In di Berg am I gern…(I like to be in the mountains)

This is not only a refrain of an Austrian folk song, it is also reflective of the commitment of all mountaineers who passionately deal with rock and ice. Some of them come from the United States and are professionally involved in Germany. We met the Navy SEALs, stationed in Germany Naval Special Warfare Unit 2, for a private training session in the “Oetztal” Alps.

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On the first training day, the SEALs learned how to work with the rope and they also deepened their knowledge about different rope techniques. The main focus was on how the climber moves himself and his team as quickly as possible from point A to B.

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Above left: On operations where no natural attachment points are available, the Talon creates opportunity to build strong anchors. Above right: SEALs stay well camouflaged against the Tyrolean wall. Even in their spare time, you can find them wearing the Aor2 cover on the Core BUMP helmet.

Completely new technical possibilities have been tried, such as the Talon ground anchor (above, left), which can be applied where no attachment points are available.  

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For operators, the training involves what you’d expect: lots of going up (above left) and down (above right). They learn to climb with all their equipment on their belt, equipped with special Cosmas boots. Those boots were originally developed for Italian frogmen, but they seem to be quite suitable for climbing.

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The evening entertainment was without Hüttengaudi (AprèsSki), but the Jetboil kept the Glühwein (glogg) warm. After hard training, a moment of relaxed togetherness ensures that even the Navy SEALs are tired enough to sleep.

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The Americans slept well in bivy sacks made by Carinthia. The SEALs spent the night in the well-known Defence 6 winter sleeping bag from Carinthia, with a comfort limit of -20 °C. To be well protected in this bitterly cold December night, the SEALs also used the bivy bag XP II Plus from Carinthia. The XP II Plus can be completely closed because it has a Gore Tex gas-permeable laminate. This creates a microclimate inside the bivy bag, ensuring the user survives even at Arctic temperatures.

Nothing compares to the Tyrolean Mountains when the sun rises. This photographer is already awake, but the SEALs and their coaches continue to sleep in their Carinthia bivy sacks.

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On the second day of training on the glacier, a trainer intentionally drops himself into a crevasse. This movement is not without risk, but by doing it, the SEALs learn how the hit feels when a man falls into the crevasse and how the impact loads are transferred to the roped party.

Rescue from a crevasse is an essential skill set for the SEALs to master. For this, a pulley system is set up. The SEALs had learned this before, however, here in the mountains, actually performing it, their knowledge is deepened.

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The Navy SEALs are next to the slope. Tourists are passing by at the backside of the ski lift while the Americans learn and practice.

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The photo above shows a self-rescue technique following a fall into a crevasse. Here, the most important thing is to master the technique perfectly and to focus on limiting stress. For the SEALs to master this technique means they must practice it until they drop. In order to stay warm in the freezing cold, the Carinthia HIG 3.0 (comfort limit -15 °C), with its low weight and high thermal output, is the perfect jacket. Its durability and quality has earned the jacket approval for use by various armies and special operations units around the world.

This articles appears curtesy of our friends at spartanat.com