Desert Sneak Peek
The year 2019 was a year of settling in Switzerland. It was much less nomadic than previous years. We travelled less and tried to explore what the local surroundings can offer. And it does have a lot to offer as long as you are open to try. So we did. We started skiing much more than we used to in the past, got into ski-touring, tried out mountain trail runs. Climbing got a little bit forgotten in this whole picture, mostly because there’s so much to choose from and I kept waiting for the climbing psyche to emerge with a force.continue reading →
Lazy Sunday afternoon at home, December 2018:
– M: What are you browsing, honey?
– L: I’m registering for mountain trail running races in summer. Shall I register you as well?
– M: Umm, yeah (probably).
Confusion about priorities
The end of the vanlife stage was marked by mishaps. One of them was that while climbing I permanently damaged my middle finger joint cartilage, which put a big question mark over my future climbing.
Instead of falling deep into depression, my best therapist, aka my wife, suggested to explore other sports which previously were shadowed by the king of all sports.
That’s how skiing came to light.continue reading →
A year without a toilet
Yet another blog post which was long due. It was written during the trip (but never published), so expect some funny idealistic views inside.
It has been a while since me and Laura gave up cosy life and moved to a campervan. This blog post gives an overview of our setup.continue reading →
Six months have passed since we left Saint Gervais les Bains where we spent the summer. It served us as a transitional period between the vanlife and the real life. We rented a small apartment there and did short 2-3 day mountain outings while looking for jobs and preparing for the interviews in between. When I think about that period, a lot seems very distant and surreal. I do remember the routes we did but all of them blur into one long “summer in the Alps” experience. What stays in memory though is all the people we met and got to share the rope with.continue reading →
The guide who spoke the 6th language
January 2012, Sottoguda. After a full day of ice climbing, me and Laura are preparing for a cold bivy in an unusual spot - next to our car, as a part of our training program for a harsh winter climbing in Chamonix which in the end never happened. A guy walks by and without any wonder asks us - “what are you training for?” The face looks very familiar. It’s Philipp. We often see him in the local climbing gym, but we are always too shy to talk to him.continue reading →
Seasons changing in Verdon
Martynas: I’m sitting on an ancient juniper tree sticking out of the rock, many meters of void below me. The tree gives a rest to my delicate body from hanging belays while I am eating a sandwich and belaying my wife who is fighting in a chimney. A constant meditative sound of splashing Verdon stream gets interrupted by “salut!” from a BASE jumper nearby whose parachute just deployed. Sun is warming my back, and the life seems to float into the right direction.
Laura: Gorges du Verdon to me personally is a reminder of what’s the point in all this. A reminder of why I am living in a van and spending most of time either climbing or belaying or resting after climbing while still thinking about it. So when the reason for this undertaking starts to blur, it is a good time to go to Verdon. Every time I’m here I say I should stay here forever (But then I go somewhere else and say I should stay there). This time Verdon was also a wake up call. When we first drove into La Palud this year, there was still lots of snow. But we were eager to abseil already. A couple of days passed, the snow melted, and we could smell the spring. Then a week of never ending rain and everything bloomed. It suddenly became almost too hot but the sun was so much missed that we enjoyed every beam of it. And in between the snow and rain and heat we climbed!continue reading →
We have been to Ceuse (it’s been a while indeed) and Verdon (multiple times and currently I am sitting in a van in La Palud parking) but Buoux was still missing from the French trilogy. In order to complete the trilogy, we simply had to go there. The time has come at the end of March when finally the weather seemed to get a little warmer and allowed us to leave Spain.continue reading →
End of Hibernation
Boy, oh boy! Everyone was pulling from this pocket: Wolfgang Güllich, Catherine Destivelle, Jerry Moffat, Lynn Hill. Everyone. It’s getting a bit run-out. Amm, run-out, a bit higher and now it’s RUN-OUT. Sun is shinning, and I’m contemplating a next move to … amm, a sloper.
As you can guess, we are already back in France. However, this blog post is about spending the last month of the damn cold winter in Spain and Catalunya.continue reading →
Lithuanian crowd in El Chorro
As winter cold is getting unbearable to us - sinusitis-susceptible folks, we are slowly moving south. As nomadic tribesmen traveling to the better climates we are moving to Andalusia. Driving from Costa Blanca to Andalusia is surprisingly interesting to us as we have never been that south in Spain. The usual destinations for us have been Barcelona/Lleida/Valencia and around so far. And so now we are stoked to explore a new place!continue reading →