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[001] VERTIGO

FOTOGRAFÍA: © BONCIUTOMA


THOUGHTS

VERTIGO

Edges. The wild. Vertigo and emotion. Walking along a ridge on a day that the clouds play hide-and-seek with the mountain, and discovering what is on either side of our steps is one of the most harrowing, savage experiences that can be lived through in this natural environment. Our progress is slow and even awkward. Dexterity becomes an absolute necessity. As well as intuition. The ridge puts each mountaineer in their place. Whether in a mountain race or trying to reach the top, we easily forget we are competing. The only objective is to advance forward, looking for the path. Without making errors. Stepping firmly, eyes peeled in front of us. Sometimes the fog becomes our ally hiding in an abyss that we know is there, on both sides of our path. This new project that you have in front of you is called: The Ridge. We feel like we’ve just begun to move forward. Full of hopeful anticipation and wonder. As well as doubts and fears. And vertigo. But we are clear about something. Hard work, determination and passion will be the keys to mark each of our steps. In-depth content, high quality photographs, emotion in our words and a cared for design are the pillars on which The Ridge stands. You can see it in the articles we have prepared for this first issue. We want you to e n j oy them in the same way we have enjoyed making them. For each photograph we would like you to close your eyes and imagine that you are actually there. Feel it, live it, dream it, let yourself go. We want to take your hand every step of the way as we walk along this ridge. Together. For a long time in the future. Kissthemountain Team.

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CONTENTS

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THE SCENE ZEGAMA AIZKORRI MARATOIA. LADY OF THE HEIGHTS.

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SUMMIT TALKS ANTON KRUPICKA. ROOTS.

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WILDERNESS AREAS THE DOLOMITES. VERTIGO.

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SUMMIT TALKS RYAN SANDES. TRAIL BLAZER.

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PARALELO 70 WHITE OUT GREENLAND. WHITE ON WHITE.

116 PORTRAITS DENIS URUBKO. THE MOUNTAIN.

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LA SPORTIVA SS2017 LA SPORTIVA. INNOVATION WITH PASSION.

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THE SCENE TROMSØ SKYRACE. WILD.

LA SPORTIVA LA SPORTIVA. VICTORY.

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POSTCARDS CVCEPHOTO. INTERNATIONAL PHOTO CONTEST.


IT IS NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER BUT OURSELVES. EDMUND HILLARY

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theridge@kissthemountain.com

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ZEGAMA

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AIZKORRI L A D Y O F MARATOIA T H E H E I G H T S


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PHOTO: © FOTOIOSU


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PHOTO: © FOTOIOSU

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THE SCENE

LADY OF THE HEIGHTS. Extremely intense feelings. Passion and sacrifice. Exertion and satisfaction. A search for the perfect ending. Difficult for the experience to fall into oblivion. Very difficult. Almost impossible.

* “It’s not mania or madness that I have with you. It’s

not mania or madness that the best doctors can´t find a cure, if it doesn´t come from your hand, Lady of the Heights”. Elements, water and air. Cold. Wind and rain united with low temperatures on the day Zegama Aizkorri Maratoia celebrated fifteen years, and the mountain reminded us how small we are compared to its immensity. Otzaurte, Aratz, Aizkorri, Aitxuri, Oltze, Urbia, Andraitx…

* “If you want to come, I can pick you up, so you can

THE BATTLE SCENE.

be with me and I can tell you how much I need you. Although I think you already know it, I’ll say it again, I love you more than anyone, I always have and always will, bring healing to my bones, Lady of the Heights”. Element, earth. Mud and stone. Comrades since the beginning of this battle in which the strongest opponent is yourself, and where those who also carry a number, from rivals become friends on which to lean on again and again. Element, fire. Which dwells in the hearts of all fortunate fighters. Zegama. Lady of the Heights. Long life.

*Lady of the Heights. A song by Los Planetas taken from their L.P. “An egyption opera”. MOUNTAIN CULTURE MAGAZINE

FOTOGRAFÍA: XXX

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THE SCENE

BEFORE THE BATTLE.

Yngvild and Oihana. Youth and experience. Calm taut and feigned. Nerves and doubts run through their veins.

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PHOTO: © JORDI SARAGOSSA

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PHOTO: © CARLOS LLERANDI

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THE SCENE

THE START.

Aritz and the rest. Impossible paces. Threatening sky. Zegama is waiting for you. Come back with your homework done. Then you will rest in the knowledge of having given everything. Almost even your life.

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THE SCENE

THE BATTLE.

Oihana. Containing yourself so as not to be dizzied by the cheers of a frenzied crowd that does not understand the reserves of strength you´ll need for that loneliness leading up to the summit of Aizkorri. Experience.

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PHOTO: © JORDI SARAGOSSA FOTOGRAFÍA: XXX

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PHOTO: © CARLOS LLERANDI

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THE SCENE

THE BATTLE.

Azara. Passion. Pure strength. Her smile doesn´t yet know that the cold will destroy her dreams just a few kilometers later. She will return. Without a doubt. Zegama is waiting for you.

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THE SCENE

THE BATTLE.

Kilian and Marc. The King and the Prince. The road to St. Spirit where they will fight a battle burned into the minds of hundreds of lucky witnesses.

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PHOTO: © IGOR QUIJANO FOTOGRAFÍA: XXX

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PHOTO: © JORDI SARAGOSSA

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THE SCENE

THE BATTLE.

Jokin. Pure emotion. Euskaldun Pride. An almost invincible warrior. From here to eternity, the goal. Reserving absolutely nothing. Empty. Thank you.

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THE SCENE

THE BATTLE.

Maite. Strength and courage. On her own merit. Overcoming and turnaround. Injury overcome, just because. Because the perfect date was coming. Her date.

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PHOTO: © FOTOIOSU FOTOGRAFÍA: XXX

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PHOTO: © JORDI SARAGOSSA

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THE SCENE

THE END.

Luis Alberto and Manuel. This is Zegama. This is a mountain. Manuel’s face says it all. We can´t see Luis’, but we know it’s full of respect for his companion, not rivalry.

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THE SCENE

THE END.

Zegama. A devoted town. The crowd, volunteers, runners and organization. All in one. All present for the best mountain race in the world. A feeling in common. Of pride. Of course.

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PHOTO: © CARLOS LLERANDI FOTOGRAFÍA: XXX

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PHOTO: © JAVIER COLMENERO

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THE SCENE

THE END.

Kilian. Master of masters. The Lord of Zegama. A legend in life. A myth. Someday, in the future, books will talk about him. He has earned it now. The greatest.

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THE SCENE

THE END.

Yngild. The future at your feet. A fighter with fragile appearance but to be reckoned with. Smile. Smile. Smile. You’ve made history.

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PHOTO: © JAVIER COLMENERO FOTOGRAFÍA: XXX

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PHOTO: © CARLOS LLERANDI

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THE SCENE

THE END.

2? 1? It makes no difference. Perhaps in the next edition, instead of a number, it should be a “K” or a “G”, as in God.

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THE SCENE

There´s something different about Zegama. Living through experiences that no other race can offer. And I´m not talking about the sporting event itself. Much has been written about the climb up Sancti Spiritu to Aizkorri. The cheers of the crowd are something that those who´ve had the opportunity to partake in this race will never forget. The screams are so deafening that, when they end, and you face the ridge towards Aitxuri, the silence turns into a hum, similar to that which penetrates your ears after a loud concert. It’s really hard not to be swayed by the cheers of a public who don´t realize the reserves of strength you´ll need to draw upon for the rest of the race. Before running this race, I´d heard of the beauty of its route, of the mud and the support of the crowd. Perhaps not so much of its toughness. But of course it’s probably not for its elevations, although highly respectable for 42 kilometers, but rather the weather conditions and with it, the mud. In the 2016 edition, there was a lot, too much. The feeling of skating, rather than running, is common in many sections. It perfectly reveals who is used to running in it and who, laughing at first and then fearful later, confronts these descents. It´s definitely a characteristic element of this race together with the fog that turns forests into landscapes taken from a legend. Everything is stunning. Trails, peaks, ridges, meadows, forests... But I don´t think the race is the true protagonist

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of the weekend. At least not for me. What most amazed me was the atmosphere of Zegama. One can say without being mistaken, that it is different. And this is probably because this sport is unlike any other. Where can an amateur cross European or World champions again and again and openly greet them? Where else can you see firsthand the excellent relationships athletes have with those from different teams? Where can you have a drink just a few centimeters from that runner you´ve always admired? Runners, the organization, national and international associations, brands, the press, volunteers ... Coexisting in harmony. Everything seems perfectly geared towards living a dream weekend. Even the presence of branded vans such as Salomon, Buff or La Sportiva, with their doors open and their team gathered around, make you a smile every time you pass them. One last detail. I have taken part in many prestigious races. I stand corrected if I said that there is no other race where you can find so many elite athletes among the five hundred participants who are lucky enough to join them at the starting line. What is beyond question, and this is unique in the world, is the integration of all runners. We are all equal. This is the essence of mountain races and, please, don´t ever let this change. Races such as Zegama safeguard it. Passing the number and kit checkpoint and heading towards the starting line I had Zaid Ait Malek just behind me, Alfredo Gil in front on my left, and Oihana Kortazar to the right. There are no privileges for the elite runner. We will all face the toughest and most beautiful battle together. Zegama is Zegama. Forever.

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PHOTO: © FRED MARMSATER

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ANTON KRUPICKA

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Extracts from antonkrupicka.com

“Explicit or not, I have always derived my motivation in the outdoors from curiosity and connection. Even before I started running as a daily discipline in February 1995, I dutifully conducted extensive exploration of the ridges and ravines on my family’s 640-acre farm above the Missouri River in northeastern Nebraska. I was continually building huts, blazing woodland paths, and hunting for fossils”. “My parents encouraged such behavior by modeling a lifestyle that emphasized a pragmatic appreciation for

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and connection to the natural world, which most auspiciously presented itself in the form of a now almost oldfashioned rural self-reliance. For me, this ethic was first projected beyond our Nebraska homestead during annual summer camping and hiking trips to the American West’s National Parks”. “As a result of those summer excursions, I was irresistibly drawn to the West’s more dramatic landscapes and deliberately moved to Colorado for college. Today, everything I continue to do in the mountains is simply a more systematic and evolved extension of what I was doing as a youth in Nebraska, indulging my curiosity and creating a meaningful connection to place through deliberate, direct experience”. “The challenge of endurance has always appealed to me. I ran my first

marathon when I was only 12, but despite much passion and desire, my efforts on the traditional racing oval and cross-country course were almost always disappointing to me, and usually compromised by injury”. “Running at the NCAA in Colorado Springs, however, did directly introduce me to the arena of mountain running and racing, as our cross-country team would do weekly long runs on the extensive trail systems surrounding Pikes Peak. During my first semester of college I ran to their summit for the first time and found friends to teach me the basics of rock climbing in the Garden of the Gods”. “In the summer of 2006, I ran my first ultra, winning the Leadville 100 in the then 2nd fastest time ever. My commitment to the sport was cemented the following year when I returned to the Leadville

100 for another win and a 47 minutes improvement on my debut time”. “In the following years, I have come to appreciate ultramarathon races for the community of like-minded individuals that surrounds them and the competitive outlet they provide. However, my core motivations continue to be expressed in my more non competitive pursuits, connecting with a place through diligent practice and exhaustive exploration”. “My most valued award from racing in the mountains is that it enforces a lifestyle that emphasizes time outside, moving in sync with the natural rhythms of the land. As the 5th generation in a family of homesteaders, my roots are inextricably tied to the land, so that lifestyle is something that I will always prioritize and be devoted to, even when my most competitive days are over”.

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Text: Gontxal K.N.

nton, where are you right now? A: I am in Boulder. I was in Europe for a couple of weeks at the end of the summer, but I’ve been in Boulder all fall. K: ¿How are you? I know you’ve been injured for a long time. When will we be able to see you taking part in an important trail race again? A: I have no idea when I’ll be able to race again. Hopefully in 2017. Right now I’m working to address the root issues of the illiotibial band problems I’ve been having all year. That means a lot of core and strength work to correct weaknesses and imbalances in my pelvis. That is going well, but we’ll see if I’m able to run enough to prepare for racing. K: I suppose it’s common for an elite runner to live with pain and injury. Elite runners are highly self-demanding. What is the process going of coming to terms with the fact that you’re injured and have to wait until your body is 100% recovered? In your case it’s going to take a while. A: Of course it’s difficult, but I have shifted my focus in activities so that my self-worth isn’t completely

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wrapped up in my ability to run or not. Life provides us with so many interesting and rewarding experiences, it would be silly to focus only on running when it’s been such a fleeting activity for me. K: ¿What kind of negative thoughts have been in your mind during this process? I imagine a lot of doubts have arisen. Have you ever considered leaving ultra distance? A: Stopping racing ultra distance events is not necessarily a choice. It is something that has currently been imposed on me by weaknesses in my body. I’m working to correct those, but I’ve also developed a passion for lots of other activities. Climbing, biking, and skiing are all equally as interesting to me as running. K: What about the behaviour of the brands that support you? Speaking from a human point of view. A: My sponsors have been very supportive and understanding. Fortunately, La Sportiva is at least as interested in what I am doing as an adventure athlete as what I might do in races.

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K: Talking about sponsors… Could you please tell us how you came to sign with La Sportiva? May I ask you about the process? How did they approach you and what were the facts that finally convinced you? A: Ultimately, I went with La Sportiva for three main reasons. Firstly, they make products for all of the mountain activities I enjoy: running, climbing, and skiing. Their philosophy on these activities is exactly aligned with mine. High quality products for moving efficiently in the mountains. Secondly, they are a very tightknit, family-owned company, and maintaining integrity in their production and treatment of employees is more important to them than their bottom line. They are still located in a tiny village high in the Dolomites when most international outdoor company’s offices have moved to a big city center. Most of their climbing footwear is still made by hand in the company factory in that same small village in the Dolomites. The pride in craftsmanship and attention to detail is unparalleled.


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Thirdly, they were excited to support me across all mountain activities, not just running. I can’t say enough good things about La Sportiva as a company and how they’ve treated me as an athlete. I‘m extremely happy that I had the opportunity to partner with them. K: How is your relationship with Buff nowadays? You’ve been with them for a long time. A: I’ve been with Buff since 2012, and they have been outstanding supporters of mine these past years. Even with all of the injuries they are interested in continuing to partner with me as I move into more personal adventures involving climbing, skiing, and cycling in the mountains. Being with them for so long has allowed me to develop personal relationships within the company that are important to me and that I am grateful for. K: Any other partners? A: I am also extremely grateful for my support from Petzl, Ultimate Direction, Stance socks, and Zeal Optics. For instance, I was at UTMB this past summer as an ambassador for Petzl, and I was grateful to be a part of that event despite not being able to race it. K: In Europe, we have this image of the typical runner from La Sportiva as someone very explosive, technical and powerful with special skills for “Sky” or VK races, like Urban Zemmer, Kuhar Nejc or Marco Moletto. How do you fit into this kind of philosophy? A: That isn’t my skillset at all. I am better at 80 km and longer races and I also have much more ambition for big adventures in the mountains, especially combining climbing and running. La Sportiva understands this. K: You have run many races in Eu-

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rope so you probably have a wellformed idea about the special features of the European style vs. American races. Which do you prefer? A: The fact of the matter is that a race is a race. An inspiring course with inspiring scenery is nice, but I race to get maximum effort out of myself, to push myself as hard as I can, and this is only possible when there are other competitors there to bring out my best. I spend nearly every day in the mountains. I can use these days to experience the terrain I enjoy the most. When racing, I’m more interested in connecting with the history of an event and the local culture and scene.Sometimes that means flat trails, sometimes that means steep trails; usually, a race has both. K: Have you ever thought about spending some years in the Alps, Pyrenees or Dolomites to continue developing yourself as a trail runner? A: If I were to come live in Europe it would be to get closer to more technical and historic mountains for climbing ( A l p s , Dolomites), not for trail running. K: I really think that European runners have a sort of ignorance about trail in the USA. Not many people know Jim Walmsley, Rob Krar, Andrew Miller, Max King… They have improved on the previous generation. I think that this kind of runners will dominate the main

international races in the future. They are athletes well-adapted to the mountain. What kind of runner do you think will be at the top in ten years from now? A: Runners. Real runners. Runners with a background in running fast on the road and track will be at the top in ten years from now. Walmsley, Krar, King, Tollefson, Laney, and Zach Miller are all

to imagine the future, do you see people from Kenya or Ethiopia dominating this fairly new sport? A: There would have to be a lot more money involved. It seems that the talent pool in East Africa has only been mined because it’s an opportunity for them to raise their standard of living. K: What do you think about specialization? Do you it’s strange that the same runner can win short, long or ultra races? It’s as if a conventional athlete was able to win 100 m., 5.000 m or a marathon. A: As the sport progresses and evolves, specialization will become more and more necessary for success. For example, Urban Zemmer will never win UTMB. I think people see Kilian and don’t realize what a unique athlete he is for being able to be so good at so many different aspects of the sport.

“I’m currently making a living and I haven’t raced in a year and a half. When the money runs out, I’ll find another way to make money. But spending time in the mountains will always be there and will always be one of the most essential things in my life”.

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examples of that. Even a race like UTMB will always hold more potential for the most fit runner. Experience and mountain sense can only take you so far. After that, a superior cardiovascular fitness will win the day. K: What about Africans? If you try

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SUMMIT TALKS

K: What community of athletes do you prefer? Boulder (CO) or Flagstaff (AZ)? It’s amazing how it’s possible to find elite runners in these areas, both in the mountain and in conventional running. Why do you feel so comfortable in Boulder, apart from the mountain of course? A: I prefer Boulder because it has everything you could possibly want to do in the mountains. Boulder is a very historic climbing area in the USA and as a result there is a deep tradition and literally thousands of climbing routes within a one hour drive from town. In Boulder you can run flat or run steep, on roads or trails; the road biking is worldclass, the alpine climbing is some of the best in the USA, mountains for skiing are only a short drive away. Flagstaff has its own unique landscapes (the desert, Grand Canyon...), but the mountain environment out your back door is quite limited. I lived in Flagstaff for a short time 12 years ago and absolutely loved it. But I for sure prefer Boulder. In general, the social scene is less important to me. Except for climbing, of course,

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where a partner is necessary, I mostly prefer to spend my time outdoors alone. K: Have your finished your studies or are you still studying? In the future, do you think you’ll work in thoese areas or will you be connected professionally to the mountains? A: I finished graduate school five years ago, in 2011. I think that eventually I might have a professional career in the outdoor industry. But maybe not. I’m not a big fan of marketing, though that is what my career is now. K: In Europe, very few people can earn a living from mountain races. How is it in the USA? A: I’m currently making a living and I haven’t raced in a year and a half. When the money runs out, I’ll find

another way to make money. But spending time in the mountains will always be there and will always be one of the most essential things in my life, no matter if I’m making a living from it or not. K: What about the “fans” question? How do you live with that? It might not be easy having people run after you or interrupt you while you’re having a beer or a coffee? A: Obviously, that is frustrating, mostly because I am quite introverted. However, it’s only for a few days/weeks throughout an entire year. For sure, I am aware of what a privilege it is to be able to hopefully inspire others; at some point that won’t be the case, so I try to appreciate that while I have it. K: What European race do you have your best memory from? I remember you running in Cavalls del Vent in 2012. The images are

so hard. I always seem to run better the worse the weather is. It was a great joy to share the pace with Kilian in the second half of the race as he is a very inspiring athlete, but the simple fact is that he was probably just waiting until the end to make his move. K: Let’s speak about your charisma. There are a lot of runners with incredible s e a s o n s like Krab or D’Haene that don’t have your impact. However, despite your prudence and discretion, you are one of the most wellknown trail runners. Why? A: If only I knew the answer to this. It’s actually quite a problem for me internally, as I often feel undeserving of all the attention, because I’ve never had an

“Cavalls del Vent was one of my better races. I think I had a good race because the conditions were so hard. I always seem to run better the worse the weather is. It was a great joy to share the pace with Kilian in the second half of the race as he is a very inspiring athlete, but the simple fact is that he was probably just waiting until the end to make his move”. wonderful. What do you remember about your race with Jornet? A: Cavalls del Vent was one of my better races. I think I had a good race because the conditions were

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incredible season and only a few good races. K: Anton, you told us that mountains are something essential in your life and a place where you practice other sports. Could you tell us something more about your feelings towards the mountains? A: Running is not necessary for me. I absolutely love it, and I definitely miss it, but for all the frustration it causes me when I’m injured, it’s very important to pursue other activities like climbing, skiing, cycling. I guess I prefer to be in the mountains alone. I like going my own pace and with my own agenda without distractions. Having said that, some of my fondest memories are long days out climbing with excellent partners. In general, the mountains are just an inspiring environment that allow me to be both humbled and empowered. That combination is important. K: To finish, out of curiosity. I believe you’ve never done a stress test and you don’t know your VO2 max. Is that not a contradiction for someone with your scientific studies being an elite runner? A: Will knowing my VO2 max increase my enjoyment of the mountains? I doubt it.

“Running is not necessary for me. I absolutely love it, and I definitely miss it, but for all the frustration it causes me when I’m injured, it is very important to pursue other activities, like climbing, skiing or cycling”.

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THE DOLOMITES V E R T I G O MOUNTAIN CULTURE MAGAZINE

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Sometimes nature is capricious. That character trait, which as a rule of thumb humans shy away from, can turn into something extraordinarily beautiful when we talk about mountains and their shapes and contours. The Dolomites are a mountain range located in northeast Italy, in the so-called Eastern Alps, where the mountains meet the Po plain and the Adriatic Sea. This mountain range is geographically located between the regions of Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto, occupying five provinces: Trento, Bolzano, Belluno, Udine and Pordenone. In 2009 the Dolomites were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. More than 230,000 hectares are protected, hosting a national park and several natural and regional parks. The dolomites, limestone rocks of marine origin, turn pink at dawn and dusk, and lend their name to this mountain range that was previously known as the pale mountains, Monti Pallidi. The erosive action of nature gives the mountains their appearance of brutal rock walls that invite you to come face to face with vertigo. There they call them ghiaioni and pose a challenge that few climbers can resist. The Marmolada massif or Regina delle Dolomiti, with the largest glacier in the area, is the highest: 3,342 meters above sea level. But it is not the only mountain that exceeds the magical figure of 3,000 meters: Antelao (3,263 meters), Tofane (3,244 meters), Sassolungo (3,181 meters), Pelmo (3,169 meters) and Tre Cime di Lavaredo (3,002

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PHOTO: © PARALELO 70 | ALWAYS EXPLORING. MOUNTAIN CULTURE MAGAZINE

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FOTOGRAFÍA: MANUEL MATA OLIVER. ARCHIVO P.N. DE AIGÜESTORTES I ESTANY DE SANT MAURICI


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PHOTO: © MOREISO FOTOGRAFÍA: © paralelo 70 | ALWAYS EXPLORING.


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meters) are imposing watch keepers for Regina delle Dolomiti. The beauty of these impressive massifs, full of cracks, towers and spires, stands out even more as they rise directly from dreamlike green valleys. The contrast between this greenery covered with forests and grasslands, and the numerous craggy rock walls and reliefs rising vertically, isolated from one another for hundreds of meters, gives the Dolomites its unique characteristics in the Alps. There are many places where the locals, during sunset, chat in the streets in a Rhaeto-Romance language called Ladino as they watch their towering mountains change color as the sun goes down. Cortina d’Ampezzo, Auronzo di Cadore, Cadore, Ortisei, Arabba, Selva di Val Gardena, Madonna di Campiglio, San Martino di Castrozza, Canazei (home of the legendary Dolomites Skyrace), Vigo di Fassa and Moena are towns rich in history and tradition that make a living from tourism. Their people share with the passing visitors to these isolated villages, the magnificent display of seeing the breathtaking mountains call at the gates of heaven. But it´s not just humans who enjoy this spectacle. From enchanted forests and valleys, rivers and creeks, burrows, nests, natural caves and of course from the air, deers, moufflons, roe deers, groundhogs, weasels, salamanders, alpine newts, hawks, kestrels, eagles, owls, partridges, hoopoes and tawny owls also proudly observe the mountains where they´ve had the luck to be born.

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The Dolomite Alps are ideal for sports. Skiers, climbers, hikers, cyclists and mountain runners, will find ferratas tracks, paths, trails and roads on its slopes, excellent companions to tantalize all the senses. Being fond of mountain races, I´m sure at one time you’ve been seduced, either through photos or videos, by images of the famous “Zig zags” that lead up to Forcella Pordoi in the memorable 22 kilometer

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Italian race, the Dolomites Skyrace. Going up alone along its path that seems to be sculpted out of earth and rock, an afternoon in which the sun waves goodbye to the day, and closing your eyes to imagine an excited crowd cheering from above, could be a sublime experience. If you’re in love with the mountains, one day you have to go to the Dolomites and let it enamor you.

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PHOTO: © PARALELO 70 | ALWAYS EXPLORING.


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THE GREAT ROUTE

OF THE DOLOMI TE S

Only 110 kilometers of road separate Bolzano from Cortina d’Ampezzo. It´s possible to cross the Dolomites from west to east by car in just a few hours, but perhaps it´s best to take your time and turn this trip into an unforgettable experience. Enjoying its villages and their customs is something you will never forget. Before 1909, crossing northern Italy through the Dolomites was very difficult and something only available to the most experienced mountaineers. It was in this year that the road linking the two previously mentioned towns was completed. The route begins in Bolzano (Bozen for the Germans and Bulsan or Balsan in Ladino), capital of Alto Adige, or South Tyrol, where roughly a quarter of its population speaks German. It is a city of about 100,000 inhabitants used to amateur ski enthusiasts that, when not skiing, can be found enjoying the breathtaking cathedral ceilings with its polychrome geometric designs, or its famous Museum of Archaeology which houses the Ötzi mummy found in the Alps in 1991 at about 3,200 meters above sea level. In this town take the SS41 road that, through canyons, gorges and ravines follows the Ega river bed and leaves us at Lake Carezza or Karersee. The views of Rosengarten´s rocky peaks are excellent.

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PHOTO: © AURELIAN GOGONEA

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PHOTO: © STELIAN POROJNICU

Lake Karersee is an unusual beauty. Its waters take on all possible shades of green and, if the perspective and moment are just right, reflect the forest next to its shore and the steep peaks that tower over it. The walk to the charming village of just over a thousand inhabitants, Vigo di Fassa (in the Trentino-Alto Adige region), with its landscape dominated by the Vajolet Towers, is highly valued by mountain climbers from all over the world. This small town in the Fassa Valley is under the watchful eye of the Rosengarten mountain range.

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Continuing on the SS48 you arrive at Canazei. Like all towns on this route it is small in area and population. Still, it’s no more than two thousand inhabitants will be happy to show you the detour to Malga Ciapela from where the cable car ascends to the Marmolada glacier, namely up to Punta Rocca´s 3,300 meters, which along with Punta Penia (3,343 meters), Punta Ombretta (3,247 meters) and other peaks, form the crest of this mountain, a climbers paradise. The following towns en route, Fodom and Arabba, are now in the Veneto region. To get


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there you have to cross Passo Pordoi, well known by cycling enthusiasts. It is hard to keep your eye one hundred percent on the 110 kilometers of this mountain route. The views of the Marmolada, Sassolungo and Rosengarten ridges with their 13 kilometers uphill and 9 kilometers downhill that separate the towns of Canazei and Arabba make it extremely difficult. It is one of the most beautiful mountain passes you could drive through. The route continues along Passo di Falzarego where the Andraz Castle (Buchensetein

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in German) and the Great War Museum can be found. From there, the great route of the Dolomites, through a pine-covered valley with its vast number of bends, leads us to Cortina d’Ampezzo. In those 110 kilometers it feels like time has stood still. Take time to meditate on the landscape. Of course, calmness and opening up of the five senses are imperative for the hours or days you decide to spend enveloped in this wonderful place. Let the spirit of this place wash over you. Inhale deeply and take in the smells of the mountain. Glance up towards places where, perhaps, no one has ever done so before and find places of great beauty. Claim a tree and hug its trunk and promise to return. The Dolomites are always waiting for you to return.

Cortina d’Ampezzo

Bolzano

Passo Pordoi

Arabba

Passo di Falzarego

Canazei Vigo di Fassa

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PHOTO: © BONCIUTOMA

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FOTOGRAFÍA: MANUEL MATA OLIVER. ARCHIVO P.N. DE AIGÜESTORTES I ESTANY DE SANT MAURICI


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Here it is. No one but you deserved this victory. An entire life in love with the mountain, choosing sacrifice over comfort, has finally bore fruit.

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RYAN SANDES

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“He is the first person to win all 4 races in the 4 Desert Series and in 2013 became the first person to ever win an ultra trail race on all 7 continents. In 2011, Ryan won the Leadville 100 mile mountain race in Leadville, Colorado, setting the 3rd fastest time in the history of the race and the fastest time by a non-American. It was his first 100 miler. He’s involved with a number of philanthropic ventures and is an ambassador of the prestigious Laureus Foundation and special mention about his phenomenal career was made at the International Laureus Awards in Abu Dhabi. In 2016 he launched his autobiography, Trail Blazer which has been a worldwide success. Ryan is considered one of the world’s leading ultra trail runners”. Extract from www.ryansandes.com

Text: Juan J. Alcaide

K: Hi Ryan, how are you? Are you in South Africa right now? R: I´m good thanks. I´m actually on a plane on my way to Spain. K: Before beginning our conversation, I´d like to tell you that I´ve just read your book Trail Blazer: My Life as an Ultra-distance Trail Runner. I really enjoyed it. It’s an easy and entertaining read with a lot of information about your life as a professional trail runner. It seems nowadays more and more runners write books. For example Jornet, Karnazes, Jurek... Do you think it comes from a desire to share their experiences? What were your reasons for writing this book? R: Thank you so much. Yes, I wanted to share my experiences as ultra running has taken me on a lifechanging journey all over the world over the past nine years. I never in my wildest dreams expected to

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become a professional ultra trail runner so it´s been a crazy adventure. I hope my story can inspire other people to live their dreams. K: Although this conversation will travel to the past, present and future, I´d like to start it from your beginnings. I read in your book that when you were young you suffered from Scheuermann and dabbled with alcohol and other drugs. Nevertheless, you signed up to a marathon when you didn´t even like running. After that, you decided to spend all your money to run the Gobi Desert in China, a six-stager with 250 kilometers. You won the race. What changed in your mind? What made you start running? You even left your job to become a professional runner. R: I´ve always been an all or nothing type of person. My grandfather

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inspired me to live everyday as if it were my last. Yes it´s true, when I was younger I liked to party a lot. I guess it was my way to escape reality and just switch off. When I started running I got the same feeling, it allowed me to just focus on the present and forget everything else. I liked the feeling of achievement running gave me. I could set myself goals and it felt rewarding to achieve them. I´ve always been an outdoor type of person and grew up spending many days on the beach surfing, so trail running was just a natural progression from the sea to the mountains for me. I love the unknown and adventure so I entered the Racing the Planet Gobi Desert race as an excuse to travel and see the world through running. I actually didn’t know where the Gobi desert was when I entered the race.


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K: Since then, you´ve won a lot of important races. Leadville, Vibram Hong Kong 100, The North Face 100 Australia, Transgrancanaria, all 4 Deserts Series races... You have been on the podium of many others like Western States, Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji, Gore-Tex Transalps Race... May I ask you what races you would like to win in the future? I guess you have a special preference for Western States and UTMB, right? Why do you think Western States 2012 was your best race? R: I would love to win Western States and I´m really excited to go back there this year. UTMB is the world’s premier ultra trail race and I really want to do well there in the future. Western States 2012 was a dream race for me, I felt really good the entire race and my legs were moving fast. Just not as fast at Timothy´s! I never had any low patches during the race and loved every moment of it. K: Let’s go to 2015. Problems and disappointments! You had to leave Transvulcania, couldn´t run the Western States due to a stomach virus, and you had to get the idea of running the Grand Raid of Reunion and the UTMB out of your mind. You felt very tired and you had some tests done because you didn’t want to feel the overtraining syndrome, as I read in your book. I suppose it wasn´t easy for you. I think ultrarunners don’t like to talk so much about this topic. Did you have problems accepting this situation? Did you feel like you had disappointed yourself? I heard that when you had to leave The North Face 100, you even got into the car to cry. Would you mind

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talking about your experiences in this area and how your thoughts have changed? R: In 2013 I had my first DNF at the Ultra Trail Australia. I was devastated and really disappointed with myself that I didn´t finish the race. I felt like I had let so many people down and made the mistake of really ‘beating’ myself up about it. It took me a good few months to accept the DNF and realise that I only have one body and I need to look after it. Racing ultra marathons puts a huge stress on your body and mind so you need to be kind to it. I realised that if I had continued the Ultra Trail Australia I would have risked doing permanent damage to my body. A DNF sucks though and in the future I really don’t want to have any more. I try and plan my races very carefully now and give myself lots of time to recover between them. In 2015 I struggled the whole year with Glandular Fever (Mononucleosis) which I got from overracing etc in 2014 and previous years. I think your body can only take so much and then it breaks. It took me a very long time to accept that I needed a long rest period and it was really frustrating. I think I tried to fight the situation for a few months and it was only when I accepted that I needed to take a break that I started to recover. I needed to switch off mentally and focus on other things to physically recover. I rea-

lised that having a healthy body and mind was more important than being able to run fast. Once I had a healthy mind and started enjoying running again I was able to start training and racing properly. K: Last year, however, was a good one for you. 3rd in Tarawera Ul-

people are amazing. I´m really excited to be going back to Western States this year and it is my main focus for the first half of 2017. I will probably run CCC this year but plan to run UTMB in 2018. K: Could you tell us about your plans for the 2017 season? R: My goal race for the first half of the year will be Western States and then running CCC but maybe UTMB if my recovery is good. I´ll also be racing in Spain, Korea and at home in South Africa. I am working on a few free running projects too so I´m really excited about 2017! K: Let’s talk about brands and marketing. Nowadays, if you want some support from brands it isn’t enough to be a good runner. You

“When I was younger I liked to party a lot. I guess it was my way to escape reality and just switch off. When I started running I got the same feeling, it allowed me to just focus on the present and forget everything else. I liked the feeling of achievement running gave me”.

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tra Marathon, 4th in Ultra Trail Australia, 4th in the Grand Raid of Reunion and 4th in Ultra Trail World Tour. Have you thought about returning to Transvulcania, Western States, and UTMB? R: Yes, I really want to go back to Transvulcania as the island and

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also need to be a good public figure with a lot of followers in social media. What´s your opinion on this? R: Yes I agree, you need to be an all-round ambassador for the brands you work with. Social media is becoming more and more important and it’s also very time consuming. It can be very tricky for an athlete and it’s important to keep the balance. Dean Karnazes gave me the best advice ever when I first started running: Winning races is important but it doesn’t necessarily get you sponsorship. I think that was great advice and I have always looked up to how he has managed his career. K: You have a lot of sponsors (Salomon, Red Bull, Suunto, Oakley, Velocity Sports Lab, Fury Ford Fourways) that have allowed you to race in Nepal or Antarctica. How did you get them? R: Finding partners and sponsors can be very difficult and I am lucky to work with many great brands who have allowed me to live my dreams. I believe working with a sponsor is a long-term process

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and you need to both grow the relationship / partnership together. K: What about your relationship with Salomon? How has it evolved during these years? R: I have been with Salomon since 2009 and it´s been an awesome experience to be a part of the Salomon family for so long. They´ve been at the forefront of developing the sport of trail running and it´s been very exciting to work with them and travel all around the world. I help a lot with the design and development of new products and they really want to give their athletes the best possible products to make their running experience the best it can be. K: Could I ask the same question

about Red Bull, Suunto, Oakley, Fury Ford Fourways and Velocity Sports Lab? R: I work really closely with the above sponsors and have worked on building a long-term relationship. I don’t believe sponsorship is shortterm and it is very important to look at the bigger picture. K: How do you manage to balance your private life with commitments with brands and invitations to races? Is it not difficult to draw a line between brand marketing, races, and the simplicity of running just to connect with nature and yourself? R: Yes I think managing my time is getting more and more difficult. It is really exciting though to have so many great opportunities and it´s often very difficult to say no. This year it´s been really hard to say no to races in places like Patagonia, Spain, Mauritius etc. I love what I do

life. Nowadays, social media can be very time and mentally consuming so I think as a young athlete it can be very difficult to find that balance. K: I would like to talk about your training methods. Could you describe a typical week when you are preparing an ultra-trail? R: I´ve been running ultra trail races for more than nine years now so I have started to try and train smarter. I do less weekly mileage now but really focus on what I want to gain out of each session. I run on average 13-22 hours in a week building up to an ultra trail race. I try and get in two focused run sessions a week and then one longer run of 5-8 hours. I also do some strength and mobility training with a trainer

“For the Racing the Planet Sahara Desert Race and the Jungle Marathon I trained in an environmental chamber which could control the heat and humidity of the room. I ran on a treadmill in there but never for longer than two hours. It really helped get my body and mind acclimatised to the extreme heat I was going to face out in the race”. so that really inspires me to make the most out of every day. I think it´s very important to have a good balance between training, sponsor commitments and your personal

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twice a week as I think it´s very important to keep my body moving efficiently. K: I read you needed help from Tim Noakes to use the environmental chamber of Sports Science Institute in South Africa. What´s it like running on a treadmill in a room that simulates such extreme temperatures? R: Yes for the Racing the Planet Sahara Desert Race and the Jungle Marathon I trained in an environmental chamber which could control the heat and humidity of the room. I ran on a treadmill in there but never for longer than two hours. It really helped get my body and mind acclimatised to the extreme heat I was going to face out in the race. I felt like a hamster on a wheel at times as I don’t like running on a treadmill. K: What about your ankles? Are they ok now? You have had some injuries, even in the middle of a race. I remember the Jungle Marathon, the Nepal race, ten days before Western S t a t e s , D ra ke n s berg Grand Traverse... However, you kept running and won most of them. How did you do it? Are you doing any exercises program to strengthen your ankles? R: Touch wood, my ankles have been a lot better during the last year and a bit. I´ve worked really hard at getting them stronger but also working on my propriocep-

tion. I do lots of exercises for my angles and always make sure there is good movement in them before I go running. Our bodies are incredible and whenever I have injured my ankles during a race or just before I´ve managed to keep running on them. I know my body

“I had the ‘emptiness’ feeling after running my first ultra, the Gobi Desert Race. I had spent six months focusing all my energy into preparing for the race. Every spare moment I had was spent training for the race. I ran the race and there was a huge climax of emotions when I crossed the finish line”.

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quite well so I know when I´m able to keep running and when I need to stop for an injury. K: I guess that you must also prepare psychologically, especially for long distance races. I read you divide the race into small goals and try to concentrate on your race without worrying too much

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about other runners. What can you tell us about this? R: I love ultra trails as a huge part of them is about your mental ability. I really try and switch off from racing for the first 50-60 miles of a 100 mile race. I focus on running my own race and breaking it down into mini goals like getting from one aid station to the next. Towards the end of the race I go more into race mode but then I will still keep focusing on breaking the race down into bite size chunks to make the race more mentally achievable. K: Ryan, I heard you really like breaking records. In fact, you have a lot of them, but I would highlight the 76K of Fish River Canyon (6h57m) and 210K of Drakensberg Grand Traverse (41h49m) with Ryno Griesel. I remember the beginning of ‘The Beauty of the Irrational’. It was awesome how you started to descend the technical trail. How do you plan these projects? What are your feelings and fears? I guess they’re very different from a race. Do you still think about doing another one in Rwenzori Mountains?

R: I love trail running because of the adventure it brings me. Running in places like the Fish River Canyon and Drakensberg is what fuels my soul. I love all the planning and unknowns of a free running project. Racing is awesome but it can be very predictable. When planning for a free running project there are so many unknowns and you don’t know if it is even possible. Yes Ryno and I hope to do a traverse of the Rwenzori mountains. We are currently working on permissions etc., to see if it will be possible. I am really, really excited about the thought of going to the Rwenzori mountains! K: I think you´ve mentioned you have a lot to learn from European trail runners. What do you mean by this? R: I think Europe (Spain and France) have the best mountain runners in the world and the level of competition is really good in Europe. Runners in the Southern Hemisphere generally have very mild winters and tend to run all year round. I think this can be a problem and lead to overtraining syndrome and injures. It is important to have an ‘off season’ and take a break every year to recover both physically and mentally. In Europe a number of the trail runners do ski mountaineering in the winter which makes you a very strong mountain runner. It is also great cross training with less impact on your legs than running. K: I’m curious about trail running in South Africa. How has it evolved? R: The sport of trail running has exploded over the last 10 years just like on the international circuit. When I first started trail running in 2007 there were only a handful of races, but now there is a race every

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weekend and often in multiple areas. I think this is really exciting. Most of the trail races in South Africa are between 10-35 km in distance so we have not quite embraced the ultra trail culture yet, but it is starting to take off. K: How do you see the future of trail running? I know this is a complex question. R: I think the sport of trail running has a very exciting future. It is a very young sport that has exploded in popularity all around the world. It is becoming more and more professional and lots of big brands are starting to get behind trail running. This is great but I hope the sport keeps its core values and doesn’t just become a business. I think there are enough passionate trail runners out there that will steer the sport in the right direction. K: And, in your case, where do you see yourself in 10 years time? Do you think you will still be running? Or have another professional career around this sport? R: I love sport and the outdoor environment so I really want to still be involved with the sport after I´ve stopped running. My friend Ryno and I have started a sports management company so I plan to do some stuff through there. Most importantly I feel sport has given me so much that I want to give back too. I´m currently a Laureus Sport Foundation ambassador and would love to get more involved with some of their projects in the future. I will definitely still be running in 10 years time but maybe not professionally. K: Last question, you talk about the emptiness when an important race has finished. I guess a lot of runners feel the same. Could you talk us through these feelings?

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R: Yes, I had the ‘emptiness’ feeling after running my first ultra, the Gobi Desert Race. I´d spent six months focusing all my energy into preparing for the race. Every spare moment I had was spent training for the race. I ran the race and there was a huge climax of emotions when I crossed the finish line and then, about an hour later, when we were going back to our hotel on the bus I thought to myself: what now? I didn’t have another goal after Gobi and I felt a bit directionless. I think a number of runners and athletes feel this way if they don’t have another goal after a big event or challenge.

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WHITE OUT

GREENLAND WHITE ON WHITE

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PHOTO: © PARALELO 70 | ALWAYS EXPLORING.

Text: Paralelo 70

“Accompanied just by his harpoon, the lone fisherman advances along the ice. The picture is completely white. Looking around all reference points are lost and it is only the sound of your breathing that helps you realize the experience is real”. Greenland 2017.

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It snows. It´s strange. The feeling ought to be similar to being enclosed in an immense white sphere. With my body completely covered, the only sound I hear is my own breathing. When I stop... nothing. A silent and eerie emptiness. The only reference point I have is the fisherman who moves towards the whiteness, about 30 meters away, and yet, the snow does not blur his lines. The image is deep. It is not a flat, closed vision formed by the fog, but rather one with a lot of depth. Still, it is impossible to know how much. It is the image of a dreamlike paranoia, more like your imagination than reality. For a moment I take off my mask. Everything is completely white. I can hardly believe the light mea-

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surements from the camera; the brightness is so high that I put the mask on again before my retinas come off.

The image of the fisherman is like something taken straight out of a children’s fairytale. However it is real, hidden, pure.

This is White Out, an Arctic phenomenon that occurs when the whiteness of the ground merges with that of the sky, the horizon is lost, and everything becomes equal, a white so intense and so homogeneous that you are unable to distinguish even your own footprint because no shadows are cast.

Havanna picks up snow from the surface with his shovel and starts chopping the ice until it forms a square. The layer is very thin. He prepares the fishing line, the bait, and throws the weight and, with the help of a long reel of rusty metal, inserts a line of about 300 meters. Two hours later almost half of the bait has gone.

We move on the frozen surface of the sea in search of food. It feels as though it will be impossible to find any form of life in this emptiness.

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When we return, with the sleigh full of fish, the wind begins to blow hard. The snow swirls around piling up on any protruding surface,


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PHOTO: © PARALELO 70 | ALWAYS EXPLORING.

“It´s snowed all night and the sleigh is more resistant to slide. The dogs sink into the white mantle and the skis that transport us make a similar sound to waves on a calm day”.

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“It´s 01:00 in the morning, and the silence is broken only by the crunching of ice sheets beneath our feet. The ice field seems very unstable. The state of the ice has been deteriorating at a frenzied pace in the past few days, but the presence of the aurora borealis keeps us motionless along with the icebergs. At this time of year twilight lasts all night, and the full moon lights up the ice, emitting a bluish reflection that I identify with as the color of coldness”.

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and the dogs get coiled up, as the snow starts to cover them. The light begins to fade and the storm gathers intensity. The wind sweeps up the amassed snow on the fjord slopes, tossing it up strongly. Inside the hunting lodge we drink hot coffee and eat the seal we hunted a few days ago. However, I cannot stay inside too long. Just enough time to warm up. The spectacle is outside, a white hell bathed by the spectral moonlight seeping through the clouds. We cannot even imagine what it must be like to spend the night outdoors in a real arctic storm...

All through the night the cabin creaks. The howling wind, which hours ago engulfed the howling of the dogs themselves, shows us the reality; we are totally isolated in a remote region of the east coast of Greenland. The next morning a gusty wind is still blowing the snow and ice a few centimeters from the icy surface. It has not dawned yet clarity already floods the whole landscape. As the sun begins to rise, the subtle colors of the northern lights give way to the gold that paints the peaks of the mountains that make up the fjord.

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PHOTO: Š PARALELO 70 | ALWAYS EXPLORING.

Throughout the night over 30 centimeters of snow has fallen, and now the ice field is pure white again. On the thin layer of ice that once covered the sea inlet cracks can no longer be seen which, together with the added weight of the snow, makes it even more unstable and dangerous. We have to get out of there as soon as possible, in a race against ice which is deteriorating at an exponential pace. In fact, going back, Havanna will be unable to return on his sleigh to Sermiligaaq days later.

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The sea will have opened up completely, forcing him to board with his dogs. But this will be days later, and us, fleeing the advance of the water; we still have a lot of white to see. The ice shelf, terminal moraines, chaotic ice, icebergs and lots of snow, but nothing as comparable to the absolute white of White Out.


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“The wind swirls up snow and ice particles to form a mist that envelops everything sticking out of the surface. White returns to take over everything and the cold cuts through to our bones freezing our breath”.

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PARALELO 70

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PHOTO: © PIPI CARDELL


PORTRAITS

Text: Pipi Cardell

have a two and a half hour flight before landing in the Lombardy region of Bergamo, a small Italian town at the foot of the Alps where Walter Bonatti was born. It´s enough time to look through my next interviewee´s biography in order to freshen up on some facts. His background is intimidating. Denis Urubko. Born 43 years ago in the Russian town of Nevinnomyssk. Professional ����� mountaineer, writer and freelance journalist. In 1992 he took one of the most important decisions of his life and emigrated to Kazakhstan. From there on his alpine climbs, from the Caucasus to the Himalayas, go to dizzying heights, reaching the fourteen highest peaks in the world in just nine seasons, and all without the use of additional oxygen. On top of that, some were brand new routes or the first winter ascents, and will go down as some of the greatest milestones in mountaineering history. After being nominated four times for the most prestigious mountaineering awards worldwide, he received the Piolet d’Or in 2010 for opening a new route in alpine style on the southeast face of Cho Oyu, with teammate Boris Dedeshko. This expedition has gone down as one of his most committed acts, as it was certain that they would never return to tell the tale. Awards, records of fleeting ascents and extremely difficult new openings appear before my eyes. But anyone can go online and look up those achievements, so what I had come

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to find out is the reason why. What’s so special about Denis Urubko to have been able to achieve, what most of the time, no one has ever done before. Many things are taken as a given. But, what about those that are unknown? My nervousness grows a little when I think that climbing shoes and a harness are packed in my luggage. The experience of being able to climb with someone in that category is priceless, but I hope to have a quiet evening before the interview because, due to work, I have hardly slept over the last few days. Denis has offered to come and get me from the airport as his home is located a few kilometers from Bergamo, in the small town of Nembro. The arrival area is small. Yet we all pile out at once, and in the confusion I can´t find anyone waiting for me. When I turn around I see half his profile. He´s still looking at the arrivals door. It’s been a year since we saw each other at a mountaineering conference, but the physique of Denis Urubko is unmistakable: slender, slightly hunched, with a broad forehead and square jaw. I ask myself if it comes from so much clenching of teeth. Outside the sky is covered by storm clouds. It will set the tone for the next few days given that we are coming up to summer in the Alps. After setting down the luggage and having something to eat, it was more than obvious what Denis wanted to do next.


FOTOGRAFÍA: PIPI CARDELL

PHOTO: © PIPI CARDELL

Are we going to climb? There´s a small area nearby. We still have time to climb a few routes before it rains.

attitude. It is then that he gets out a frisbee and three tennis balls from his bag.

I’m exhausted, but I can´t give a negative answer to someone who oozes nervousness and vitality with every gesture.

It´s best if we warm up a little first.

St. Patrick is an old marble mine in which the marks created by the gunpowder can still be seen along some of the climbing routes. Although the number of routes do not exceed twenty it´s good training ground that requires slab climbing techniques. I restrict myself to just observing what guidelines Denis is following, the way he prepares for climbing. I assume he will be the methodical type that comes from a mainly serious

The circular object flies over our heads, and in seconds I´m jumping up to catch it in the air before throwing it again. I start to catch some of that positive energy that overrides all my fatigue. Denis begins to juggle tennis balls. Coordination, mobility, joints… My warm up routine is completely different, and in any case, not nearly as motivating. Denis, has your motivation always been the same or has it changed over time?

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CHO OYU 2007.

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PHOTO: © DENIS URUBKO’S ARCHIVE

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The motivation to go up mountains, climbing, for ascents?

route but I just go there because I enjoy it. It’s as easy as deciding to go with the flow in the direction you have chosen.

To continue. For me the question is never whether to continue or not. This is not a mind game. I know someone who is constantly trying to look for motivation; how to train, how to go up the mountains and so on. [Laughs]. I don´t get it. If you like it, why do you have to find something to motivate you? For me the answer is very simple: if I like going to the mountains I´m not going to try to motivate myself by saying, “Wow, I really need to do it.” Put pressure on myself, how I should go about it ... No way! Sometimes I’m not thinking about a difficult

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You could say then that it´s a passion. Is it your passion? Passion is being alive, to feel life in every moment, make every second shine. Then there is the way to go about it. There are different options. From enjoying a cup of coffee, to falling in love and making your dreams come true, to having children. There are many important things that make me happy and, that for me, is a fulfilled life. My passion for the mountain runs along that vein, a process that starts with training and ends in that moment


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ago from Italian alpinist Mario Curnis, a dear friend. It is airy and light enters through the many east and south facing windows. Books occupy all of the shelves, except for a pile of them stacked up on a table forming a tower in equilibrium. I´m drawn to the Russian characters on the front covers. Denis, is there one of your books among all these?

PHOTO: © DENIS URUBKO’S ARCHIVE

CHO OYU 2009.

They´re all mine [Smiles]. Some are written in Russian, others in Italian and in Polish. Thirteen in total. This one is about the seven-thousanders of the Soviet Union, the latest to be edited.

you reach your goal. Each of us will have our own way. I´m just explaining my vision of how I focus my passion to be happy. Denis scales quickly and with determination. He is a rock warrior who fights for every step to give it his all. And whilst I avoid the wet dams, he grabs them with the ease of someone who assumes that the adverse conditions are just an inherent part of the climb. His home is in the upper part of Nembro. From there, even though enveloped by dense vegetation, you can see how the clouds gather over the surrounding mountains. The house was bought a year and a half

[The title of Snow Leopard is awarded to the mountaineer who manages to reach the five highest peaks of the Soviet Union. Until the summer of 2016, Denis Urubko held the ascent record after arriving in just 42 days]. Do your books literally tell the stories and experiences you´ve lived through on the mountain, or are you looking to convey something beyond them? I´m not able to live without writing, whether they are articles or books. I need to share my passion and my life with others. The way to do that is through these stories that deal with how to assail mountains, how to achieve your goals, how to survive, how to enjoy ... But for me it´s also important to show other unknown places, those details that people never notice but are amazed to discover. I write about specific moments that I analyze, and which some people may identify with. But for me it´s also important to talk about those people who are always there, let´s say those who are hidden. And I don´t think it´s important if they are my friends or not, but rather because they focus their actions towards a productive goal, and so they grab my attention. For example, Sergei Samoilov with whom I made the first ascent up the south face of Broad Peak in alpine style, or Yuri Gorbunov, my antagonist, but who I see as someone who has done many positive things for mountaineering in Kazakhstan. It´s important that people know about them.

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CHO OYU 2009.

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PHOTO: © DENIS URUBKO’S ARCHIVE

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I remember seeing a photograph in an expedition in which you are writing a diary. For someone who lives so intensely, and even such extreme situations, you must feel at some point the need to externalize them. Is this a way of meditation for you?

rent issues, just as I´m interested in reading various opinions of other people. Sometimes I also think it’s exhausting, but I keep going. It´s something that helps you to write too, to have a general view of life, to see things from different points of view.

In any case I need to write something. When I made the ascent of Broad Peak, a magazine asked me to write an article about it. I started thinking and immediately my mind went back to a year earlier, recalling the difficulties, the risks, the feelings. In that instant I became nervous again. I remembered so much that I started to relive it again. It was like going back and doing the south side ascent of Broad. It´s very satisfying to be able to climb again, and again, and again ... as many times as you can, as often as you want.

I agree that diversity is essential for increasing knowledge. You can even extrapolate climbing: developing skills for different types of rocks makes you a more all-round climber. I don’t know if tomorrow we´ll be able to put ours into practice because it´s supposed to rain here throughout the day.

My greatest moments of reflection come when I play an old flute that I´ve had for eighteen years. On occasions we may write very personal things. In my case I’m not always sure I want to share them with other people. Do you share everything or are there some details you keep a secret? I disagree with you. If you´re writing something that means that you’d like to share it, but you’re afraid of how people will take it. Because, whilst some things are normal for you, other people might interpret them as strange or stressful. And they will attack you. That’s why you don´t want to reveal them. But if you find someone who has the same mentality, the same view of the world, I think you´d share with pleasure. Anyway, I´d write about it. People can think about me whatever they want. It’s my personality. In my books I sometimes write things that are uncomfortable for a normal way of thinking, but it’s my life. Some people choose to put it down and think: “I´m gonna stop reading this, Denis is exhausting and I´m not gonna keep reading this, not tomorrow nor the day after.” But I keep trying to deal with diffe-

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There´s always somewhere to climb It´s five in the morning. Everything is pitch black except the lines that trace the car’s headlights. Denis drives whilst I doze in the passenger seat with my head on a fluffy feather filled sack. It begins to dawn on an open landscape up to the horizon. The mountains are behind us. A low sun filters through the windscreen to illuminate our smiling faces. It’s as if confirmation that today will be a great day. After three hours on the road, the air smells of salt. We have arrived at Finale Ligure, Denis´ favorite climbing area. Located in the Savona province and bathed by the Ligurian Sea, it has all the charm of a Mediterranean village. After a short walk we reach the foot of some compact gray limestone vertical walls. These ropes are different to the ones we used yesterday, right? Right... I have different length ropes depending on the area I´m going to climb. I´m not sure whether to laugh or be silent in amazement. In the end I laugh in amazement. One of Denis´ projects he´s been carrying out for years is instructing a group of mountain climbers, mostly young people. They do


PHOTO: © PIPI CARDELL

technical������������������������������������ ascents as well as those at altitude or in winter conditions. What methodology do you use to train them in climbing and mountaineering? I build upon three basic areas: teach them to acquire skills, to avoid the pitfalls and to enjoy it. In my humble opinion, if you’re well prepared you can climb difficult routes and find pleasure in all conditions and in all circumstances. I know you work with your students in a completely altruistic way, but we all need a reason to reach our goals. Is there something that spurs you to spend so many months a year with them, something that they give back to you, perhaps? That´s an interesting and easy question to answer, although I´ve never really thought about it before. We have many students, because anyone can join up. I need to constantly train with them. Sometimes we can go a week or two performing technical activities or at altitude. That means I end up

training almost every day, and this gives me very good preparation. In this way, too, I always have companions, young ones but those who do altitude climbs and ascents I like. With some I also get to do some hard and difficult activities like I did with Gennadiy Durov. We received the Piolet d´Or for Asia in 2011, and were nominated for the international Piolet d´Or the year after for a new route in Pobeda Peak, “Dollar Rod”. Or for example with Boris Dedeshko, with whom I climbed the southeast face of Cho Oyu, which earned us the Piolet d´Or in 2010. This is because we have a very similar mentality and vision of the mountain that leads us in the same direction. For us it’s not about how to do the things. We just go and climb together, even if the impact afterwards is huge, as has been the case. I´m honored that people believe in me and follow my philosophy within the mountains. Of course they provide me with a lot of possibilities, besides making me feel strong. What is important is that almost all of them are young, and that energy gives me a lot of “power”.

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Being with a team of 18-20 year olds is much better than training alone. They transmit that feeling so useful for me when doing activities. So you also learn from them… Of course. Because I see how they act in modern relationships, as relationships between people have changed a lot in the last twenty years. It helps me build my own with them. Then perhaps you are in a privileged position to see how the future of mountaineering will unfold. I´m not so sure. What I am certain of is that I see the future of mountaineering as a development of humanity, just that. As I said, twenty years ago people were different, and in another twenty the relationship between people and the mountain will also have changed. It´s possible that they´ll do other types of activities, although technically not very different. Well, there will always be advances in material to improve safety, but I think the biggest difference will be in humanity. And in this sense I think that humanity should become like it was two hundred years ago. What I mean is we should learn to enjoy building our relationships with other people. For me this is the most important thing. Do you remember I told you the other day about the writer Erich Maria Remarque? In his book “The Black Obelisk” he talks about people going to Africa or Asia in search of adventure and �������������������������������������� asked��������������������������������� why, when the most important adventures are within our mind. I agree with him in the sense that there are a ton of possibilities to open new routes there or in the Alps, to explore new tracks for yourself, to grow as a person. For me the adventure is here today, in Finale Ligure. Both the rock and the tracks chosen by Denis are of an excellent quality while technically challenging. But that makes it even more enjoyable as you try to uncover each of the steps until you reach

the top, and once there turn around to see the vast shimmering sea under your feet. It’s almost noon and the proximity of the coast soaks the air in humidity. I constantly need to drink while Denis has not had a drop of water. Denis, a little water? No, no thanks. In this heat if I don´t drink I get dehydrated. Not you? No. If you are very well trained and prepare your body so that when you eat you store all that energy in your muscles, such as fats and water, then you can do a hard seven or eight day climb during which you´ll use up everything you´ve stored. You´ll release it all during that time, then afterwards you don´t need anything else. Back at base camp you can recover again. So you see there´s no need to bring tons of gas to prepare water, nor carry a lot of food in order to consume lots of calories each day. For example, Cho Oyu, along with my teammate Boris, we carried just two gas cylinders for eleven days. We prepared food but not with boiling water, just enough to warm ourselves up a little by eating porridge and drinking a kind of tea. That allowed us to carry less weight in our backpack and make a quick ascent. Manaslu was the same. It’s my way of doing things. There are people who are not prepared in that sense and who prefer a more pleasant ascent, taking lots of food, a lot of gas, a lot of warm clothes ... but they go up very slowly. I respect that. It´s simply a different way of doing things. Mountaineers like Ueli Steck or Alex Txikon also train as if they were athletes so they can do light and fast ascents, because you can only achieve that if you are very well prepared. Would you say then that´s a factor that marks the difference between ordinary people performing ascents and people that do… extraordinary things? It´s probably not the only factor, but yes, an important one, as patience.

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I’m sure there´s also something innate in the person that makes a difference, something they possess or can´t be learnt in any way. Of course. We are all different, we are human. The power of mind you have is important, but the direction it takes too. In that sense we put pressure on ourselves to be climbers, to go up mountains. The important thing is to do things with passion in the direction you choose. I think I could now concentrate all my passion on eating something! Great! We have time to go down to the beach for a swim and do some more climbing in the afternoon before going back to Nembro. Beyond the words, I am starting to realize that Denis makes it very easy to go with the flow and feel every moment, as he himself defines it, brilliant. Denis, when you´re on an expedition what do you miss the most?

in normal life would take maybe a year. In that moment I am completely happy.

This life. The mountain is my job.

In those few seconds of elation, is it not too easy to cross the line?

In my book on the snow leopard, I talk a lot about “What is life”. My answer is: the search for immortality. I reckon there are six different ways. Among them is real immortality, which is simply when a person feels good, positively charged. In everything you do, you exist in the world. Another, is the actions on the border between life and death. Why do people like to take risks? Because in that instant people get nervous energy and feel very strongly that they´re on the edge of life. Feel that every moment is unique. It´s the same reason we do mountain activities. We overcome difficulties to survive and keep doing more. In rapid ascents when I´m at my limit I feel I’m the only person on the planet doing that, and I give it everything I have. It drains out all my humanity and energy, and I reach a state of happiness because the balance between life and death is in equilibrium. In that second you live out what

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We make a lot of mistakes. Not just mountaineers. There are also runners who can suffer a heart attack. Therefore in that moment you have to step up to the plate and be a professional. You need to be well educated and know how to survive, how not to cross the line or to cross it but be able to go back. It´s important because, sometimes, as in Cho Oyu or Lhotse, you step over the limit, but you should know how to take a step back. I was sure that Boris and I were going to die there. And you have to decide: do I stay here and wait for death, or do I die trying to do something. We continued and descended despite the awful conditions. The mountain is an art where you try to do something unusual that nobody has ever done before. It´s your belief on life, and like any art form, it should be complete. We did it.


have a very strong reason, an enormous satisfaction or great financial reward. There may be many reasons, but in any case it has to be something extraordinary, not just for the sake of feeling excitement. Beforehand there was something boring in my soul that drove me to make such ascents, and I needed them to explore ... to ... explode! [Laughs.] We have lunch next to the church, the highest point of the village. Denis prepares a picnic on a cool stone bench. Cheese cannot be left out of his diet. I think he suffers an addiction to mozzarella, to ricotta with jam and to Parmesan. The bells begin to toll loudly as the breeze stirs up a line of Buddhist prayer flags that someone must have hung in the square. The colors are vivid and the characters seem to dance happily, but I cannot avoid the question. Now I do things differently, I think it’s more of a biological question because my work is different now from when I was young and did things without any hesitation or fear.

You say that seeing death up close has been a turning point in the way you approach mountaineering. I guess that´s why the way you deal with it will be different.

Even so, your current activities continue to imply a lot of risk...

Yes, it´s been a great lesson. How do you interpret it?

But it´s not as extraordinary as it was before. Expeditions still remain risky. The winter at K2 is. But the risk is different. It’s like a fight in the street or a heated argument. Both are probably dangerous just in a different way. When I was twenty or twenty-five, I did many difficult ascents and some in solitary. Later I also did them, such as the ascent of the north ridge at Lhotse or the north face of Kanchenjunga, but this time aware of the price of danger. When I was young I had gone over it in my mind. I was aware that if I fell I could break my leg or even die, but I hadn´t seen many examples. Now I’ve seen what really happens. People take risks for nothing and lose everything. Now I know that to take that risk you must

Perhaps I don´t know how people who don´t do mountaineering see death, but genuinely when a friend dies in your hands, when you have to lower their body off the mountain ... I´ve lost many. I know it’s a normal thing. It’s part of life. People die. But that means my friends are no longer able to fulfill themselves, to go back and open routes in the mountains, to have children, to see them grow up. Death is the most important reason to be afraid. That moment you decide to take a risk you need to understand what you are going to give up for it. That means you have to control every step of your life to keep you alive. For example, when I’m driving or walking down the street, I control a lot of things around me: what will the car

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next to me do, how are people working on that roof ... I try to control everything to avoid the dangers. Also I have a very good imagination. I think, what’s the worst that can happen at any time? When I´m with my students, and we´re about five or six advancing, for example on the glacier, I am doing everything in every moment to assure their safety. If a storm gathers, if someone has put their crampons on incorrectly because they´re inexperienced... I have in mind all those details around me. Maybe it´s a kind of mental state or Kung fu [Laughs]. Is it something you´ve learnt on the mountain? No, I´ve learnt it for myself. It´s rather a philosophy on how I should act and how I should react at any given moment, or what those people should do. I keep an eye on the whole group and that avoids many dangerous situations. Being that way must be very stressful, right? Of course it is, but what am I going to do, that´s life. To keep alive, to continue. Sometimes I also think about what´s the worst that can happen and I say to myself “stop thinking like that because all you´ll do is to create a negative mind set”.

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It´s easy for that to happen. I enjoy it because it´s like building up game moves in chess. Everything´s in your hands and depends on you. When I climb alone, however, I´m not so worried, and I just follow the passion. It’s like a natural wave, full of power, and I forget about the risks. I´m only in contact with the rock and the ice. I limit myself to going with the flow. Everything becomes intuitive and I climb with the right moves. At that point I stop thinking like a computer, and the reason is because I only have a duty to myself. But, for this, it´s very important to have prepared yourself well beforehand.

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By nature I’m like a predator who´s developed a special instinct: intuition. I don´t explicitly realize what´s happening, but my mind intuitively, because of previous experiences, makes the best decisions because it knows how to survive in that situation. What level of preparation do you feel you have at this moment of your life? I´m physically less strong than ten years ago. In that period my abilities were the most developed. But now I’m stronger mentally. I need to finish my career as a mountaineer by doing ascents in altitude. Rock climbing is good preparation at a technical level, but to operate at high altitudes the training is totally different. Soon I’ll be going with students to Lenin Peak, to Mount Elbrus in winter, and then I think I´ll ascend Cho Oyu with them via the classic route, which also suits me, although I´m thinking, “Umm ... maybe I should try a new route!” Right now I need to push ascents in the next two to three years. Then I´m thinking of devoting myself to more technical climbs such as Ushba, the south face of Cerro Torre would be amazing, the Grandes Jorasess from the Italian side. The north face of Latok is a big dream of mine, but it´s in Pakistan and it´s a forbidden country for me because of the terrorism. And among so many dreams, do you feel that some might be impossible now because the time to do it has already gone by? In the north face of K2 there is a direct route. An amazing route that no one has ever climbed. But I think my time to attempt it has faded because you need to be in a very strong physical condition, have a good fellow climber and the money to do it. Of these three premises, money is the least important, because now I have more skills to finance projects. More importantly, and harder to find right now is the time to train, since I´m mainly dedicated to my family and my students, and you need two years

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to focus exclusively on it. Perhaps then I´d be prepared. In terms of my peers, my life is a bit crazy at the moment. As I now live between Russia, Poland and Italy it´s difficult to find stability in relationships. In a couple of years I hope to rebuild my network and find strong companions who I believe in and who believe in me to tackle a good climb. Maybe not the north face of K2, but there is the option of returning to the south face of Everest. I dream about the possibility of opening a new route in Alpine style. It´s an interesting challenge that I think no one else has achieved (please correct me if I´m wrong). When we tried to do it in 2013, my partner Alexei Bolotov died in an accident during the descent. I still feel very deeply for his loss. So perhaps I´d try to do it again and dedicate it to the memory of my great friend Alexei. We head back the same as we came, pitch black and with the storm hanging over us. After dinner Denis tells me the story of his life as photos flash onto the computer screen. Among them a sepia photo stays with me. One in which, as a small child, he appears having climbed to the top of an iron pyramid structure. His sister and cousin are at the foot. That was my first summit... And your last? With which would you like to close your career as a high altitude mountaineer? Whilst it means going through Pakistan, K2 in winter is my epic tale. It´s a question I asked myself a long time ago and which I´ve not yet found an answer. I will try to go back and get one.


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LA SPORTIVA

INNOVATION WITH PASSION Text: Kuanoi

W N E 0 17 -2 SS

LA SPORTIVA AKYRA. MOUNTAIN RUNNING SHOE

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LA SPORTIVA SS2017

La Sportiva is passion, a constant challenge, evolution. La Sportiva is a way of understanding the mountain, a determination to build the future of outdoor sports, a vocation. The Italian firm, founded in 1928, is also a way of life, as its recently deceased president Francesco Delladio said: “I will never leave it, this is my life.” The Val di Fiemme company, at the foot of the Dolomites, is the creator of a brand that is, has been, and will always be at the heart of those of us who love the mountain and the possibilities it offers us, whatever our sport: climbing, mountaineering, mountain running, hiking… Mountain sports at large. Each year it strives to surpass itself and bring to the market new models that best fulfill the needs of today´s mountain sportsmen and women. Its R&D department constantly innovates to provide solutions that meet even the most demanding technical requirements, and always trying to do so in an environmentally sustainable way. At The Ridge we would like to introduce you to the new Spring/Summer season. Of course, and once again, you will be impressed! Passion and innovation can be seen in each product. Here are some of the new models for each category: climbing, mountain running, mountaineering, approach and hiking… and not forgetting LaspoKids, specifically designed for those who will be the future of mountain sports.

MOUNTAIN CULTURE MAGAZINE

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LA SPORTIVA

CLIMBING MIURA XX

This signature edition style celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Miura climbing shoe and the athlete who has helped its evolution: Adam Ondra. Precise, firm and structured as always and eve more durable thanks to the P3 System’s, deformation resistant technology.

sole

g 560

PER PAIR

A re-edition of the famous Mythos climbing shoe made with eco-friendly materials to minimize the environmental impact. It is the versatile shoe par excellence, suitable for long routes thanks to the exceptionally confortable fit.

sole

g 480

PER PAIR

33 - 48 + 1/2

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La Sportiva Frixion Eco 4 mm

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32 - 46 + 1/2

Vibram XS Edge

MYTHOS ECO


W N E 0 17 2 SS

MAVERINK

Climbing shoe with No-Edge technology particularly suitable to enhance sensitivity on holds. It is designed for lightweight climbers and is fully customizable in aesthetics through the markers included.

sole

g 400

PER PAIR

32 - 42

sole

g 510

Vibram XS Grip2 3mm

KATAKI

Versatile, high performance climbing shoe designed for outodoor use at the crag, suitable for overhanging cliffs, favours heel hooks thanks to the S-Heel construction system.

PER PAIR

+ 1/2

33 - 46 + 1/2

Vibram

XS Edge 4 mm

> MOUNTAIN CULTURE MAGAZINE

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LA SPORTIVA

APPROACH TX 4 MID GTX

Mid-cut protective boot with leather uppers, soft cuff and waterproof and breathable Gore Tex membrane. Designed for technical approach routes, via ferrata and hiking even with fully loaded backpacks. Lightweight and comfortable, the boot is ideal for hikers and mountain lovers.

sole

g 485

PER PAIR

36 - 47,5 + 1/2

Vibram Mega-Grip

MOUNTAIN HIKING Low cut hiking boot with Gore-Tex Surround membrane. Designed for fast hiking with light loads on gravel paths. The perfect balances between modernity and tradition thanks to the leather with lateral inserts using Nano-Cells technology for maximum breathability. sole

g 420

HALF PAIR

36 - 47,5

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+ 1/2

Vibram IBS

MOUNTAIN CULTURE MAGAZINE

GENESIS GTX SURROUND


W N E 0 17 2 SS

MOUNTAINEERING TRANGO TOWER GTX

Lightwight, modern, Gore-Tex boot with the unmistakable aesthetic function of the Trango series. Designed for mountain hiking, via ferrata and backpacking with heavy loads.

sole

g 1.400

PER PAIR

36 - 48 + 1/2

La Sportiva Cube by Vibram

MOUNTAINEERING G5

Ultra technical, waterproof boot for high altitude mountaineering and for working outdoors in cold temperatures. Quick and easy to fit, it features quickdrying materials.

sole

g 1.710

PER PAIR

37 - 48 + 1/2

Vibram

>

IBS

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LA SPORTIVA

W N E 0 17 2 SS

MOUNTAIN RUNNING AKYRA

A structured and protective mountain running shoe ideal for endurance routes such as ultra trails and ultra marathons, Akyra is fitting, comfortable and flexible designed for extended trail use.

g 670

DROP

PER PAIR

36 - 47,5 + 1/2

9 mm

LASPOKIDS Laspokids range is designed to stimulate kid’s physical and mental growth in a natural way thanks to technologies and solutions that promote freedom, proprioception, interaction with the environment and “sensorial comfort”.

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FLASH, SCOUT AND GRIPIT


kissthemountain.com | facebook.com/TheRidgeMag MOUNTAIN CULTURE MAGAZINE

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TROMSØ SKYRACE

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FOTOGRAFÍA: © KILIAN JORNET


PLAY VIDEO

FOTOGRAFÍA: CC BY MARK LEDINGHAM, TROMSØ KOMMUNE

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POSTCARDS

HAMPEROKKEN SKYRACE. 53 KM. 4,600 METER ASCENT V TECHNICAL LEVEL. EXTREME SERIES ISF. Text Maite Maiora

UNIQUE. This is the Tromsø Skyrace tour. More specifically, the race known as Hamperokken Skyrace, and its wild crest five kilometers in length which makes it more than a race, it is a personal challenge. DIFFICULTY. Walking along this ridge in the middle of the race makes us feel clumsy, slightly useless. Doubts creep in. Did the training work? The interval training, on track or uphill? The pace changes? All this for nothing. SKILL. And ability. That’s what makes the difference between a ridge where there is no path. Just intuition. DEMANDING. This ridge puts us in our place. It makes us forget we´re competing. The only goal is to find a path. Without making errors. Steady footing. There is no turning back. Just look forward. Keep going whilst the meters pass by. A game. A mark ... to aim for. I jump over here, I support myself over there. Better not to think about falling into the void. The fog becomes your ally. But the abyss is still there. You cannot forget that. Eyes nailed on the next step. TENSION. In your body. It’s a mistake. It shouldn’t be like this. How do I manage to relax in such a place? That’s the key. Skill and dexterity. Forget your fear.

VIDEO: CRUX FILM

www.tromsoskyrace.com

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FOTOGRAFÍA: XXX

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POSTCARDS

Hands gripping cold rock. Looking for the next goal. Tension.

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FOTOGRAFÍA: © KILIAN JORNET

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FOTOGRAFÍA: © KILIAN JORNET

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POSTCARDS Balancing over the abyss. Invisible holes. Beauty.

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POSTCARDS

A misty horizon. The rope is your lifeline. Fear.

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FOTOGRAFÍA: © KILIAN JORNET

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FOTOGRAFÍA: © KILIAN JORNET

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POSTCARDS Looking forward. Fog as your ally. Strength.

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POSTCARDS

The mountain in its greatest expression. The wild. Emotion.

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FOTOGRAFÍA: © KILIAN JORNET FOTOGRAFÍA: XXX

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PHOTO: © PAUL BRIDE | SOLO

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CVCEPHOTO

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INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN PHOTO CONTEST


2nd

PHOTO: © STEFAN SCHLUMPF | INTO THE DARK

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POSTCARDS

A TRACE ON THE SNOW, A FOOTPRINT IN THE MUD, A DREAM‌ Terrifying storms. Endless snow slopes. Beams of light that enter in a surrealistic way. Leaps into nothingness. Walls leading to heaven or death. Ice where we hang our lives. Caves that penetrate ourselves. Impossible balancing acts. Roads that lead to eternity. Silence that shouts at you. Cracks that sink into the abyss. Ridges between life and death. Vertical challenges. Footprints in the snow that take you into the unknown. Dreamlike scenes of heartrending beauty. Mountains that go into inner earth. CVCEPHOTO is all this and much more, an international photography contest of mountain activities, organized by the Basque Club of Camping Elkartea of Donostia. More than 700 photographs from over 50 countries took part in its second edition, in which selected photos and finalists were presented on June 18th in the Sala Kutxa Andia in San Sebastian (Spain). Toughness, composition, light and shadows, textures, beauty and the mountain, excitement and emotion, all behind this small selection of works that The Ridge has the honor to be able to present to its readers, and where man and mountain meet. Forever. w w w . c v c e p h o t o . c o m

MOUNTAIN CULTURE MAGAZINE

FOTOGRAFĂ?A: XXX

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POSTCARDS

PHOTO: PAUL BRIDE

FIRST PRIZE.

TITLE: THE STORM

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2nd

PHOTO: © PAUL BRIDE

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2nd

PHOTO: © YHABRIL

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POSTCARDS

PHOTO: YHABRIL

SECOND PRIZE.

TITLE : OREO’S WARTH

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POSTCARDS

PHOTO: KRYSTLE WRIGHT

THIRD PRIZE.

TITLE: THE CITADEL

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2nd

PHOTO: © KRYSTLE WRIGHT FOTOGRAFÍA: XXX

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2nd

PHOTO: © KAMIL SUSTIAK

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POSTCARDS

PHOTO: KAMIL SUSTIAK TITLE: HIGH ON LIFE

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POSTCARDS

PHOTO: KLAUS FENGLER TITLE: CAVE CLIMBING

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2nd

PHOTO: © KLAUS FENGLER FOTOGRAFÍA: XXX

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2nd

PHOTO: © LUCASZ WARZECHA

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POSTCARDS

PHOTO: LUKASZ WARZECHA TITLE: BULL RIVER

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POSTCARDS

PHOTO: KRYSTJAN–JAAK TAMMSAAR TITLE: PURGATORY

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2nd

PHOTO: © KRYSTJAN-JAAK TAMMSAAR FOTOGRAFÍA: XXX

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2nd

PHOTO: © DAVID WRANGBORG

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POSTCARDS

PHOTO: DAVID WRANGBORG TITLE: PASSING

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POSTCARDS

PHOTO: MARKUS BERGER TITLE: BLACK LIGHT ICE CLIMB

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2nd

PHOTO: © MARKUS BERGER FOTOGRAFÍA: XXX

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2nd

PHOTO: © TERO REPO

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POSTCARDS

PHOTO: TERO REPO TITLE: PAIN DU SUCRE

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POSTCARDS

PHOTO: JAVIER URBÓN TITLE: ALMAS GEMELAS

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2nd

PHOTO: © JAVIER URBÓN FOTOGRAFÍA: XXX

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2nd

PHOTO: © MARCIO CABRAL

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POSTCARDS

PHOTO: MARCIO CABRAL TITLE: PRECIOSIDAD DE CUEVA

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ON THE COVER The Dolomites. Photo: FOTOGRAFÍA Bonciutoma DE-PORTADA: Dreamstime. UTMB. Fotógrafía: Issue [001]. Fede Vertigo. Arcos (Paralelo April 201770). PUBLISHER www.kissthemountain.com Número theridge@kissthemountain.com #08. Horizonte. Septiembre 2016 Granada. Spain EDITOR EDITA IN CHIEF kissthemountain J. M. Ávila juanmi@kissthemountain.com C/ Albaricoque, 18 18198 Huétor Vega – Granada ART DIRECTION info@kissthemountain.com & DESIGN LAYOUT Kiko Cardona kiko@kissthemountain.com REDACCIÓN Juanmi Ávila juanmi@kissthemountain.com TRANSLATION Liz Barrass Jenna ARTE Strizzi Leticia KikoS.Cardona Balsalobre kiko@kissthemountain.com ADVERTS & MARKETING theridge@kissthemountain.com MAQUETACIÓN Y DISEÑO Kissthemountain (+34) 670013576 CONTRIBUTORS PUBLICIDAD publicidad@kissthemountain.com Gontxal K.N. (+34) J. J.670013576 Alcaide Fede Arcos COLABORADORES Pipi Cardell Guillermo Maite Maiora Olcina Maite Maiora PHOTOGRAPHERS Aritz Urdampilleta Fred Marmsater Pipi Cardell Stefan Schlumpf Matt Trappe Fede Arcos (Paralelo 70) Paul Bridge Rickey Gates Yhabril Paralelo 70 FOTOGRAFÍA Krystle Wright Bonciutoma - Dreamstime Paralelo 70 Kamil Sustiak Jordi Saragossa Carlos Llerandi Kilian Jornet Iosu Juaristi Iosu Juaristi Klaus Fengler Kelvin Trautman - Red Bull Content Pool Rubén Fueyo Lukasz Warzecha Craig Kolesky - Red Bull Content PoolKilian Jornet Krystjan-Jaak Tammsaar Carlos Llerandi Luis Ordóñez David Wrangborg Igor Quijano Mikel Besga Markus Berger Javier Colmenero Pipi Cardell Tero Repo Pipi Cardell Jordi García Localpres Javier Urbón Fernando Guevara Marcio Cabral Pyrene Media . .

Prohibida Copyright la reproducción, 2017 Kissthemountain. edición Nooliability transmisión is accepted total forothe parcial accuracy por of cualquier the information mediocontaiy en ned herein, cualquier nor are any soporte guarantees sin lagiven autorización by the magazine. escritaCopyright de kissthemountain. worldwide of original mateKissthemountain rial is held by Kissthemountain no comparte andnecesariamente permission must belas obtained opiniones for any deuse, sustransmission, colaboradores. storage or reproduction. Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily shared by the publisher. Kissthemountain assumes no responsibility for the loss or damage of unsolicited material. 188 THE RIDGE

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PHOTO: © ARCHIVE KTHEM

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PHOTO: © ARCHIVE KTHEM

Publisher by:

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The Ridge [001]. Vertigo  

Mountain culture magazine.

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