LIVIN’ ON THE EDGE
(AKA HOLY SHIT)
“The Ronde (in Switzerland) is a special place. A hanging slab of millennium old ice…If you look at the Glacier de Rond from the valley it’s clear why it’s not for everyone. The first pitch, descending the glacier, is very steep and quite long. 50 degrees for 1000 feet, ending at the glaciers terminus, a 400 foot ice cliff. On 50 degree pitches, falls quickly become tomahawking free-falls(a term used to describe a skier tumbling so that the head and the feet are the only things making contact with the snow somewhat resembling a tomahawk flying, end over end, through the air) which stop only the pitch gets gentler. Well, on the glacier de rond, it does not get much gentler than 45 degrees so if you happen to catch an edge, cross a tip, fuck up in any way shape or form, there’s a good chance you will “tomahawk” right over a 300 foot cliff to your death . And that’s just the skier error scenario. The second danger of skiing over steep pitches with big cliff exposure is snow stability and Avy risk. If the stability is not excellent, and you happen to trigger a slide when you drop into the pitch, the slide will likely knock you down and carry you to your death over the cliff exposure.”
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