Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Out Of My Element

I spent the month of November in Austria on what was intended to be a climbing trip. I started out in Brixen Italy at the International Mountain Summit to compete in the Bouldering Festival. It was fun competing in front of such an excited audience. When we made it back to Innsbruck we planned on climbing in Switzerland later in the week. but the weather had taken a turn for the worse, and it looked to stay that way... for the remaining three weeks I was there. What little climbing we were able to get in between bursts of rain and snowstorms was spectacular. We climbed in the Arco area, where the climbing was definitely unique and the views from the cliffs were beautiful. What ended up being the highlight of this trip for me was what happened when the weather wasn't good. In the city and at the crags it could be snowing... but high up on the peaks of the Austrian Alps the sun shines clear and bright. And the skiing is magnificent! Who knew that all you had to do was climb out of the fog to reach the sunny slopes and blue skies? (Well everybody in Austria knows, they ski all the time.) But it was a wonderful surprise for me! As a non-skier, the fresh powder definitely took some getting used to, but the views were something I could gaze at forever. I had never seen anything like what I saw on those pists; bright snow-covered mountain tops peeking out through the clouds that were blanketing the city below. What a sight! Needless to say, my climbing-turned-skiing trip to Austria has anchored a new passion in me, opening my eyes to a whole new world of extreme to get excited about.

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