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14.11.2014
The last foreigner
It’s already the sixth time that I am coming back to this mountain village at the foot of „Shivalinga“. By now, the inhabitants have gotten to know me, and also know what my friends and I am looking for in this remote region of the Himalaya. They can’t understand it though.
The people in the village are adjusted to the scarceness of the land and its climate. They try to survive in these rough mountains of which they had to laboriously conquer every arable square meter of land. The only acreage that they cannot reclaim are the barren rock faces, characteristic of the landscape. And then tourists come and for weeks on end they pursue an occupation that limits itself to climb various rock formations. From the beginning on, the locals have been observing us carefully and have been following each of our steps. Some farmers even accompanied us for a whole day. They were interested to understand what these rocks were to us. When they realised that we met their living space with respect, that we were not damaging their fields and meadows, and that we spent most of our time on a rock, they gradually accepted us intp their community. The people in the valley are diligent, friendly, helpful and openhearted. I have the impression that lacking any prejudices they grant every creature its place on earth. Here, a smile is always greeted with a smile. We don’t encounter any obvious envy, no being strange that would isolate people from each other. Everyone seems to know that what connects all of us in this world regardless of origin or religion is being human. Here, in the last village of India I have the feeling that the world is still alright.
 
The remoteness up here is perfect to refresh body and mind. After all the injuries I had at the start of the year, I finally found motivation again. It was the first time in my 15 years of bouldering that multiple injuries stopped me from doing what I love so much. An intense experience, showing me how important climbing still is for me. I started this trip slowly and with every day out on the rocks the feeling was getting better. Power came back quickly and soon I was able to do sequences, where I had no chances in the last years. Despite the warm weather this year I made quick progress on my hardest projects, which was also good for my ego :-) I just have to wait for the cold temperatures, and than it's "Sending time"!
 
Now, 82 days later, I am still waiting for the cold to come :-) I am the last foreigner in the area. Most tourists left a long time ago, and even some of the locals travelled to lower areas, where they spend their winter with less cold and less snow. It`s very quiet now. The eagles are flying close above the village, watching me. I am sitting here, checking the cuts and blisters on my fingertips. I am still hoping for this very very last try in my project. High up in the mountains it started snowing. Maybe I should leave this quietness too, before I can't leave the valley. The boulders will be here next year. 
best wishes from India
 
Bernd
 
PS: This year the weather was not just "special" in the alps, it also was in the Himalaya. I enjoyed dry and sunny weather for weeks and opened a new sector with acrobatic climbs like "Circus", "Willkommen im wilden Hindustan" , "Rocky Tent 36"  and  "eat healthy - think better"  and many others. Check out some of the lines with pictures form Steffen Kern in the gallery!
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