VIDEO: Hard-Won Wisdom From Four Solo Winter Climbs in the Dolomites

One minute into Winter Solo, one thing became clear to me: Simon Gietl must be one self-possessed dude.

For him, the Dolomites in winter are “a place of solitude but also of happiness. A lucky place to be alone and also to reflect on yourself.”

The practice has been working out for him, on multiple levels. Yes, it’s cool that he completed the four solo climbs on four different Dolomite faces throughout four winters that constitute Winter Solo.

But the insights he’s harvested along the way divulge the real prize he’s walked away with. Gietl can say it better than I can, so hit play and take the lid off the jar where you keep your mountain wisdom.

You’ll also get family-oriented perspectives from Gietl’s wife, plus a heavy visual dose of stark limestone pinnacles. If you still need a bonus: this may be the only climbing movie I’ve ever seen that involves badminton.

“Give yourself a gift no one [else] can give you,” as Gietl would say, and watch this nutrient-packed video.

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson takes any writing assignments he can talk his way into while intermittently traveling the American West and Mexico in search of margaritas — er, adventure. He parlayed a decade of roving trade work into a life of fair-weather rock climbing and truck dwelling before (to his parents’ evident relief) finding a way to put his BA in English to use. Sam loves animals, sleeping outdoors, campfire refreshments and a good story.