Massive limestone walls rising to the left and right were the only things keeping vertigo at bay. Three friends and I were perched high on a snowy couloir, surrounded by white clouds. We had been climbing up to a steep ski line in Slovenia’s wild Julian Alps for over four houses – and we finally gaining on the top.
As the clouds cleared, I popped my head out expecting to be at the top. We weren’t. In fact, we were just clinging on to the side of a sharp arête with crampons and ice axes. The only option was to traverse the arête, going up deeper in the clouds and wind.
It all started when my friend Molly Baker and I decided to plan a new winter ski adventure. “Where should we go?” I asked. “Slovenia!” Molly said immediately.
She had spend a day and half there last summer, biking the Julian Alps and wanted to head back on skis. Plus this jagged range on the eastern end of the European Alps promised a new adventure.
There is far less ski traffic in Slovenia than in France or Switzerland, more opportunities for exploration – plus the beer is cheap and the people friendly.
So here we were, climbing blind with fellow professional skiers Liza Sarychev and ski mountaineer Kt Miller, on top of this mountain.