Saturday, May 12, 2018

Climbing at the Stockhorn

text and track maybe to come

Friday, May 11, 2018

Sachseln to Giswil via the complete Arnigrat

It’s the time of year for training tours! Andrea had the really good idea to revisit the Arnigrat, this time doing the "full" version based on a couple Hikr reports. We weren’t quite sure what the conditions would be like on the approach or the ridge itself, so we brought along ice axes and gaiters.

The start from Sachseln was under a blue sky, with some scattered low clouds about. Up, up we headed out of town, crossing dew-covered fields that soaked our shoes (yay for GoreTex!) and pants legs, always up. Thanks to the really high humidity we both end up with soaked T-shirts too, but the temperature is nice and the going is good. After passing through a bit of cloud we come out into the sun around Oberbüelen. Not too long later we find a good, dry sitting rock and take a short break to eat something and enjoy the views. The first other people we’ve encountered today are above us, slowly making their way up. After the nice break we continue up up, past the two older gentlemen,  always up towards the Dössli and Höch Dossen.

Not too far below the Dössli we hit some steep snow and wet grass and are happy to have the ice axes with us. A bit of kicking steps and edging through the grass takes us to the ridge. From this point on we stay on (or very close to) the ridge. After a bit more climbing and following the ridge we hit the Hohmad, where we enjoy a lunch break with fantastic views in all directions.

From this point we are following the ridge for about 3km of pure fun. conditions are great, the views are fantastic, wonderful stuff. It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 10 years since the last time we did this (in fact, while discussing it during the hike we were convinced that it hadn’t been that long)! Certainly Greg is a lot more comfortable now than he was the last time. :-)

At the Wandelen we take another short break and eat a bit before starting our way down. First we have to come up with a route down though. Heading down to Stockalp doesn’t work because the  bus isn’t running yet. The quick route down to Sachseln isn’t doable thanks to a bunch of steep, ugly snow. We head over the Wengenhorn to the next saddle and that route down, but that has the same steep, ugly snow problem. Ah well, we can just head down the other side; so we start along the trail towards Chlister.

The first part of the route down ends up being a bit of adventure, with some steep grass slope descents to cut corners, a bit of steep down through the woods to get on the path, and then a path that is surprisingly tricky to follow (despite being marked green on the online map). Still, we make it down to a road which we then follow, for what seems like a very long time, until we hit Giswil. There we have plenty of time to buy some snacks and cold beverages before getting on the train and starting the trip home.

Stats: 23km, ~2370m up, ~2350m down. (Those height stats are somewhat suspicious, drawing the track on the map gives ~1740m of altitude change, but that doesn't seem like enough and the fact that the ascent and descent numbers are so close to each other is reassuring)

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Climbing the Balmfluechoepfli

Another hike->climb->hike.

The multi-pitch routes up the south face of the Balmfluechöpfli are supposedly some of the longest multi-pitch routes in the Jura. We wanted to do one. They're also supposedly quite popular, so we wanted to get an early start.

Leaving Basel on the train at 6:30 and then hiking none-too-slow from Oberdorf got us to the parking lot below the trail up to the routes at around 9:00. There were loads of cars and climbers getting ready. Shit... maybe not early enough. Still, we continue up to check it out. This is a steep trail up, easy to follow (it's popular!) and with a funny bike stand (it's a joke) at the point where the approach trail branches off. There are people waiting to do the south ridge, but when we get to the south face and the start of our route, there are just two guys in front of us getting ready to go. By the time we're ready, they're well underway. There's another pair behind us, but they're planning a different route. Yay! not so crowded after all!

The climbing is very fun Jura multi-pitch. Finding the route isn't always easy, there's some walking between pitches, tree belays, etc. The protection was decent (though it's a good thing the last two 4a pitches on the ridge are easy, because they're pretty exposed and there's really not much protection there). Somehow Andrea ended up leading most of the 5a pitches in the first bit. We'll have to switch the order next time we do this. We'll also have to think about doing the (more difficult) tower pitches... that's a beautiful piece of rock.

Great weather, great day of climbing, happy greg and Andrea. :-)

up along the edge (3rd SL, 5a+)

last bit up the ridge (4a)

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Climbing on the Ruettelhorn

Hike, climb, hike. :-)

Fun day taking advantage of the good weather. The idea was to find a place with easier routes next to harder routes so that we could practice the harder routes in top rope. We kind of did that at the beginning, but then just switched over to climbing.

The hike down to the bus stop ended being a bit of a jog since the time was short. Still, we made it with 30 seconds to spare and had a good giggle once on the bus.

Routes done:
Sektor Gelbe Wand: Bingo 5b, attempts at Bongo 5c, greg only Ameisenplatte (not 5b but 4b)
Sektor Teufel: Teufelsgrätli 5a & Eggli 5a (MSL)
Sektor Platte: andrea only Altjahr 5b & Linke Platte 5c


Sunday, April 29, 2018

A spontaneous route from Bad Ragaz to Landquart

More text to come.

Stats: 20.6km, 1535m up, 1554m down.