Filip Bence - Up-Climbing

Filip Bence

 Our friend Filip left us a few days ago, at age 58. He died as an old chamois brought by the heavy snow of the spring. An avalanche swept him while descending the Kramar route in Storžič, the place where 40 years ago his alpine career started. He put himself heart and soul into the mountains where is grew up. 
Over the years he evolved into one of the most accomplished climbers of his time. His heritage consists in 4500 routes completed in different regions of the world, 180 of them being new itineraries. He climbed many difficult routes on the Dolomites and Central Alps, and took part to 11 expeditions out of Europe (Caucasus, Pamir, Karakorum, Himalaya, Andes). He was a member of the Mountain Rescue and cooperated with many groups involved with mountain climbing.
We met in 1981, during an expedition to the south wall of Lhotse: Filip, my brother Pavel and I were one of many parties that trusted their fortune on this imposing fortress. When I gave up in reason of fingers freeze, Filip and my brother proceeded with the ascent, reaching 8150 m. In 1983 we were part of an expedition to the Kankenjunga group. In 1985 we succeeded in ascending the Yalung Kang from the north side, together with our friend Janez Jeglič – Johan.
That expedition was saddened by the accident that took the life of our friend Borut Bergant, who slid from the wall on the way back from the top. Our best experiences of mountaineering are tied up to the walls of Fusine Lakes, where in 1982 I lost my brother Pavel and friend Tamara Likar. Since then every August I have organized an alpine memorial to remind them, and Filip did not miss one and even on bad weather climbed in their memory at least a mountain.
During the years we shared many experiences and we climbed unbelievable routes. He was a restless explorer of the mountain, often soloing, and leaves unforgettable memories on the walls looking onto the Fusine lakes. Being a walking encyclopedia, he collaborated very actively with the Alpine guidebooks of this area.
I lost the last fellow of big walls, and also an extraordinary and irreplaceable friend. Lo Spigolo dei ricordi (The recalls corner) was in 1982 our first new route up to Fusine lakes. We repeated it on the 25th year anniversary, unaware that it would be our last climb together. We saw so many chances of new routes. This route is for me an eternal route, the route symbol of our adventures and our friendship.
Peter Podgornik, april 2009