Women are notoriously known for icy cold hands and feet, so maybe they feel a special bond with the frozen waterfalls on which an increasing number are drawn to climb. Leading the charge are twins Heike and Tanja Schmitt, high level mountain guide and pro climber respectively, who organise the Cogne Ice Opening event in Aosta Italy each December. It draws a great crowd however getting to the small hamlet of Lillaz (the event base) can involve national border crossing, highways and mountain roads - not easy without a car.
Ryoko, Japanese - our driver and talented skier and climber (nicely organised the rental car)
Heather, Canadian - accomplished alpinist, including expeditions to Lhotse, Makalu, Everest, etc
Jessica, Scottish - complete beginner to ice climbing
Bjorn, German - former Head of Transport to the UN and now our Chef de Mission
Me, Canadian/British - ridesharing advocate. Pursue trails, ski, climbing, and general adventure
Along with looking to share a ride to Cogne, I had put the word out to the owner of the Hotel Ondenzana in Lillaz that I was open to sharing a room. Having not heard back I assumed it didn't work out but on arrival I find out that a girl named Claudia had already checked in to our room. It takes some time before I get to meet the owner of the backpack on the bed next to mine and my curiosity grows. She turns out to be a super happy easy going American-German real life Scientist. I ask her if she is like the guys on the tv series Big Bang Theory, a nerdy image she does not want to be compared with but when I ask what she does in her job she talks about testing theories and most of it went over my head. It turns out that Claudia was going to be stuck without a hotel room as everything was booked, so once again the 'sharing economy' is not always about costs.