Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Haili,hailo - monte rosa, 19-21/09/08

Poze

Haili, hailo, suntem pitici misto...imi rasuna in urechea interioara in timp ce urc spre nori. Oare sa fie corul piticilor de pe creierul meu? E posibil. In tot cazul, au ritm:) Si urc din Alagna spre Monte Rosa cu piticii mei cu tot, gandindu-ma cu groaza la cardul de turisti pe care sigur ii voi intalni, avand in vedere ca Monte Rosa este masivul cu cei mai multi 4 miari usor de urcat. Dar trebuie sa-mi testez pioletul (apropos, a fost dragoste la prima atingere, pur si simplu nu m-am mai putut desparti de el, in special din cauza zelb-ului pe care l-am folosit in loc de manseta si la care i-am facut un nod cum numai eu stiu face (nu inca si desface)), si aici e locul cel mai nimerit, avand in vedere ca e de-a dreptul autostrada pe ghetar. Ajunsa la Pianalunga, unde muntele e transformat in santier, imi dau seama ca voi avea muntele doar pt mine (si piticii mei) pt ca telecabina nu functioneaza. Ura!
Intr-adevar nu intalnesc nici un turist pana ajung la refugiul Cita di Vigevano, un bloc imens asezat la 20 metri de celalalt bloc, refugiul Guglielmina. Aici apare si prima surpriza neplacuta - refugiile sunt inchise, ceea ce va duce si la testarea foliei de supravietuire. Sunt dezamagita - face condens - dar noaptea trece si plec odata cu soarele si cu piticii mei spre Passo dei Salati si Punta Indren. Poteca ocoleste Stolenberg trecand peste niste pietre pe care ieri noapte s-a asternut zapada; in departare se vad varfurile albului etern (ori cel putin etern pana cand incalzirea globala ii va veni de hac), varfurile muntelui roz insa nu se vad. Sper ca n-am gresit masivul. Ajung la ghetarul Indren pe care trebuie sa-l traversez. Hmm. Ghetar=crevase , + zapada de ieri noapte=crevase acoperite, + eu singura pe ghetar=...haili,hailo,suntem pitici misto. Fac primul pas singura pe ghetar. Se vede o urma, probabil ramasitele autostradei estive si ma tin de ea. Traversarea e scurta, ajunsa pe partea cealalta pot sa vad ridurile ghetarului ranjind in soare. Mda. Haili,hailo.
Urmeaza o urcare pe stanci, aproape ca pe trepte, si mai e si balustrada (corzi fixe). Ultima coarda ma scoate un pic mai sus de refugiul Cita di Mantova si mult mai jos de refugiul Gnifetti. Dar se vede Piramide Vincent, deci n-am gresit masivul! Traversez panta inzapezita spre refugiul Gnifetti, dar la jumatate de drum ma decid sa urc in ceea ce pare a fi un pas - poate, poate se zaresc varfurile roze. Rozosinul e pus pe sotii astazi, pt ca nu e nici un pas, ci inceputul ghetarului incadrat de peretele seracat al Lyskamm-ului si cel al Piramide Vincent. Ajung la refugiu asteptandu-ma la aceeasi prezenta umana de pana acum (adica nula); dar surpriza! la refugiu e un nene cabanier care ma anunta ca refugiul e inchis. N-apuc bine sa spun cati suntem in grup (recunosc ca piticii nu i-am declarat) ca nenea ma adopta si devin rasfatata refugiului.
Dupa ce ma indoapa bine (mama fii pe faza, cineva te-a intrecut!), ma conduce in zona VIP, adica pe platforma unde aterizeaza elicopterul si unde petrec o dupamasa la bronzat si numarat crevase printre nori. Ceata se joaca toata ziua in timp ce eu imi antrenez ochii dibuind o urma pe ghetar pe unde ma tenteaza sa urc (deh, piticii). Totusi hotarasc sa astept grupul celor 5 francezi care vin cu ghid si in coarda carora intentioneaza sa ma lege parintele meu adoptiv, desi mie imi ajunge dc deschid ei poteca.
Spre seara apar si francezii si are loc o noua serie de adoptiuni, in timp ce ghidul ma priveste cu ochii mari de dupa ochelari si ma felicita pt urcarea pana la refugiu. ??? Ma rog, nu-l contrazic, ca el o sa faca poteca:) Apare si un italian care a urcat si el tot de unul singur din Alagna, pe care insa nu-l adopta nimeni. Discriminare clara.
Dimineata trupele se schimba, in sensul ca eu urmeaza sa ma leg in coarda cu italianul. Surpriza neplacuta e ca a nins, si un strat de zapada proaspata se asterne peste ce au fost urmele pe care le-am parcurs de zeci de ori ieri cu privirea. Dupa ce ma echipez ca la carte si iesim afara, fac 20 de metri pana in spatele refugiului timp in care italianul calca coarda cu coltarii de vreo 3 ori si eu nu pot respira din cauza viscolului (cagula am uitat-o), si hotarasc ca eu astept rasaritul la refugiu. O decizie care imi permite sa-mi incalzesc varfurile degetelor de la picioare deja inghetate, si sa pornesc odata cu soarele (si evident cu piticii mei) dar fara viscolul care s-a domolit. Noroc ca viscolul nu a acoperit de tot urmele si urc pe langa crevase realizand ca e bine sa fii legat in coarda cand trec pe langa cele 2 gauri in care ghidul probabil si-a testat grosimea taliei. Trec tiptil, sperand ca zapada sa nu cedeze (ah, de ce am mancat?). Marea de nori (premiera pt mine in Alpi) din care catarge albe tasnesc spre cer ma indeamna sa continui - vreau sa vad varfurile roz. Trec peste puntea de gheata dintre 2 crevase uriase in care ma zgaiesc cu un nod in gat, am si uitat de degetele de la picioare inghetate, viscolul a inceput sa sufle si dezveleste gheata pe o portiune inclinata. Coltarii mei sunt la refugiu, cu tot cu rucsacul de altfel, aici la jumatatea ghetarului sunt eu, pioletul si piticii mei. Adica suntem un grup mare. Ma rog de munte sa ma lase sa trec, pt ca vreau sa vad. Promit ca vad si ma intorc. Viscolul se inteteste, sunt in pasul dintre Corno Negro si Piramide Vincent si in fata se zareste acelasi peisaj - adica ghetarul. Concentrata la maxim sa nu pierd urma de poteca, un singur gand ma impinge inainte: vreau sa vad.
In fata mea la 15 minute ii vad pe cei 6, sunt deja deasupra de Piramide Vincent (adica am trecut de primii mei 4000metri in Alpi) si ca de obicei la inaltimea asta ma apuca o foame naprasnica. Incepe sa se vada un perete urias - Dufourspitze cred - si urc si tot urc. Ma vad un hamster intr-o cusca alergand pe o roata alba. Dar in sfarsit sunt in pasul Lys - creasta Lyskamm e absolut superba, dupa ea in zare se vede Matterhornul, in fata mea se vede o caldare alba deasupra careia strajuie un punct negru - refugiul margherita. Grupul celor 6 deschizatori de drum e la nici 5 minute de mine, dar eu aleg sa urc in partea stanga, pe un mototoi. Si vantul s-a domolit, dar ma tin de cuvant si ma intorc - am vazut. Viscolul a acoperit crevasele, noroc ca se vede inca urma potecii. Ma fascineaza sculpturile de gheata ascunse in adancul ghetarului, liniile perfecte de un albastru azuriu ce par adormite. Dar si cand se misca in somn si striga din strafunduri te fac sa tresalti si te uiti in jur speriat de parca ti-ai cere scuze ca esti acolo si profanezi ghetarul cu urma pasilor tai.
Ajung la portiunea de rugaciuni (gheata) si constat ca viscolul mi-a fost de fapt prieten si a acoperit gheata. Uite cum lucrurile nu sunt niciodata asa cum par a fi. E clar, muntele asta ma iubeste:)
La refugiu nu scap fara sa-mi rotunjesc stomacul si o pornesc la vale cu viteza, mai mult rostogol. Si cum frumos e sa mai mergi si pe alte trasee, aleg un nemarcat care ma duce prin caldari glaciare de toata frumusetea si salbaticia, care sper sa nu se termine intr-un perete de toata frumusetea si salbaticia. Cand alegi sa mergi de capul tau (haili,hailo) e foarte important sa - fii pregatit sa urci tot ce-ai coborat chiar ne-mai-nimerind traseul de coborare; sa cunosti conformatia caldarilor glaciare; sa iubesti Retezatul cu lespezile lui. Ultima parte ma scoate din ceata (si la propriu si la figurat), si nimeresc peste o capra neagra si inceputul forestierului spre Gressoney. E clar, muntele asta ma iubeste.
Haili, hailo.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Mersul la padure, dupa fragi si dupa mure (si nu numai)


E atata uitare de sine in acest gest de-a dreptul fascinant:taca,paca,taca,paca - gata am legat sireturile. Simpla actiune de a-mi pune bocancii in picioare imi da o emotie greu de descris. Siretul trece pe dupa o ghioaca si parca tot verdele cristal al cascadelor imi trece siroaie peste degete; o alta ghioaca, murmur de brazi si fosnet de frunze; inca una, miros de cetina si stanca si zapada; mai una, suier de vant dezlantuit pe creste insorite si lacrimi de ghetar. Ce bucurie intr-un simplu gest, ce dezlantuire de simturi in niste bocanci (exclus olfactiv), de parca ei ar fi cheia teleportarii miraculoase in tot mai restransul paradis al naturii libere.
Ei, teleportarea asta dureaza cam o ora pana la gara si alte 2 de tren+autobuz, dar important e ca la 9.30 ma pornesc din Campo Blenio cu toata motivatia unei traversari alpine de mare dibuiala orientativa (=nemarcata). Marea provocare e sa prind autobuzul de intoarcere pt ca rucsacul meu n-a trecut inca prin binecuvantarile Arabelei s-asa ca trebuie sa ma multumesc strict cu ce contine: pachetul de biscuiti si geaca de ploaie. Cam subtire (si nu ma refer strict la geaca).
Pornesc in ritm alert pinguinic, caci la revizia tehnica din vara asta s-au mai adaugat cateva componente pe lista de recuperari. Entuziasmul ma tine 5 minute, pana cand regasesc piatra filozofala tocmai intr-o tufa de zmeura. Notiunea de timp imi pare ca e prost inteleasa. Ce conteaza cat timp fac pana in creasta? Ce conteaza daca ajung azi in creasta au ba? Creasta o sa fie acolo si peste o luna, dar zmeura asta nu (ca sa fim conformi realitatii, zmeura asta n-o sa mai fie cam intr-un sfert de ceas...)
Si cu acest nou nivel de intelepciune dobandit, ma multumesc si cu autobuzul de 23, ba chiar si cu o vizita la lac ca doar traversarea se poate face si intr-un sezon defavorabil fructelor de padure. Timpul trece, soarele urca pe cer si zmeura e tot mai buna. Totusi hai sa inaintez. Aleg scurtatura, pt ca trece prin zmeuris.
Ma felicit pt alegerea garderobei de toamna, pt ca e de-a dreptul frig. Dupa ce drumul ma fenteaza facandu-ma sa cobor tot ce-am urcat ca s-o iau de la capat, o poienita in spatele unui catun ma intampina cu 2 surprize placute: o panorama spre muntii inzapeziti si o vatra de fragute inghetate. Uau si miam. Prima zapada anul trecut am prins-o tot aici, doar ca era noiembrie si pt cine avea harta era posibil sa ocoleasca zapada (exclus eu).
Un pic mai sus afinele se adauga listei de rasfaturi si pachetul de biscuiti are sanse sa mai prinda si tura viitoare. Panorama de la cabana Bovarina e superba: ochii mi s-au lipit de creasta alba dintre Piz Terri si Adula - se confirma ca val di Blenio e zona mea favorita din Ticino.
Pana la Lago Retico poteca traverseaza paraie ce cad parca in broderie peste versantii abrupti, apoi urca serpuind cu vant taios la pupa (un nou rand de felicitari pt garderoba) si biscuitii totusi nu vor prinde tura viitoare. De la lac incepe un pic de Retezat ce se continua cu un pic de Piatra Craiului si apoi cu ceva zone nesimilare cu patrimoniul national. Creasta e chiar splendida, cu versanti abrupti si inverziti pe partea dreapta si bolovani, inconjurand un lac desertic gen Pakistan, in partea stanga. Traversarea e marcata cu linie albastra (=traseu nivel excursionist experimentat), ba chiar are si lanturi pe portiuni ceea ce reduce din entuziasmul spiritului si stresul aparatului locomotor nevoit sa-l suporte (ex. glezna, genunchi, etc).
Coborarea spre Pian Gheirett e abrupta si imi ia exact cat scrie pe indicator (1ora) caci recordurile la vale au ramas amintiri de pe vremea cand eram tanara (acum vreo luna). Oricum, exista 2 motive rezonabile de a te grabi pe munte: frigul si ultimul autobuz. Cum nici unul nu se aplica, adaug pe indelete la meniu ultima delicatesa, mure, si prind cheile vaii Blenio la o sedinta foto spontana. Surprinzator ajung prea repede in Olivone (dupa 10 ore jumate), ceea ce demonstreaza ca puteam sa iau sedinta de vitaminizare si mai in serios.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Critical point - Adula

The critical point of every trekking tour that can lower your chances of getting to the peak with 100% is when your alarm clock goes off in the morning. It's usually that point in time that decides the success of your attempt, or its inexistence. I jump out of bed and dress quickly to avoid second thoughts on a sleeping morning. It's already late when I reach Dangio - 8.30 - and I start climbing to Adula. There are some particular ingredients that should never lack from a beautiful tour, getting lost is one of them. I'm wandering through the village of Soi, visiting all its 15 houses, till I realize the path goes left at the very first house of the village.
The worst enemies of a long, demanding mountain tour are wild strawberries, blackberries, blueberries. I'm fighting the first of them shrewdly grown in my path. Though I'm negotiating with the enemy from time to time (especially when the size and color are just too tempting to resist), I succeed in keeping my pace reasonably moderate. Lunch time finds me some 100 meters up Adula Utoe hut, but I decide to wait for the hunger to strike and take only a short photo break. There are some people going down the glacier, and I can even see a kind of path - seems the crampons will not be needed. This is the largest glacier of Ticino and it's continually retreating like the rest of the glaciers; actually it looks more like two patches of ice with 2-3 wrinkles on them. This year there was quite a lot of snow, which means the dinosaurs of Ticino are safe at least for one more year. 
The Val di Soi running from the glacier does a pretty steep bungee jumping over the walls circling lake of Cadabi; there's a carpet of forget-me-not flowers on the slopes leading to the abys which makes me think that nature does have such a sense of humor.
An easy scramble on the scree gathered under the walls of Cima della Negra where I meet a descending group, brings me to the beginning of the whiteness. I recall forgeting a most important piece of equipment - sunglasses - and the sun reflecting on the snow blinds my daring eyes. Maybe that's not so bad after all, looking too much down into the abys is probably not the best policy anyway. Hunger decides to strike exactly on this slope - the perfect place for picnic. The climb is but a walk in the snow, the only requirement is to keep yourself vertical, no slipping allowed. I'm back to my snail speed and the heat of snow-sun combination doesn't help much. It feels as walking on an oven. Luckily clouds are covering the sky; unluckily there's a gap exactly above my head. 
In the pass I forget everything bewildered by the scenery. There are another steep 50 meters to the top, I choose to scramble up the rocks till there's no other choice but the snow. On three sides of the crest there's a glacier; the sight goes down to the valleys far,far down, hundreds of peaks lay under the white clouds, some even meeting them, and in the middle of them all it's a small point, nothing to the world and everything to myself - me standing on Adula. I wondered where might il ombilico del mondo be - now I know. On one side the high german Alps, on the other the very high french Alps, on yet another the Italian Alps and prealps, and all around the high Ticino Alps, me standing on the highest ticinese peak (3402). In the winter time the scenery must be just wonderful (it is breathtaking now).
I can only guess the path crossing the glacier to Zapporthorn; because of the snow the path does not seem difficult. One helicopter circles around the glacier and before I dread another Rega intervention, it comes close to the peak so that I can see the tourists waving. I wave in response; they're probably tourists that have taken advantage of the helicopter service from Quarnei hut; as a bonus they've got the oportunity of saluting Otzi's descendant:)
Though with regret I part from the peak and start descending; in one hour I reach the Adula Utoe hut (must have been the weight of the 3 biscuits that I've eaten on the top that helped with the gravitation). The sun is my constant companion, which will turn me to my red-skinned roots for the following days. From Soi down I follow the road; it's long, way too long for my winter boots. I wonder if I really climbed it this morning, how could I ever have had the patience and not turned back from it? I must have been still sleeping. Amazing the things you do when you're not fully awake, I should try doing more things in the morning:)
I reach Dangio a bit too late for the 7 o'clock bus, which gives me 1.30h of reflecting-time. After a cultural visit to the center of Dangio (the church, and a pretty nice architectural building), I decide to take a walk on the path crossing the villages scattered on Val di Blenio, expecting to be going down. At a curve the sentiero basso decides to climb up the hill for around 10 minutes, getting down exactly on the other part of the curve. After such a consistent advance, I decide to call it a day and wait for the bus. The rain arrives just 10 minutes earlier than the bus does, which proves that even swiss meteo can miss some clouds. Getting back home there's one question that bothers me: just how wonderful is the view from Adula on a winter day? I feel I'll get over the critical point at least once next winter:)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The bright side of the moon - Monte Generoso

Looking around to all the smiling faces you meet you start wondering what's the drug they're on. And you realize what it is, because you're taking it too: sun. After long rainy summer days, just as you were beginning to ask yourself if sunny days were but a memory of your oblivious self (but still counting down the remaining rainy days from the 110 of this Lugano year), sun has finally come out. But it's not sun the prima donna of this story, because sitting on the top of Monte Generoso at exactly 21.35.44, the queen of night rises in its shyly pink manner: full moon. The clouds are bowing their heads in respect, hiding in the valleys, letting the peaks proudly present their bald heads. It's time to descend on the path smoothly covered by the moon rays. A chamois leads the way for the first ten meters, then jumps to a place we are not so readily eager to follow... Lugano lies happy at our feet(some 1550m below), Italy is covered by a pink smog clearly showing an industrial, non-evironmental friendly country. A fox sneaks through the grass, starting off as we approach. The bells of the leading goats are graciously breaking the silence of the high pastures, just as I almost graciously break my neck gazing to the landscape bathed in moonlight instead of gazing to the stones on the path. It is surreal, and look what's that? an elf! no, it's even better - a fox cub. It's so small and confused, but it surely runs fast. Faster than the 3 cavaliers we meet running up the path. It's a good occassion for me to find out that the dialect spoken here is more similar to Romanian than Italian is:) There are suddenly so many roots around, as if we were in the woods. Hey, we are in the woods! The moon is sending its ray-messages through the trees - some of them reach our feet, which is a softer alternative to the stones:), others just brighten the elves' mysterious playing grounds. It's midnight when I leave the land of elves, knowing in my heart that I will be back again.

...that is the question

"So what's special about Romanian mountains?"
The question makes you raise an eyebrow and you remember the freezing night in the tent, with rain pourring in and the 3 of you crowded into each other, eating the last crumbs of bread and onion. In the morning the sunrise over the sea of clouds makes you feel like a king, and you're ready to wander again the green pastures and dark forests, competing for the wild strawberies with the bears. And getting down to the hidden village, an old lady sees you and asks smiling "Mai copii, unde ati fost?Nu va e foame?"("Where have you been kids? Are you hungry?")
"Nooo"; and in that precise moment you remember the mixture of strawberies, bread and onion you've eaten for the last two days. But the old woman knows better, she milks the cow bringing fresh warm milk and cheese with a "drob de mamaliga" (a chunk of polenta). It's the best food you remember you've ever eaten and the 5 star cook from the best restaurant in the world cannot beat that. All these pass before your eyes in an instant, while you're still hearing the last sounds of the pending question:"So what's special about Romanian mountains?"
"Nothing in particular."