1993 & 1997
In 1993, together with Stefan Schröder and Stefan Behrens, I visited the comparatively remote eastern side of Gran Paradiso. It was probably due to some “Sturm und Drang” that we decided to sleep long after our nine-hour ascent to Bivacco Carlo Pol, started late for a “reconnaissance” – and still attempted the main summit at midday. The result: We reached the foresummit of Il Roc, 4026 m, at 5.30 pm, abandoning the main summit that was just 200 meters away and 120 feet higher. During the rappel descent our rope jammed (Murphy’s Law in action), we got benighted… Yet I will never forget the all-encompassing sense of togetherness as we stood on the glacier, surrounded by moonlit snowfields, summits, and a majestic stillness.
Four years later, Michael Sucker and I took a long weekend and drove from Darmstadt to the western side of Gran Paradiso. On a beautiful autumn day we finally stood on the main summit, 4061 m.