Legend has it that unwary hunters would follow a beautiful, flame-haired mountain nymph, only to disappear forever – the Diavolezza is said to get its name from this she-devil.
After leaving the car park and strapping on the snowshoes , I spend the lower section of the climb shaking my arms to get the blood flowing into my hands. Fingers are already hurting. Sometimes I do a little dance, doesn’t hurt to get the blood into the lower limbs too and Max finds it amusing. I look like a muppet, but it makes us laugh.
I can tell the night had been windy too; snow had been re-deposited on many sections. When I look up, my jaws drop. I nudge Max to check out the incredible sunrise. The sky is painted in pink and purple, with the moon still at present. Max stops to take photos, and I’m wondering about the conditions higher up.
Sure enough, at the next turn as we get onto an exposed area, we are hit by an arctic gale. At times it literally takes our breath away, especially when we are climbing into it. When it blows from the side, it moves your entire body off the ski touring track.
The icy cold wind is biting our cheeks as we are making our way up the mountain.
Secretly, I’m loving a bit of gnarly weather conditions. It shows just how powerful nature is and that you can never underestimate the mountain weather. I’m wearing a new Arc’teryx Gore-Tex jacket which acts as a shield on my upper body, and I’m so happy I decided to go with a warm mid layer. Down jacket is still in the rucksack, for emergency. Despite the crazy gusts, Max and I often stop to take photos and videos. I can tell he’s also enjoying being challenged.
By the time we get up to Diavolezza, the sun has reached this section and started to kiss the summit of Piz Palu, Zuppo and Bernina. We’re soaking up the views but it’s bitter cold. The batteries in our phones are draining, so Max pulls out the Harrier 25 by PowerTraveller and we strap on his phone while we’re shooting.
The wireless charging technology blows my mind (Max finds it hilarious and compared me to the caveman discovering fire! haha) I can’t believe how powerful this device is. Once we have enough juice in the phones, I slide it into my jacket’s chest pocket.
After a breezy 1,000m ascent, we reach Sass Queder (3,066m) for a quick high-five (the wind is even more extreme on the small plateau) and we descend to one of my favourite view points to take more photos. I reach into my rucksack to find the Harrier and for a second I’m in a panic that I lost it. Only to realise it’s been in my front pocket the whole time. It’s so compact and easy to carry! I reorganise my rucksack here before Max and I head down.
We didn’t see any flame-haired mountain nymphs, but we did have a fun adventure and we were treated to stunning big mountain views. Oh and from now, it’s the three of us adventuring. Max, Harrier and I
A huge thanks to our friends at PowerTraveller for the great chargers we get to test before heading to Nepal to attempt the First Ascent.
© copyright 2021 by Alexandra Nemeth