Cogne. Ice. Opening. Three words you should be familiar with by now. Cogne is famous the world over for its impressive ice climbing scene, its welcoming atmosphere and the typical Italian savoir faire, and the Ice Opening has been part of it for quite some time now.
The brainchild of Matthias Scherer, put together with the help of Tanja Schmitt and her twin sister Heike, the Ice Opening owes a lot to the guides who make it all happen, helping setting up the ropes and assisting during the workshops, and the sponsors, plus the many other friendly faces who lend a hand.
The event run over three days this year, with enthusiastic climbers defying the cold and having a good time hitting the ice. The evening shows entailed a book presentation with Anna Torretta, Jerome Blanc-Gras, Eleonora Delnevo and Matteo Giglio, and the All about the ice film night: Matthias Scherer showed two videos of a recent, ephemeral line he climber early on this month with Tanja and Heike Schmitt in Canada, and their record ski tour of the Gran Paradiso tour last spring. Mathieu Maynadier brought in stills from the new line he opened in Pakistan, with the film La Scoumoune; Klemen Premrl brought adrenaline with Interstellar Spice, a video on the Helmcken Falls climb he had carried out with Tim Emmet; Jeff Mercier captured the audience attention when he showed Projet Kiruna,outlining a trip he undertook in Lapland with sled dogs, looking for some interesting ice to climb; François Cazzanelli showed three videos of two speed records on the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa (Signal Kuppe) and an expedition to China. Enough to keep us all entertained!
Meeting new people, connecting with ice climbers and cherishing the cold. The Ice Opening is all this and more. With freezing temperatures and crisp, cold days ahead, we can be sure we’re in for a sound ice-climbing season.
Let the games begin…
All pictures by Lucia Prosino except when stated otherwise.
The event is sponsored by Black Diamond, Petzl, Grivel, La Sportiva, Camp Cassin and CT Climbing Technology.