BEHIND THE SHOT: Fall 2006 catalog
Bold, authentic and inspirational images have been a cornerstone of Black Diamond culture since day one. The pictures that fill our catalogs, website, ads and posters aren't just a portal for visual storytelling, they are the essence of what Black Diamond is all about. In this ongoing series, we'll take a look at some of Black Diamond's most powerful and inspiring images, both old and new, and get the stories behind the shots from the photographers and athletes who made them happen.
For this installment, we caught up with Swedish climber Peter Värvell, who was captured by photographer Henrik Peel on a rare ascent of Vettisfossen near Ardal, Norway.
I remember that Markuz called me a friday afternoon and told me somewhat aroused that Vettisfossen was in condition. I had myself visited the fall before only to find out that it wasn't frozen even in cold temperature.
The thing with this icefall was, because it formed quite seldom in the past and together with the "early" spectacular ascents, that it received a somewhat mythical reputation. I think the first ascent was done by "Hot" Henry Barber and Rob Taylor in 1977 in a quite spectacular manner with sand glued on gloves that were used to lay-back icicles. The second ascent was done by Frans Fisher and Carlos Wagner in 1997, also in a spectacular way since they had to negotiate series of 10m, 45 ̊overhanging mushrooms in very cold and wet conditions.
Later that evening I met up with Markus and Henrik Peel, and left around 7 pm, to drive all night from Stockholm to Øvre Årdal. We arrived at 5:30 am and an hour later we were organized and started to walk the three hour approach through the long canyon of the Vetti river. We became quite excited when we turned the corner to the amphitheater, and saw what we saw. Inside was standing a marble-like hidden treasure in the form of a frozen pillar. Henrik, the photographer, seemed very pleased, and soon found a balcony to the left of the amphitheater. We all had our roles now; I did the leads and Makuz speed seconded every pitch. He is really fast at that.
That year 2006 it exploded with ascents, almost ten years after Frans Fischer and Carlos Wagner's second ascent. Since then it has been in condition many times due to really cold winters, with even more ascents. So the early reputation of the fall is now more down to earth.