Archive for Februar, 2008

Bodensteiner Klippen – first time

Sonntag, Februar 24th, 2008

After a week of somewhat botched preparation (the area topos which I hoped were to be found in an discontinued guide turned up not to be, the one where at least a few are included hasn’t arrived as yet, there were no hiking maps for the area detailed enough to be helpful either, and I only managed to fix our bikes on the very last minute (Saturday night at 9…)) we went down to the Bodensteiner Klippen for the first time anyway.

Unfortunately, Rikita does have to work next week, so she had to arrange for a ride back to Berlin this evening at seven. That still seemed to give us ample time to get there, check out the main routes we had no topos for but at least some names and a few descriptions and head back at daylight. The journey to the Klippen took us much longer than expected – three instead of two – as it turned out that the cycling distance is around 40 km or above rather than 30, on top of that in a rather hilly terrain, and we are both not really in the best of all shapes after not having cycled much throughout the winter.

Still there seemed to be enough time to get a first impression of the area and climb a few routes, provided we could find the rocks in question. However, we assumed to be in a completely different part of the Klippen and headed North on smaller trails rather than using the main one – a costly error, as it turned out. It took us 1 1/2 hours to get to some area called Sofaklippen, which we wanted to use for better orientation (and we weren’t the only ones lost there – we met several hikers staggering about, who, on enquiry, confessed that they were looking for the same thing but had the hardest time finding them as well). There were supposedly several routes on that massive, I could only make out one, where a shiny bühler protruded from an overhang – but then again, I just had a couple of minutes as a glance at the time revealed that we already had to head back, lest Rikita wouldn’t have sufficient time for the much deserved shower and some food before heading back to Berlin.

It was a huge disappointment – all we did was to traverse on a boulder we found, where distinctive chalk traces (why anyone would need chalk on that problem was beyond me though) revealed a problem easy enough for both of us.

Since we found the way back to our bikes in half an hour and finally figured out where we had been too, we have high hopes that the next time we can approach the right area without mishap and do some actual climbing (by that time the other out of print book will have arrived).

We saw quite a few rocks that could have been climbed – none of which seemed to have prepared sport routes though, all of the them were clearly either trad or barred from climbing altogether (which we couldn’t figure from our list, since we couldn’t identify them). Since neither of us have any trad experience though, we will have to leave any attempt on those to a later date – we are actually signing on for a course in trad climbing in the Harz at the end of April.

Hildesheim – DAV Gym

Freitag, Februar 22nd, 2008

As Rikita has no lectures at University at the mo, she arrived for a slightly longer visit yesterday. We went to the DAV gym, which is only open for two hours on Thursday evenings and quite crowded as we learned.

I did one 7 (5.10c/d) fluently enough in toprope to try it on the lead the next time (couldn’t linger there, since there were people waiting for the routes on that rope getting free) and started working on another 7 and an 8 (5.11 c/d). Rikita did very well and was pretty happy that she managed a 5 (5.7) on the same rope, which she had worked on for a while before – her first route with a long overhang.

I belayed one of the better climbers there, and it was quite amazing to see how elegant and effortless his climbing looks in comparison to my rather foreceful approach…


Montag, Februar 18th, 2008

Following some advice on Dave MacLeod’s website, I had ordered some campus boards and a pull-up bar for warm-up, in order to start finger-boarding and campus-boarding, which arrived today at my place of work. My neighbours might not have been overly thrilled to hear my drill at around eight o’clock, but I just couldn’t wait any longer. My ceiling is quite low, so i put up just three campus rungs, but start out from the pull-up bar and it is quite strenuous for me at my current level of fitness to get to the top as it is. The other three from the set and an additional bar I had ordered are for Rikita, who will have exactly the same setup as me at her place.

Additionally, we split a shipment of 30 tiny holds, which we plan to put up to practice some technical moves.  When Rikita’s father heard of our plans, his first and apparently quite heart-felt comment was: „Freaks.“ 😉

Berlin – T-Hall

Samstag, Februar 16th, 2008

With the temperatures being at around 0 degrees, we decided to climb indoors today. Since we had originally planned to move some furniture, which didn’t happen, we went there quite late at around three o’clock. Unfortunately, there was a competition in full swing (kids), so most of the lead routes were barred, and the toprope routes were extremely busy – in addition, the place was only open for another 3 hours. I got kind of frustrated when most of the routes I wanted to work on weren’t accessible. We did a few easy routes to warm up and eventually I got to work on an 8+ (5.12a) I had had my eye on before. It was quite difficult to figure out the first moves and I didn’t get very high, but it looks like something not entirely beyond my ability if I work on it. What was rather annoying was that a chap was asking me to come down, just after I had got past a difficult move that took me age to get right. He wanted to give me advice on where to attach my rope to the harness.

I do appreciate advice, but in this instance, I was really pissed off. If that was like a dangerous or threatening situation, I wouldn’t have minded, but this was simply nit-picking – Rikita says, he was watching me for a while and probably just wanted to say something to feel important, since he couldn’t give me any tips on the route itself.

This is not the first time actually – people learn belaying and tying their ropes in a specific way, and seem to think that everyone has to do it just the way they learned it. I had put my rope through the harness the way Carl had shown me during our very first session, and so far no-one seemed to have found any fault with it… nor could I see that it was in any way necessary to distract me from my problem there…

Rikita did alright, after getting frustrated on one route, she managed a few others pretty well.

The German Site

Freitag, Februar 15th, 2008

The German site is up and running now, including the German blog (see blogroll).

Welcome again

Mittwoch, Februar 13th, 2008

Right, after a few mishaps I finally managed to get this blog up and running.  I hope you enjoy my ongoing ramblings and please feel free to comment here on my site or anything else for that matter.