Archive for Mai, 2008

Berlin – Kirchbachspitze

Sonntag, Mai 25th, 2008

Fine weather in Berlin, so we met up with Heinrich and went climbing at the Kirchbachspitze on Saturday. We mainly did easy routes, which went rather smoothly, apart from two little snags, once I didn’t have enough quickdraws on me, the other one was a weird little mishap, when my quickdraw somehow got entangled in my harness when going past it.  Later in the afternoon Carl joined us, and I rounded off my day with working on an 8- (5.11 a/b), which I managed about half-way – so I will have a little project the next time(s?) we are there.  I had a good point of reference with the route I did before that, which had stopped me cold last summer, when I first attempted it and I actually had to ask someone to bring my quickdraws down – this time it was almost too easy, apart from a little artistic intermezzo that prompted Carl to almost pull me down, as he assumed I was about to fall – in reality I just took one hold dynamically and needed a few seconds to balance out the movement.

Rikita starting the second route of the day

Me at the same route

Heinrich had to be careful with an arm he had injured first during our Harz course, so I went on the lead on all 5 routes we climbed. Rikita did very well, and seems much more confident.  I think there is some definite improvement, as she managed some routes she had struggled with previously with some ease.

Heinrich on the first route we climbed

If everything goes according to plan, we will climb together with Heinrich and Sigrid at the Ith next weekend. As much as I enjoyed the Kirchbachspitze, I prefer real rock by now and am looking forward to that.

Ith – First time

Montag, Mai 19th, 2008

We had planned a three day weekend at the Ith, but unfortunately the weather on Saturday was so bad, that it became a two day trip instead. So we arrived on Sunday, after a rough cycling tour, which started anything but auspicious, since Rikita had a sore throat and considered turning around half way. Fortunately she changed her mind and we arrived at lunchtime on the Ith camping place that is owned by the DAV.

From that camping place you walk like 5 or 10 minutes to the first rocks, which are all very well marked and lined up by nature for an easy scoop. There are quite a few interesting sport routes, but we focused on trad routes, first of all, because the grades Rikita can climb in at present fall more into that category  and secondly, because we both need the exercise to get the necessary routine. Still Rikita didn’t trust her protection enough to go on the lead, but placed protection when going up in toprope.

Me at the Torkopf Ost-Riß

Rikita at the Torkopf Ost-Riß

This was our first experience with limestone, which is different from all the other rock we have climbed thus far, as it was very smooth, almost polished and at least at the routes we ventured on, with a plethora of holds. Most of the routes we did were between 20 and 25 meters and were fairly good for placing protection, although we could have done with a bit more gear.

Rikita rappelling down

Me at the Pieksriß of the Teufelstrichter

We climbed 5 routes on Sunday, one of which had two bolts in the lower part (the Pieksriß in the photo above) and 3 today – then we had to head back again.

Well, all in all this was a great first taste of that fabulous area, where we will almost certainly spent many a happy hour in the foreseeable future. I think for the time being we will focus on trad routes, in order to hone our newly acquired skills.

Considering that this was our first visit there, we both did well, while for me it was more or less an exercise in climbing trad on the lead, Rikita did very well climbing routes close to her limit (one 6- and possibly a 6 (unclear because of mismatched topos) (5.8)).

Well, I can’t wait to go there again…

Bodensteiner Klippen – without a net

Sonntag, Mai 4th, 2008

Great weather yesterday, so we cycled towards the Bodensteiner Klippen. The fruits of our last journeys seem to show now, since we managed to get there much faster and with greater ease than before.

For warming up we returned to the West-Wand of the Hauptturm, which we had climbed already on our previous visit. However, this time I applied my newly acquired skills and placed extra protection. Rikita did the route in toprope, but place some additional gear nevertheless to practice.

Then we looked for ages for a suitable route – the problem being, that the available sport routes are more or less all slightly above the grades Rikita currently feels comfortable with. So in the end I decided to try traditional routes instead. For starters we climbed an easy 4 (5.4) at the Mittelturm, which was easy to climb and place protection. In the beginning I could even place a sling and the following protections I placed I managed well enough to feel safe.

 Me at the Rißverschneidung-Route of the Mittelturm

Rikita climbed this one and the following ones in toprope, but again placed protection for practice, as she does not trust her skills enough yet to try it on the lead. Maybe next time.

 Rikita at the Rißverschneidung-route of the Mittelturm

The next route (Nord-Riß of the Mittelturm, 4+(5.5)) was even better to place protection and now it started to be fun.

 Crack climbing at the Northern Crack of the Mittelturm

After a short break we tried a third route (Rechte Nord-Verschneidung, 4+(5.5)), where I placed ample protection but then ran into unexpected difficulties, when trying to get to the anchor. I almost had to test my protection for the first time, but then managed to finish the route with a bit of traversing. Of course just then an audience in the shape of several boulderers appeared, who then felt obliged to ask whether we are beginners, which Rikita somewhat ticked off denied (the fact that we were wearing helmets (Daniel would have been proud of us) and my unusual exit moves might have led to that conclusion).

All in all a fab climbing day, and the fact that I could place protection I could easily trust, opens a plethora of routes for the future, especially in this particular region – where most easier routes aren’t sport routes. For Rikita it might take a little more time, before she feels that trust – but I am sure that constant practice will yield that result eventually.