Ith – Second climbing weekend

Heinrich, Sigrid and her son Jonas joined us this weekend at the Ith. We arrived on Friday in the early evening, and although we had scheduled a BBQ for the evening, we obviously couldn’t wait to get to the rocks. We climbed a few easy routes at the Hexenkanzel to give Heinrich and Sigrid a first impression of the feel of that rock, until it was getting dark and we headed back to get our well-earned steaks in the end. Although it was quite late until we finally managed to sleep, we nevertheless agreed for a early start the next day. The camping place had been astonishingly empty when we first arrived, but I had the distinct feeling that this was about to change on Saturday.

Since Sigrid and Rikita needed a bit more time to get ready in the morning, Heinrich and I went ahead to lead a few routes, so that they could climb them in Toprope afterwards. The early hour procured empty rocks on usually beleaguered rocks like the Teufelstrichter. After climbing a few nice routes there, we went on to the Breite Wand, as it was getting fuller by the minute. There I managed a couple of nice routes, one called Kir Royal (Trad, 6 (5.8/5.9)) and another called Pernod-Dach (Sport, 1 bolt, 6+ (5.9/5.10a). Again, Heinrich was afflicted by his muscular problems, which wasn’t remedied by taping, so he passed on that roof problem and only Sigrid and Rikita attempted it – Sigrid came close in toprope, but didn’t quite manage the crux sequence, whereas Rikita didn’t even get to that, since the move before that puts you in an really awkward body position, which bugged her that much that she had to jump off in the end.

Rikita at the Pernod-Dach

Then we marched on to the Kamel, which has a nice face climbing route that goes on for almost 30 meters on its west face – which is of course beleaguered at all times. Since it was afternoon already and it was getting hotter, we decided to go back to the camping place and eat instead, rest a while and return in the evening, although it wasn’t quite as hot as it had been forecasted. The camping place was packed when we returned, as I had suspected, most of the climbers had arrived on Saturday morning.

After a hearty pasta meal and a bit of rest we went to the rocks furthest away from the camping place, in order to work our way back to the tents from there. Unfortunately, most of the really intersting rocks like the Zwilling were still too full, so that we ended up at the NW-Buchenschluchtfelsen. Heinrich started off with a route, which was at least on the lead really quite harsh in the last bit, as you have a rather claustrophobic crack, where you have to jam your body in, since it isn’t easy to protect in the end.  We did one more route there and went on to the next rocks, ending up at the Mittagsfelsen, where Heinrich managed to climb one last route, before the onset of rain forced us to return to the camping place earlier than planned.

Heinrich in action (not sure which route)

Unfortunately, the rain was there to stay, so we went to sleep early and decided for an really early start the next morning (the plan was to get up at 5:30) in order to avoid the masses – but a short look around at this hour showed us that it was definitely still too wet, and we went back to sleep again. The rocks were still quite wet, when Heinrich and I went off at around ninenish, but at least we had the opportunity to climb some nice trad and sport routes at the Wilhelm-Raabe-Klippe (which were of course a little bit more difficult under those conditions), with only a few nice climbers present, whom we had met the day before at the Teufelstrichter already. The ladies went to the Probierstein instead, which is ideal for beginners and kids, so that Jonas could climb a little bit too and there you can put in topropes from above.

Jonas at the Probierstein

Eventually we met up with them at the Kamel, where we finally could climb the West-Kante route after half an hour of waiting. The route itself was fairly easy until shortly before its end, where I just muscled my way through an unclear passage, which promoted a fair amount of adrenalin not only for me, but also Rikita, who had found a vantage point about half way up to take some photos (where you can walk up from the other side) – in addition I was quite angry with someone who had just carelessly thrown another rope from the adjacent anchor for rapelling down – but just letting in hang there right where I wanted to climb (I gave the chap an earful when I finally got up). After my experience there I dissuaded Heinrich from trying the route on the lead with his injury, but neither he nor the girls had any problems toproping it.

On the lead on the West-Kante of the Kamel

It was much too full and noisy at the Kamel (there were two youth groups there), so we headed on for the next rocks and ended up at the Mittagsfelsen again, where Heinrich went up a crack route that was still really wet and didn’t look particularly inviting, so I didn’t do that one, but rather the one he had done the day before when it started raining as the final route, as it was time to head back to the camping place and pack our stuff – apart from that my energy level had dropped significantly already, and that was definitely not just because of the now palpable feeling of hunger.

Sigrid getting into the West-Kante of the Kamel

The fact that I still do feel quite done in today seems to indicate that we did quite a lot (I think I did about 15 routes on the lead). I think we were all more or less quite happy with the weekend, even if not everything went according to plan – I for one had planned to attempt two slightly more involved routes, one 7+ (5.10d/5.11a) sport route and a 7- (5.10b) trad route at the Krokodil – but that didn’t materialize. However, I am pretty sure that Rikita and me will return there pretty soon, and perhaps Heinrich, Sigrid and Jonas also again sometimes.

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