Monday, August 10, 2009

visit to the queen's hut

Monte Rosa - 6-7/08/2009
A very important asset of a human is the imagination of the inhabitants of his/her brain: be them flocks of birds or bearded dwarves. It is on the creativity of these little fellows that the whole difference between living and just being alive relies. One should therefore treat one's dwarves with all due respect, for it is in their power alone to make your life filled with moments worth living. As a token of my appreciation of the many special anti-boring adrenaline bursting moments my very own dwarves embroider for me, and to prevent their emigration, I'm spoiling them with at least one weekly out-going. it was in one of these family walks on nature paths (maybe piz di stria or piz teri) that I've first got a glimpse of a thought - of the thought - through the mist lowering down on the white, not so distant, peaks. What about visiting the queen's hut (Margherita hut) on a full-moon night?
It's usually those thoughts that you barely dare to whisper to your mind that are most appealing. So the very next day I went on a night trek to see the sunrise on Adula (which this time I've actually seen, differently from last winter when I arrived on the peak 10 minutes later), and have a private discussion with my dwarves on the thought.
Maybe it was the glory of the night's silence combined with the burst of the first sun rays into a moment of eternity that so rarely lets itself perceived by humans that encouraged me, or maybe it was the story of the pizza (margherita) I've happened to read just before the full moon night, point is that I found myself on the train to Staffal. Admittedly, all the 8 long hours of travel by train and bus I was reassuring myself (and the little inhabitants of my brain) that I'll go back if it's too cold, I'll stop at Gnifetti hut if it's too hard, etc.
The evening was incredibly calm and friendly, no wind, and so warm that I could climb only with the t-shirt and shorts on, always staring at the beautiful Liskamm traverse. I reached the intersection with the path to cita di mantova hut just in time to see the moon rise, yawn and get into the clouds. Luckily, it was a full moon, unluckily, the clouds were thick. However, probably out of curiosity for the strange hunchbacked shadow climbing hopefully in direction of the hut, the moon soon left the clouds behind on the italian side and guided my steps on the right track to the hut. After putting on all clothes in my rucksack, I climbed to the Gnifetti hut that was sound asleep. the crowd of ice-axes and boots that welcomed me on entering the hut made me wisely decide not to disturb the sleeping climbers which might have jeopardized my popularity. There were two ways: I could continued to climb and risk the raising clouds, or I could wait for the morning on a chair in the boots room. My patience (maybe encouraged also by the smell?) soon decided the only way was up. So up I went, to my delight on a very well beaten track on the glacier and with the moon still tuned on the "lunatic and monte rosa" show. Unfortunately just before col de lys the wind started blowing and it was getting really cold. Plus I was getting really sleepy, and sleeping on the glacier is not one of my strong points. I remembered there's a refuge on Corno Negro which I reached in half an hour climbing on the fixed rope all the way to Jesus. Jesus' statue , that is, the very one that looks over the refuge where I entered at 3.30 o' clock in the morning decided to get 2 good hours of sleep. Because of the crowd I could only sleep 1 hour, but it was a heaven's gift. With the sunrise slowly taming the glacier, the wind and the temperature, my sleepiness was all gone, up to Margherita hut, me joining. The silence of the ice combined with the shyness of the morning light gently awakening the mountain touched my soul forever. Even my dwarves shut up in ecstasy and awe.
The queen's hut offers a royal view; the people there though are just sick of too many tourists. My eyes were blind to the crowd following me, I saw only clouds, snow, ice and rocks. All good moments last just for moments, so I've started my descedn to Zermatt. Had it not been for the highway down the glacier to Monte-Rosa hut, I would have probably avoided getting down on the very-full of crevasses Grenzglacier. I was wondering why I was the only one going down at that hour (9 am)? A late hour it seems, since the answer became more and more obvious while descending to the huge seracs. After about half an hour the answer was more obvious than I wished for, since I was reaching the first area of crevasses. The ice sculpture fascinates me, so I was admiring from above the mysterious depths of the iced world. Above was the right place to be admiring from, and I had no wish to get below for the details.
Had I even suspected that I would go down to Monte-Rosa hut, I would have probably known that to get down to Zermatt from Monte Rosa hut you have to climb to 2800m first, and it does take around 4-5 hours. My feet were crying, luckily my eyes were keeping my brain busy with wonderful panoramas of Monte Rosa and the most famous touristic stone - Matterhorn. And a new research challenge for my dwarves: 2 beautiful peak traverses to be enjoyed someday.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

In vizita la cabana reginei

Monte Rosa - 6-7/08/2009
De fiecare data cand se intampla ceva frumos, imi imaginez masa rotunda din creierul meu la care stau asezati batranii clanului de pitici scarpinandu-se aprobator in barba si zacandu-si: "uite ca a supravietuit si de data asta".
Cred ca deosebirea dintre oameni se datoreaza pur si simplu grupului de pitici din capul fiecaruia.
Exista o legatura foarte stransa intre masa rotunda si a trai, mai exact a evada unei existente monotono-robotizate. Si ca dovada de recunostinta si apreciere pt piticii mei care imi procura tot felul de evenimente exceptionale anti-plictiseala, si ca sa nu cumva sa-mi emigreze, ii rasfat si eu pe ei si ii scot la plimbare cel putin o data pe saptamana. Mi se pare cinstit. Nu mai stiu exact in care dintre plimbarile saptamanale (piz di stria sau piz teri) s-a intrezarit un gand la orizontul plin de varfuri albe, cum ca ce frumoasa ar fi o vizita la cabana reginei (refugiul Margherita) cu luna plina. Ca sa citesc totusi mai bine detaliile gandului, am si pornit ziua urmatoare spre un rasarit pe Adula. Ce-i drept le-am citit la lanterna pt ca seara respectiva era fara luna, dar urcarea nocturna a fost cu succes si am ajuns inainte de rasarit (si nu la 10 minute dupa ca asta iarna).
Dupa un periplu scurt prin parang, intoarsa in Lugano imi cade in maini o revista deschisa tocmai la pagina povestii pizzei (pizza margherita). E clar un semn! Si prind curaj sa pornesc spre Monte Rosa ca sa pun in aplicare ceea ce-am indraznit sa gandesc numai in soapta. Ce-i drept cele 8 ore de tren si autobuz pana la Staffal s-au petrecut cu tot felul de reasigurari: dc e frig, ma-ntorc; dc simt ca e prea greu ma opresc la gniffetti; dc e ceata renunt; bla, bla.
Seara e superba, nici un pic de vant, urc in tricou si pantalon scurt cu privirea agatata de creasta Liskamului. Ajung in pas la intersectia cu traseul spre cita di mantova exact cand luna rasare de dupa varfuri, trage un cascat si intra in nori. Noroc ca norii se inghesuie toti spre partea italiana si in scurt timp luna se hotaraste sa-mi tina loc de felinar, curioasa probabil de umbra cocosata ce strabate lespezile spre refugiu.
Cele 8 ore de dubii se fac simtite caci mi-e somn, noroc ca pierd poteca prin caldare si trebuie sa-mi activez memoria. Nu stiu exact cum, probabil luna imi tine partea si-mi lumineaza traseul corect, caci nimeresc traversarea si vad cele 2 cabane cu ferestrele luminate. E timpul sa ma echipez caci e frigut, si urc la gnifetti unde ma apuca alte dubii caci peste cita di mantova s-a pus ceata. Mi se pare ca am urcat foarte repede desi am facut aproape 5 ore si decid sa astept o ora sa vad cum evolueaza vremea. Tot refugiul doarme, asa ca incerc sa nu fac zgomot, mai ales ca la cate piolete sunt in jur n-ar fi o idee buna sa deranjez zecile de proprietari ce sforaie linistiti. Camera de iarna a refugiului e plina de bocanci si echipament dar ma intind pe 3 scaune in anexa ce tine loc de bucatarie iarna. Rabdarea ma tine vreo juma de ora, dupa care mai dau tarcoale refugiului si decid sa-mi incerc norocul cu norii. Spre bucuria mea e de-a dreptul bulevard pe ghetar asa ca n-am nici-o problema sa urc, trecand pe langa vreo 4 corturi adormite. Mi se pare mult mai multa zapada acum pe ghetar, mai ales ca trec pe langa cele 2 crevase de care mi-era un pic teama si le gasesc mai acoperite decat erau in septembrie anul trecut. Sau poate e de la lumina lunii? Mare noroc am cu luna a carei curiozitate se pare am starnit-o destul cat sa ramana pe programul "lunatica si monte rosa".
Mi se pare ca urc repede, pana cand la vreo juma de ora de col de lys vantul incepe sa-si faca de cap. Si de parca nu era de ajuns, ma plezneste un somn de-mi vine sa ma intind pe ghetar. Nu-i a buna. E in jur de 2 jumate, nu-mi vine sa ma-ntorc, din fata bate vantul, dc stau pe loc inghet. Frumoase optiuni. Imi amintesc insa ca exista un refugiu pe Corno Negro, si urc incercand sa dibuiesc unde e. Ajung la stanca si urc pe coarda fixa ce ma duce la statuia lui Isus. Cred ca era momentul cel mai bun sa-l intalnesc pe Doamne-Doamne! Muntele asta ma iubeste. Statuia strajuie refugiul, in care intru si unde din fericire mai gasesc fix un loc liber. Ma gandesc sa dorm 2 ore si apoi sa pornesc cu rasaritul in coltari. Dar colegii mei de refugiu se gandesc sa-mi injumatateasca odihna, ca doar pe ghetar se porneste de cu noaptea. Multumesc statuii pt o ora de somn rupta din rai, aproape umplu memoria aparatului foto cu un rasarit inghetat, si zbor spre Margherita. Tot ghetarul e taiat de poteci si sunt puzderie de grupulete incordate, majoritatea in coborare. Un nene la vreo 65-70 de ani imi explica incotro e Zermatt-ul. Mi se pare ca am un ritm de melc pensionar, dar doar ce graba am? Privelistea de la refugiu este intr-adevar regala, oamenii de pe-acolo insa sunt ca toti cei super-satui de turisti. Ce-i drept dupa ce 20 de minute nu vad decat nori, creste, ghetar, stanca si putin imi pasa de inaltime ca oricum nu mai respir in fata spectacolului muntelui roz, incep sa vad si hoarda ce vine in urma mea. Lucrurile frumoase n-ar fi asa frumoase dc n-ar dura putin. Ghetarul dinspre cabana Monte Rosa este foarte crevasat, si dc n-ar exista o adevarata autostrada, cu siguranta n-as cobori pe-acolo. Dar autostrada exista, deci spre zermatt. Sunt un pic in intarziere, nu mai coboara nimeni asa tarziu (e 9 dimineata) spre zermatt, ma intreb de ce? Dupa vreo juma de ora timp in care ajung langa seracele ghetarului motivul imi devine din ce in ce mai evident. Dupa o alta jumate de ora cand ajung la prima parte crevasata a ghetarului, motivul e mai evident decat mi-as dori si dupa inca o ora evidenta lui ma scoate din sarite. Noroc ca urmele sunt destul de bune, chiar dc zapada e moale, si pot sa evit gaurile crevaselor. Ma fascineaza sculptura in gheata si nu pot trece pe langa crevase fara sa-mi arunc privirea in adancurile universului de gheata. Nu cred insa ca mi-ar place sa studiez adancurile respective de aproape...
Poteca de la cabana Monte Rosa traverseaza 2 ghetari pe care drumul e semnalizat cu stegulete. Dc m-as fi gandit ca o sa cobor la zermatt, probabil ca as fi stiut si ca de la monte rosa-huette se coboara urcand pana la 2800m (si respectiv ca sunt vreo 4-5 ore de mers). Dar e mai bine ca n-am stiut, pt ca asa am parte de o panorama superba asupra masivului monte rosa, si a bolovanului turistic care e Matterhornul, chiar dc piciorele imi cam scancesc. Nu stiu de ce privirile imi raman in spate, spre monte rosa, si adaug la lista de prospectari inca 2 creste.