Helping to train the next generation of Alpinists.
- Erik Rieger.
On January 12, the Alpine Mentors group, which includes Nik Mirhashemi, JD Merritt, Kurt Ross, and I, flew from the US to Munich. From there, we drove south to meet Steve House, first in the small mountain hub of Lienz, Austria. Steve secured lodging for us at the highest farmhouse/lodge above Lienz from January 12–15 from which we could base our initial adventures. Imagine a steep, snowy, winding road, endlessly switch backing up a vertical mountainside—something like you might see in car chase movie scene.
With a notably good late fall season for alpine climbing in Europe—meaning, no snow—we hoped to climb long and technical routes on some of the big walls in the eastern alps, primarily northwestern Slovenia, all the while meeting up with skilled, local “mentors” who’d climb with us. (All we had for prior planning, really, was a handwritten note Steve left us during a prior trip to the Black Canyon.)
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