Deep in the heart of Switzerland, three adventure 'soul buddies' with a larger than life passion for winter, had an idea: to begin a series of climbs through frozen canyons.
Scaling down frozen waterfalls and plunging into icy pools, Laso Schaller, Ines Riepl, and their cameraman, Matteo Attanasio, traversed through Switzerland’s Gletscherschlucht Rosenlaui canyon to bring you some of this winter’s most epic footage.
“At first [when jumping into the water] it was a brain-freeze and then it’s just like swimming in an outside pool,” Schaller explained.
Just like a pool – except there’s ice, snow, a bitter wind, and things can get critical if you’re out for too long.
Check out this short video explaining the adventure by the numbers.
The gear froze but the adventurers did not. They wore normal 4/3 surfing wetsuits that stretch, with a layer of Gortex to be protected from the wind. Sometimes they covered their faces with protective cream, however even the cream froze.
Frozen gear though, presented a whole new level of challenges and forced them to improvise if it was possible. The secret to keeping the gear in working order was to wait in the water to thaw it out. Most of the time, the equipment froze while Schaller and Riepel waited for the camera to be set up.
“You have got to keep moving. When we were moving, it was easy to keep warm, but if you’re waiting for more than five to ten minutes you start losing energy and getting cold.”
Surprises lurked behind every corner for the gang. Riepl explained how mental the climbing was because you cannot get nervous.
“You always need to be looking around and listening. You’re constantly watching out for each other. You can hear crashes in the distance and cannot calculate ice in a canyon,” she explained.
However, Riepl (who has been described as ‘being the mountain’) said, “I was surprised how you can click out of your head, even when you cannot feel your head, hands, and feet, but you can still enjoy it.”
This is a team that constantly pushes themselves to the next level – they have in the past and this is certainly not their last.
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