The beauty of alpine climbing is difficult to explain. It is cold, sometimes very dangerous, and many times when encountering difficult situations I find myself give a silent praise, promising I never will climb again if I just will get down ok.
Getting to the top is also not the joy you usually see on climbing documentaries with a group of climbers reaching the summit of a mountain, cheering together in the sunrise with tears in their eyes explaining to the camera that they have never been this happy.
In reality, when getting to a summit it is often hurricane winds, freezingly cold and after having climbed for maybe fifteen hours or more, you are tired to death and have the worst headache of your life because of the altitude. The second you put your foot on the summit, you also realise that you only are half way and many, many hours of getting back to safety. Usually, when arriving at the top I just want to get down again as fast as possible, and when finally back down half a day later, I many times promise myself never to risk my life again for getting to the top of some rock in the middle of nowhere.
But then after a few days in a warm bed with your feet stopped hurting and with restored energy, something happens. Slowly the memories of the cold nights in an ice-covered tent and all the pain and suffering you went through to get to the top start to fade. Suddenly the storm and the cold on the summit is not what you remember, but how breathtakingly beautiful it was standing on the top with the whole world under your feet. It also starts to hit you that you actually made it. That the hundreds of hours training paid off. And it is then it happens. You start thinking that ‘if you made it to the summit of this mountain, shouldn’t it be possible to climb this other peak you heard so much about? Sure this next one is much harder than the one we just climbed, but maybe if training just a little bit more…’
I want to end this text with sharing a breathtaking video from BBC. The first half is from Matterhorn which I got the opportunity to climb a few years ago located about three hours from our home, and the second half from Mt. Blanc which I have summited five times. It pretty much sums up all reasons why I climb.