Posted on: March 1, 2006

Francois Damilano, Pitch 1, Ice & Roof (WI5, M7), Cortina d'Ampezzo, Dolomites, Italy. [Photo] Monica Dalmasso

I came to ice by chance. After several years of competition climbing, I had dedicated myself to photography. A meeting with mountain guide and guidebook author Francois Damilano persuaded me to collect images of ice climbing that go beyond its news value and gymnastic accomplishment. The transitory nature of the medium fascinated me: for a few days each year the cold transfixes leaping water into a new architecture. These moments, when crystal lines reflect the play of shade and light, became my inspiration.

Climbing icefalls is an attempt to capture an ephemeral matter. Together with Francois, I set out, over the course of three winters, to collect the suspended movements of this pursuit. Our migrations took us from the Alps to the mountains of China. On the following pages, you will find our results.

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