December 2002, Chile. We have been waiting the whole month for good weather conditions. Our patience is running off in the base camp, especially because New Year is getting close. The day before Silvester, our friends give up on clear weather and make their way back to the valley, where there is a huge New Year’s Eve celebration in Puerto Natales. Meanwhile, Tina and I stay alone on the last forest-grown island, beneath the mighty mountain face Torres del Paine. As if somebody saw our strong resolution to keep going and heard our wishes and hopes to continue, the air pressure started to rise in the evening and the wind calmed down. So the both of us started our long Silvester day at 2am. In beautiful weather conditions we climbed the new, hard to conquer North tower and descended again to our camp after a good 19 hours of climbing, totally whipped and exhausted. The tension of the climb usually lets go after you sit inside the safe shelter of your tent. And as we were cooking along, we then saw that is was 12am. We hugged, kissed and slept like logs till the next day. On the 1st January, every body part was hurting, except our heads. The head was still filled with strong emotions of indescribable happiness and satisfaction.
What an unusual Silvester night that was and what a contrast to the usual partying every year. But believe me, when I remember this event, my whole body is flooded with such warmth, even the coziest fireplace can’t achieve.
To every reader out there, I wish a happy New Year’s transition, maybe even an unusual one for those who wish, so that the joy you feel may continue throughout the whole New Year to come.
Torres del Paine
Festive days in mountains.
Torres del Paine.
I was born 1970 in Germany to parents, which were “Gastarbeiter”. There I also spent my first 5 years, after that we returned to Ljubljana, where I still live with my family till this day. My parents were never really into mountain climbing, and I really can’t explain where I got my strong wish for “conquering the useless parts of the world”. Till the end of middle school it wasn’t so bad, because I wouldn’t live out my obsession to the fullest yet. I was constantly daydreaming and this was also the reason I had worse grades, than I could have had, but I managed. I also briefly visited university, if I let out the fact that I got my diploma with almost gray hair. After a few years of teaching in primary school, I finally managed to gather my courage and cut the cord, which bind me to my regular job and I became a “full time climber” and mountain guide.