When you wish upon a star… Jérôme Blanc-Gras and L’arte del ghiaccio.

Yes, Jerome is a base jumper, as well. Photo BlueIce/Vertical Experience

Yes, Jerome is a base jumper, as well… Photo Blue Ice

When you wish upon a star

It makes no difference who you are

Anything your heart desires

Will come to you.

If your heart is in your dream,

No request is too extreme

When you wish upon a star

As dreamers do.

Except that, we do not live in Walt Disney’s world…

We often hear of the great anticipation that accompanies every ice season. Will I be able to climb that unique waterfall? What will the conditions be? Will it be possible to test the new gear, so eagerly anticipated? Here’s wishing upon a star…

Although some mountaineers may share the excitement and behaviour of children, they all know, like adults do, that Mother Nature sets the rules in the mountains and little can be done about that. In fact, beauty is in the waiting and each time ice formations take shape, a new adventure begins. No icefall is the same twice, no adventure is restated.

I often hear of this voyage of discovery, of the beauty of ice, of how you have to understand how it moves, become part of it, if you want to climb it, and need to adapt your body to frozen water, gently caressing its features.

Ice climbing is an art and it cannot be improvised. But you can learn the ropes.. Jérôme Blanc-Gras’ and Manu Ibarra’s The Art of Ice Climbing by Blue Ice Editions is of great help. Tracing the history of ice tools and the opening of excellent lines, it also presents case studies and analyses accidents – with an in-depth examination of both ice and snow.

In Aosta at the cozy Café Librairie to present the Italian edition by Versante Sud, L’arte del ghiaccio, Jérôme traced the history of ice climbing, with eye-catching and interesting videos, pictures and anecdotes.

Jérôme and Manu also created Icefall data, the first international database to prevent ice-climbing accidents. Anybody can contribute. So, ice climbers, here is your chance to be of help! You can also support the project here.

My thanks go to all the friends who came to the presentation, in particular Matthias SchererTanja Schmitt, and Matteo Giglio

See you at the next event!







Lef to right: Matteo Giglio, Alberto Giolitti of Blue Ice, Jerome, Matthias Scherer and Tanja Schmitt.


Jerome, Tanja and Matthias, discussing ice…


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