Archive for April, 2008

Harz – Okertal

Montag, April 28th, 2008

Finally, the weekend of the trad climbing course was there. We went to the camping place right up the Okertal by bike on Friday. It was an ok trip, only a few showers of rain and hail but we managed to get there and set up the tent without any problems.

Most of the group arrived quite late, only one guy was there before the others, so we had time to chat and get acquainted. When the others eventually came, we made our introductions and got the details of the schedule for the following days, before we went to sleep.

The temperatures dropped quite a bit during the night and Rikita learned that her sleeping bag wasn’t up to the challenge the hard way – we swapped on the following night, and I could only agree with her judgement there, it was definitely not warm enough for those weather conditions. However, we were lucky enough to find excellent weather and climbing conditions for both Saturday and Sunday during daytime.

On Saturday we got introduced to all the different pieces of equipment, friends, nuts, tri cams, hexentrics and whatnot.

Initially it was quite frustrating to place the gear, only to find out that we didn’t do it right. However, in the afternoon we did some technical climbing with the gear we placed and there we could feel some progress, as all but one of the pieces we had placed was holding to carry our body weight. We climbed a few easy routes in toperope afterwards.

Our first taste of technical climbing, to get a feel for how good the gear really holds…

On Sunday we went to the „Marienwand“ in the Okertal. While we were doing some more exercises, our coach Daniel brought up some ropes and we were supposed to get up those routes later and place some additional gear whilst still having the safety of the toprope. In the end we did one easy route on the lead, but again used mostly the gear Daniel had brought up.

Rikita climbing at the Marienwand

Nevertheless it was a very interesting and nice weekend and I feel we learned a lot – now it is just a question of applying those skills in the future and maybe trying to place additional gear on sport routes that aren’t sufficiently secured as well as practicing on easy trad routes where there isn’t any realy danger if any of our gear won’t hold until we feel that we are really able to trust what we place there. We both enjoyed climbing in real rock and although the routes we did were quite easy, climbing one for instance that was close to 30 meters was quite exhilarating.

We agreed to inform other participants of the course when we will venture out to real rock in the future, so that others can join in – for one thing became very obvious, we don’t really have enough gear for long routes and looking at our slim budget currently, that isn’t going to change any time soon.

Altogether a great experience with many nice people and we got a lot out of it. I could add the first route to my trad table, but since I didn’t place all gear myself though climbing on the lead, I will desist. But I am pretty sure there will be the first entry there very soon…

Hildesheim – DAV Gym

Montag, April 28th, 2008

Long week… so I am getting to write about it just now…

Two sessions at the Hildesheim DAV Gym, one on Sunday and one on Thursday. In keeping with the recommendations of the coach of our course on the weekend, we prepared in climbing everything on the lead.

On Sunday Rikita did very well and managed quite a few routes. Not much to report about me there, just that I did one 7 on the lead I hadn’t done before.

On Thursday Rikita showed me a few technical things we were supposed to know for the course, for example belaying from above with HMS. She had a panic attack on the lead on a route she had managed on Sunday, froze and eventually managed to jump off over the quickdraw. Obviously that was the worst possible moment for this to happen, thus shaking her confidence again.

I finally got my „good“ shoes back and we geared up for the weekend, getting a few more slings and nuts.

Berlin – Kirchbachspitze

Sonntag, April 13th, 2008

Good weather conditions today, so we went to the Kirchbachspitze. We didn’t do too many routes, most of them were fairly easy ones. I did sort of ok, Rikita was struggling a bit with her fears and eventually got really frustrated at her apparent lack of progress. However, I think we isolated the courses for some of her problems and hopefully concentrating on eliminating those consciously in the next session might go a long way to improving her overall abilities and, even more importantly, her confidence.

Berlin – T-Hall

Sonntag, April 13th, 2008

Since it was supposed to rain, we met up with Sigrid and her son Jonas at the T-Hall yesterday. With the lead course just two weeks away, we followed the recommendation of the course coach and just climbed on the lead. After the first easy route, we were approached by two guys and later two girls, who had never climbed on the lead and gave them a brief introduction.

I didn’t try anything spectacular, one 7+ I had never attempted before, which went up in a roof part to become an 8 there, but since I had never done a roof before I stopped at the last quickdraw of the overhang. I tried an easier roof route later, but didn’t quite finish that one, but will definitely try it again the next time we are there.

Rikita did ok, but still feels a bit insecure on slightly more demanding routes, hopefully the strategy of not climbing toprope at all will eventually show a beneficial effect.

It is sunny now, so we might go to the Kirchbachspitze later.

Hildesheim – DAV Gym

Montag, April 7th, 2008

Still shitty weather, forcing us to climb indoors for the time being – so we went to the DAV gym last night. I spent most of my time working on the 8 (5.11 c/d) route, but had real trouble getting past a move I did ok in the beginning and then somehow didn’t manage anymore. However, before falling asleep last night, I think I came up with a better solution for it. It might be at least another two weeks though before I can test that theory.

Rikita did ok, but still has trouble overcoming her fears when on the lead.

Brought my shoes in for resoling finally, and we ordered some helmets for the lead course at the end of this month.