Erik Decamp

Mountain Guide

June 2008
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A perfect Cosmic Ridge

Yesterday, just back from a 4 days trip on skis, I was dreaming of a rest day. In the evening a good friend asked me for a "mountaineering day" for himself and his two kids. We have had very good time in the mountains during the last few years, and I could not just say : "sorry, I'm tired !".
We went for the very classic Arête des Cosmiques, an excellent short alpine climb starting from the top of Aiguille du Midi. At this season it is particularly enjoyable and quiet. The conditions were perfect, with quite a lot of fresh snow, a sea of clouds below us and no wind. A real pleasure for Jean Marc Boucansaud and I to guide this family in such a nice climb ... with this rather strange "last pitch" up a ladder to the tourist's terrace !

News from Nicaragua

Here in Chamonix it's supposed to be spring, but we have heavy snowfalls in altitude. In Nicaragua it is the dry season, and my friend Gilles Corcos is in Rio Blanco to work with the local staff of Agua Para La Vida, the NGO he created nearly twenty years ago to help rural communities building their own distribution systems for drinking water. The 4th Water Forum took place in Mexico in March, and now more and more people are aware of the water problem, which is a major issue throughout the world. Agua Para La Vida is one of the intitatives that develop efficient solutions in specific regions. APLV 's nicaraguayan staff does most of the technical work in the field, but many problems are still to be solved before fullfilling the ambitious program of a real autonomy. Apart from helping the management of the center in Rio Blanco, fundraising is also a difficult day-to-day task. APLV was created in California, and has now a group in France, which I belong to. Most of the funding is private, but we are always looking for partnerships. Sofar, more than 10.000 persons got drinking water with the help of APLV. More infos on