Starlight and Storm – Piz Badile

The moon is setting behind the Swiss mountains when, at around 8 in the morning, Tom greets me with a nod of the head and starts to traverse on a steep snow field to reach the beginning of the Cassin route. Above him the 800 meters high northeast face of Piz Badile (3308 m). On a ridge below I find a great place for shooting my photos. He’s climbing up, getting smaller and smaller.  In the deep silence of the frozen morning I can hear the metallic noise of the gear holding from his harness. A few hours later he’s only a small black dot on the white, ice covered face.

The sunset arrives so soon in winter! In a strange pink light, I observe Tom preparing for a bivy in a snow cave higher on the face. Goodnight Tom! The stars shine bright while I descend towards the winter room of the Sasc Fura hut. James, down in the valley, is already in his sleeping bag, in the white van parked near the little village of Bondo. Goodnight James!

The day after, Tom climbs up to the top and starts to rappel down on the Italian side of the mountain. He arrives in Bagni di Masino in thermal underwear, carrying his huge backpack, smiling.

BadileTom2

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