BD athlete Ptor Spricenieks ski mountaineering in the Alps
Black Diamond athlete Ptor Spricenieks teamed up with Black Diamond Europe’s Ski Team Manager Dan Caruso for a late season ski mountaineering trip in the Alps. Below is Caruso’s report along with some fantastic photos from photographer Yves Garneau.
In early June, Ptor Spricenieks and I went up to attempt to ski the steep face on the west side of Piz Bernina, known as ‘The Westwall’, and possibly a route through the massive seracs on Piz Roseg. Yves Garneau came along to shoot photos and Sylvain Berry was our cinematographer as we took a horse carriage up from Pontresina and walked up to the Tschierva Hut at the base of the Tschierva Glacier. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate and we spent three days in the hut waiting for a starry night. Finally, we set out up the glacier and got to the base of the wall, only to see our line disappear from sight in the fog.
But we came to ski, so ski is what we did. And although we weren’t able to get up on Bernina or Piz Roseg as we’d planned, we were able to get some nice, steep turns in on the glacier-cooled corn snow below Piz Umur. We skinned up the glacier, climbed up a few icy crux sections and scoped some steep lines surrounded by blue ice. As we walked out into the valley, the summer sun returned. Great timing, eh?
Well, it was a great time with old friends in the SAC hut (good thing we each lugged a six-pack of Calanda Braü up with us and plenty of food). It looks like this time next year, we will have our work already cut out for us.