Fragments of solitude

Between good and evil, day and night, asceticism and delight, there is no threshold, everything get slightly out of focus. Felix Olsson shares this disturbance, between the dark Chamonix nights and the gleam of Mount Blanc.

Felix Olsson

The room is cold.
At some point last week my radiator decided to check out, and I’m still waiting for it to suddenly return.
I wake slowly, tangled in fleece and duvets. On my screen two essential pieces of information glow in the dark.
1) 07.54. This is good, I have a chance at being first to the Col des Rachasses.
2) Messenger:
*female name censured*
“Hiii 🙂 <3 What are you doing tonight?” -01:34
Hm. Haha.
Delivered during prime time for the Chamonix broken hearts club seeking to avoid loneliness in all of our bars and pubs; maybe I wouldn’t have woken up this cold if I’d been awake to reply.

Felix Olsson

Massive queues pulsate like maggots by the entrance of ski-lifts, trying to get into hotels, restaurants. At work we joke that it feels like living in a big city – the pollution and the smog are omnipresent. Gas stations run out of fuel.

I numb the pain by putting my climbing skins on and walking away, far, far away.
Sleep finds me late every night.

Felix Olsson
Fear-Of-Missing-Out wakes me early every morning, next to someone who’s name I may or may not remember. These people and I usually don’t have breakfast together. They’ll pick their clothes off the floor and disappear – I’ll be rushing away in search of solitude and good snow. Sometimes when we get up the mountain, it is enough to find a quiet spot, sit down and listen.

Felix Olsson


Seeking solitude (still feeling very cold) is what we’re doing when the Rachasses disappears behind us as we descend onto that massive glacier below. There are hundreds of skiers behind us, and we did not come here to socialize. Soon we are back in familiar surroundings, no longer so easily accessible, and this mountain is better like this. Grands Montets 2020 – no lift no problem. I turn to look at old friends, Aiguille du Tour, Chardonnet, Argentiere… This place has become a part of me, these peaks like companions.

Slowly working our way towards a distant col, I reflect on the things I’ve learned this season.
It is impossible to outgrow this place, as you get stronger the challenges get bigger.

Felix Olsson

December: Col des Autannes, Kronenbourg, Safety Grab
February: Aiguille d’Argentiere, M.O.F Chartreuse, Blunt 540

I wonder how far we’ll go if we remain healthy, sane, happy. I fear that my days in this valley may be coming to and end, and if I leave I want to do so without regrets. So we have a quick snack under the shadows of the towering peaks before we push on, forever up, wanting to stand on top of that distant col.

Back in town the realities of my life make themselves known. It is February, but it feels like April. People with pollen allergies have started buying their medicines, and mountain bikers have started to appear next to skiers on the various terraces in town.
The sun is slowly setting, Charmoz, Blaitière and Aiguille du Plan are orange, pink.
Exhausting adventure today. I should drink water and eat protein.

Felix Olsson

“Two pints, please. Are you making shots?”
Beautiful weather tomorrow, and I have seen myself the countless runs left untraced in the basin this afternoon.
“You guys are going out later? Margaritas, you said? Sure, I’ll join.”

Felix Olsson

It is still only midnight, I have a chance at being first to the Col des Rachasses tomorrow
again. But I’m feeling so decadent, and the Social Club is pretty in pink.
“Would you like to come back to my place for some tea?”
Maybe not first to the Col.

Felix Olsson

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