A friday evening the headlights of a van light up the routes of the mediterranean coast to the east. Some hours before the eyes of a fireman and a policeman shine when they see the a sunny weather forecast on the Alps, some hours after, the backpack is always ready, they start driving from the Catalan Pyrenees to some part of the Alps. They know well each other, for the last few decades this team have been climbing on the walls all around the world. Is early morning and they start walking, fast, to the feet of a big mixted face, both having a past (and present) on ski mountaineering international and national races the pace is light. The climb starts and they progress together on a hight speed, not for going fast, but because they are strong. Taking pictures and making jokes on few hours they reached the pitches where normal alpinists takes days. On the crux of the route they put the rope and continue enjoying to the summit. On the evening they drive back home.
The Alfons; Alfons Valls, “el abuelo” and Alfons Gastón, are both from the first UIAGM guides generation on spain, both far from guiding but shearing the passion of the mountains with the other on hard and technical routes around Pyrenees, Alps or Patagonia, with friends on any rock or ice route or with young’s as me on any ski tour around the world. Shearing the mountain knowledges with everyone who is there to learn, and shearing the emotions of the north faces with the friends. You can still see them on any trail race on august, on a skimo race on february, on a Alps North face on october or on a climb trip on Patagonia on spring.
The first time I meet Alfons Valls he was coach on the skimo catalan team, he learn me how to do a correct conversion, how to be safe on avalanches and make a good route on a mountain. He takes me to climb some mixted routes and couloirs, and on the races on the end of the season he was fighting with all the young’s of the national team. During this time the other Alfons, Gaston, was racing on skimo world cup and on between races they was together climbing Matterhorn, Cerro Standhardt and other “fast” scales to the Alps. I has been shearing with him some seasons on the spanish and catalan team on skimo and learning everyday going on the mountains with them. Learning, technique, security, but more the passion of wanting to go everyday on the mountains, not matters where. The passion of climb by themselves, the passion of shearing with the young generations.
Blog of Alfons Gaston: http://agaston.blogspot.fr