Saturday, December 23, 2006

Berger Family Fund Raisers, Happy Solstice

I'm heading over to the Kandersteg Ice Festival in Switzerland next week, always a fun event. Black Diamond Europe is giving all the proceeds from the slide shows to the Berger family, amazing generosity, thanks! If you're in Europe I hope to see you at the shows, should be fun!

There are a lot of people working to raise small and large bits of money on both sides of the Atlantic, somehow this is in keeping with the true spirit of celebrating life, friends and family at this time of year. I like Christmas too--almost every culture has some sort of winter solstice celebration. The cool thing is that from here on out every day is a bit longer, yeah!



Training: Ran like a SOB in the dark last night, best run of the year so far. I've been really into night running lately, cruising through the woods by headlamp, great time to think and just let the night trail roll by. I've always liked running at night, it feels more free somehow, plus the hills seem shorter when you can't see the top of 'em... Chili Dog also seems to like it, chases the headlamp beam along the trail in front of me. Then of course too much eggnog at night, grin. Elbow slowly improving, rest seems to do more than anything else, plus drinking copius amounts of water all day and hydrations beers at night.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Help Kirsten and Zoe Berger

Albert Leichtfried is a good friend of the Berger family, and is helping to fund raise for them. There is information up on his site about how to help if you can.

There is also some talk of a fund-raiser at Ouray, I'll post details as they develop.

Here is the direct information from Albert in case that link isn't working:

According to the words of Kirsten I would like to inform you, that the dougther of Hari Berger and Kirsten Buchmann was born this night at 0.31 AM and is well and healthy. The name Zoe was given after the wish of her father Hari.
To improve the critical financial situation of Kirsten and Zoe two fund raiser are set now, from friends of hari and from the guide association. See the accounts below.
Please help them to improve at least one of their worries!
Thank you!

Spendenkonto / fund raiser "Berger Harald - Spendenkonto"
Bank: Hypo Salzburg
BLZ/bank-nr.: 55000
Konto.Nr./account: 114 0000 1016
IBAN: AT68 5500 0114 0000 1016

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Hari Berger Lost

Harald Berger, three-time ice climbing world champion and father-to-be, died while ice bouldering yesterday in Austria. His partner, Kirsten, had the couple's baby last night. She must now be super-human, but I trust she will because she is.

This whole situation is crushing. The wheel of living and dying turns with such savage cruelty sometimes. Hari was a good man--a good climber, a moral human and, as he often demonstrated while staying at our house, a good cook. I'm sure he would have been a fantastic father to his new daughter. None of us get to choose when or how we die, but this is a rough one.

Peace and love to Kirsten, and Hari's many friends around the world.


PS--These photos show the sheer scale of the situation.

Web translation of the German story:

ce climbing world champion exhausted by ice with a collapse of the ice chapel with Hintersee (flat gau) died on Wednesday the threefold ice climbing world champion Harald Berger. With the enormous avalanche cone a eisscholle broke off, which buried him. Photo: Ferdinand Farthofer torso under 150 tons ice bury the 34-jaehrige ice climbing professional, who originated from Linz and lived in Salzburg, climbed into approximately three meters height of an overhang. Against 14.15 o'clock might have released a Pickelschlag a nuclear chain reaction in the ice - the enormous over-hanging eisscholle broke off. Berger was buried by approximately 150 tons, estimates the task forces. Like enormous the "Hinterseer glacier" and/or. "Eiskappelle" in the Salzburger flat gau is, shows the size comparison to an aid of the task forces. The dead one could be saved only after some hours - specialists of fire-brigade, mountain rescue and alpine police divided the 30 times 25 meters large and two and a half meter thickened ice block with Schremmgeraeten. With a lifting cushion the fragments were then raised, in order to save the 34-Jaehrigen. Berger leaves high pregnant woman Mrs. Berger leaves a high pregnant woman woman. With it three further Kletterer were with the ice chapel for training. These witnesses of the misfortune were not hurt. Fragments at the accident scene according to data of the eye-witnesses only one blow with the eisbeil is sufficient, in order to produce in the unstable ice tongue a long transversal crack, before the ice masses fell on Harald Berger. Heavy accident before 30 years already before approximately 30 years occurred in the ice chapel a particularly tragic accident: A German vacationer placed herself under the gewoelbe, so that their man could make a photo. After the Knipsen of lightning the ice chapel broke down and buried the woman under itself. She could be saved likewise only dead. Avalanche cone a popular goal the ice chapel below the Wieserhoerndls in the Osterhorngruppe is a popular moves and ice-climbing-obtains: The numerous avalanches, which go off into the valley boiler on 850 meters sea-height, melt often the whole year long not completely. As is the case for a glacier columns and caves in the old snow, which can collapse at any time, form.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Skinny Slings and Beacon Batteries

Slings keep getting thinner and thinner, to the point where they wouldn't work even for the most optimistic G-String in Vegas. Kolin over at BD just did some more research on joining these slings to others, interesting results. Thanks to Chris Willie for the link. Kolin's pages are always good reading.

There's also been some talk of late about avalanche beacons and batteries, just had the following forwarded to me from Steve Christie at Backcountry Access via Garth Lemke, thanks:

"“Batteries: Three AAA/LR03 alkaline batteries. Do not use rechargeable,
lithium, Oxyride or any other non-alkaline battery.”

The Powerpix batteries increase the voltage of the unit. This in turn
increases the background noise level in the beacon. You will see this issue
with all avalanche beacons, not just the Tracker.

If you would like to post my response on the internet chat rooms that you
frequent I would appreciate it. I am getting this email quite often, it
seems to be circulating out there in internet land."


Fun Links

In my experience, injuries=monitor time. Here are some of the better, or at least more engaging, sites I've stumbled across:

Zefrank. Smart, funny, random, WTF on all the ducks? Thanks Jim.

Chernobyl: Still going on. Stay tuned for 24,000 more years or so. Forget nuclear power, it's just not worth it. It's like most mining--the total costs don't add up to being worth more cell phones, gold bits or new cars. These are all things I own so I am guilty...

Is Iraq following the El Salvador plan? Thanks to Stoltz. Bit conspiracy theory, but maybe not.

Detroit Blog: What the future looks like?

Happy Surfing!

Training: Not going so great. I've been doing PT on the elbow regularly, plus massage, plus not working out, and it's just not getting a lot better. I can climb on it OK on easy ice so that's something, but enough whinging. I've been injured so little in my career that I've got nothing to complain about, this too will pass. I'm going kite boarding now, at least that's super fun and doesn't seem to hammer the elbow too much. Yoga, running, situps, do what I can and hope it improves sometime. I have a big trip to Sweden in January that I'm doing if I have to climb one-handed.