Anche loro sono umani: Kilian, Emelie e il soccorso alpino
Sabato 7 settembre, Monte Bianco: Kilian Jornet e Emelie Forsberg vengono soccorsi dal soccorso alpino.
I due megasupertrailers sabato scorso decidono di andare a farsi una corsetta facile facile, sul Monte Bianco, sperone Frendo, vestiti ovviamente come se andassero al Valentino. Perché loro non corrono, volano: scarpette da ginnastica (fatte su misura per loro da Salomon), calzoncini tecnici e t-shirt. A coprirli un bel giubbino ultralight in piumino da 1 cm. E stop. Niente guanti, niente giacca, niente berretto di lana cotta. Niente.
Da questo si capisce che non vivono con la mamma: una mamma avrebbe urlato a vederli uscire di casa vestiti da spiaggia per andare sul Bianco, si sarebbe messa di traverso sulla porta piuttosto che farli uscire.
Ma loro sono gli idoli ultraterreni della montagna, non vivono con la mamma, non usano rigidi scarponi da alpinismo, men che meno un’antiestetica berta di lana a coste, non hanno freddo, non scivolano…
E invece no!
Incredibile a dirsi, a 50 metri dall’Aiguille de Midi, Emelie prende una storta (avete presente com’è fatta l’Aiguille de Midi? Avete presente farla in scarpette? Altro che storta, io sarei morta).
Kilian si preoccupa e, visto che il pomeriggio le previsioni davano brutto tempo, chiama l’elicottero che in breve tempo li soccorre. Avrei voluto vedere la faccia di quelli del soccorso quando hanno visto che i due turisti ingenui che andavano a recuperare erano nientepopòdimeno che gli ultratrailer più famosi del mondo.
Queste notizie ci fanno capire che non sono degli extraterrestri, sono umani anche loro grazie al cielo, e che la montagna va rispettata e alle volte temuta, che è grande, forte, molto più grande e più forte di noi.
E ci fanno capire che se non sei Kilian devi evitare di scalare il Monte Bianco in scarpe da ginnastica… anche se sei Emelie.
E ultimo, ci fanno capire che puoi anche essere Kilian, ma se la tua ragazza si fa male ti preoccupi da morire.
Riporto il comunicato di Kilian e quello di Emelie, giusto perché è carino notare le differenze tra i due.
“On September 7th, I had planned a mountain route on the north face of the Aiguille du Midi (France), the so-called Frendo spur. This was a route that I had already done twice before on my own with only the minimum of material. I do this type of outings frequently, alone or accompanied, as they are both the basis of my training and of my free time.
I was accompanied by Emelie Forsberg and we were both equipped with light materials (short sports leggings, fine down jackets and trainers). We set off at dawn from Plan d’Aiguille, at 8:30 am to be precise, planning to return some 4 hours later, which was the time we estimated the journey would take. We had checked the weather forecast the day before, which announced bad weather as of 5 pm, and we both carried rock climbing materials (a set of friends, climbing chocks, 60m of rope …) and also ice climbing equipment (2 ice axes each, technical crampons and ice screws).
We started off at a good pace along the route, and at 9 am we started to climb roped together. At 12 we were about an hour from the summit. There, on the last stretch of the climb, we took a wrong turn and when we realized what had happened, we abseiled down to get back on the right path, losing about 3-4 hours. About 50m from the summit, my companion had a problem, and it was at that moment that we decided to call the PGHM (high mountain rescue team), aware that the weather would worsen in an hour’s time. We decided to make that call so as not to take a greater risk. At that altitude, it was me who had more experience and so I was responsible for the safety of my fellow climber. We were not exposed to serious risks because we were roped together and had the chance to abseil down if rescuers had been unable to reach us.
The rescue team told us that, due to the weather, a helicopter could not be used, and they would reach us on foot taking the Aiguille du Midi cable car and then abseiling down the 50m that separated them from the top of the Aiguille. It took 4h for the team to arrive at the scene after the call was made. From there, in a very professional and secure way, we were taken to the top of the Aiguille, from where the cable car took us down to Chamonix. We didn’t suffer any injuries or major consequences, apart from suffering a bit from the cold.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the mountain rescue teams for their work, which is always so professional and efficient.
This is a warning that the mountain is a hard and dangerous place, even when precautions are taken. One must be humble in the mountains, because a high price can be paid for our failures, especially when travelling light. We must accept and be aware of the risks that we are prepared to take individually and with the people who accompany us, depending on our physical and technical skill and also our experience.”
I am I not humble enough? Have I the wrong picture of what I actually can do in the mountains? Have I overestimated my abilities?
Kilian and I went out climbing on Frendo Saturday morning. We had checked the weather, checked the route and we had in our mind that we could do the epron pretty fast. We estimated the time with the experience we had before. We know that we can move pretty fast in that kind of terrain.
We went climbing in a good pace. And when we reached the icy ridge we had only been out for a few hours. I thought to myself that woooha this must go really wrong if we don´t make it up there before 5 pm.
After the icepart we decided to go more in the rocks instead of the most common way up that was on the steep ice. That was in our plan the whole way, because we didn´t bring the proper gear for the ice. And that we knew before we started.
On the rock, I started to became a bit stressed. I was finding a way up that was a bit loose and I also didn´t have the best feelings after the icepart where I hurted my foot.
We took time climbing up, rappelling down, trying to find another way and so on we did for a while.
I became so cold and I couldn´t focus my thought very well. I was stressed and felt captured. We started to talk about possibilities. Rappelling down or try to do the last part even if we didn´t know if we could reach the summit that way or the last way out; call the rescue.
That was a hard decision it´s hard to know if we (I) could have manage go on without danger. I think that I could have manage all my power to go on, but with the cold and stress I had I really wasn´t sure about the risk that it meant.
At 4.30 we called the rescue. They couldn´t make it with the helicopter so it took some time. When they came they was professional and everything went smooth.
One thing I wished is that they could have given us an estimated time of arrival. 5 hours of staying in the cold or power up for making a safe rappelling. I don´t know what was the best.
Afterwards I have thought a lot about this and I have come up with some answers to my first questions.
We underestimated the conditions and we didn´t make up a plan B if we would take longer time than normal.
And to the question why are you out on Frendo with only running shoes? I guess everyone needs to find his own way to approach things. And for me as a runner and a “hobby” climber I love the light way to approach mountains. This is how I want to do it. And this is how I feel comfortable. What is important is that we need to find our own comfortzone.
I thought Frendo was inside my zone, but with the conditions it was and the stupid mistake I did to not take a lot of extra warm clothes. It went wrong. I can also blame myself for being the weakest in the ropeteam. Without me I think Kilian would have been able to rappelling down or find a way up. And now people who don´t like this way of approaching mountains are very happy to say- look what we told you- this is wrong.
We are people. We make mistakes and learn from them. But this is still the way I love to be in the mountains. Light and fast.