when I went studying in the UK the following year!), drove the 650 km to the foot of the face, reached late afternoon, bivouacked at the foot, climbed the route on the Sunday and were back in Marseille late the same day. Quite a trip, particularly since André was a very tall fellow, near 6 feet 4 and not that light. With our climbing gear, it was quite a test for my small motorbike and our maximum speed never exceeded 90/Km an hour!.

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Drinking
Water in the Backcountry Drinking Water in the Backcountry  by Enkidu

Travel in remote areas can often present hydration challenges that are often compounded by weather, elevation and exertion. Often times the only water available is from the nearest lake/stream or snow/ice. In certain instances these sources can be used successfully without any treatment. In other cases successful use requires some form of treatment.

Success in terms of drinking water can be defined as follows:

The quantity of water available is sufficient to prevent dehydration and the quality of the water is such that the health risk from consumption of the water is acceptable.

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Raffaele Carlesso Raffaele Carlesso  by AlbertoRampini

Comici-Dimai on Cima Grande di Lavaredo North face at the age of seventy-one and the overhanging Scoiattoli Direct on Torre Grande d’Averau at the age of eighty: these are Raffaele Carlesso’s incredible last enterprises. Truthfully awesome! A French mountaineer, having found his signature on Hasse-Brandler’s route-book at Cima Grande di Lavaredo in 1960s, asked if this signature was affixed by a son or by a namesake: he couldn’t believe that the matter in hand was the same famous Raffaele Carlesso climbing in 1930s! Sixty years of climbs and about two thousands ascents represent his unique “curriculum”; self-trust, moral and physical strength, agility, deep self-esteem, steady training and high reliability, either in mountaineering or in life, were “his bow’s arrows”.

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