Berlin – Kirchbachspitze

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

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

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.

Berlin – Kirchbachspitze

März 30th, 2008

Finally the weather was good enough to open the outdoor climbing season in Berlin as well. Unfortunately, the last extremely busy weeks and maybe even the climbing session yesterday took their toll and I was struggling a lot – even on comparatively easy routes. I don’t think I can blame it all on the shoes, although they might have played a role too, but I was mentally and physically run down a bit, it took me ages to figure out the next move on certain routes and I didn’t quite get the complacency and confidence I usually feel going at all.

Rikita most likely strained her left upper arm muscles on the first route, so she couldn’t do much either.

Anyway, since not every day can be a revelation, at least it was getting more experience and a feel for that particular outdoor place again.

Berlin – T-Hall

März 29th, 2008

The weather forecast predicted a high rain likelihood, so we went climbing at T-Hall today. I was feeling a bit mushy throughout and struggled with my second pair of shoes, as my good ones need to be resoled. So in the end I rather did a few easy routes on the lead and eventually a 7+ (5.11a) that I had tried on the lead before, but failed. This time I managed.

Rikita did well in the beginning, and managed a couple of routes on the lead too. It is supposed to be sunny tomorrow, so we will go to the Kirchbachspitze and perhaps meet up with Carl.

Hannover – Escaladrome

März 22nd, 2008

Easter – we had hoped for good weather and the chance to climb outside… but instead, winter came back with a vengeance.  We wanted to visit a few friends in Hannover after climbing, so we decided to go the Escaladrome rather than Campo, since it is about 10 km less to cycle. We haven’t been bouldering for ages, but surprisingly it went rather well. Rikita was doing very well, considering that she had always been rather scared, as jumping off isn’t really her cup of tea. I did alright too, and realised that technically I have really improved a lot since my summer session there.

We decided to go there more often, to get more variety into our repertoire of moves and being forced more to read routes and figure out where to go before we actually start the problem.

Berlin – T-Hall

März 17th, 2008

After a busy weekend with a big family celebration (Rikita’s grandmother had her 80th birthday) and the weather being rather wet at present, we went climbing at T-Hall again today. Rikita did very well on the routes she tried and can really move on to 6s (5.8 to 5.10) now.

I managed all the moves on my 8+ (5.12a) today, actually climbed it twice, but I need to do it more often to link the moves fluently. But in managing that route, I actually achieved my goal I had set myself more or less jokingly at the beginning of my climbing career – that I wanted to be able to climb that grade before the first year is over. I am actually pretty chuffed with my progress, and feel fully prepared for the outdoor season.

Hildesheim – DAV Gym

März 9th, 2008

As Rikita had to return to Berlin today, we could only go to the climbing gym for a couple of hours, but went nevertheless.  I worked more or less solely on my 8 (5.11 c/d), but to round off the already quite satisfactory weekend, I managed all the moves, although it will take a few more attempts to do it fluently and even more to take it on the lead.

Rikita did well on her overhanging routes and tried a new one there, but had a bit of trouble on a vertical one she had managed easily on previous occasions. In the end she rounded off her weekend when figuring out the move that had bothered her for a while.

Oddly enough, having toproped the 8 didn’t give me as much of a thrill as it might have done just a few weeks ago – I think my attitude is shifting towards that being training of some sort, whereas the real climbing and therefore the real challenge is only on real rock. I am really looking forward to our next visit(s) in the nearby rocks as well as our trad lead course at the end of April.

Bodensteiner Klippen – no sloppy seconds

März 9th, 2008

The weather report was good enough to go and try for a second time to find the main towers of the Bodensteiner Klippen.  However, despite dry weather being forecast for Friday night as well, we were unpleasantly surprised to find the roads wet and puddles all over the place when we started off our journey, fearing that the rocks might be too wet and slippery to climb.

I had got much more information about the Bodis since our last visit, and this time we went more or less straight to the main towers without getting lost at all (yay…Rikita wants to mention that it was her superior sense of orientation that got us there…).

Me on the West-Wand

Most of the routes there seemed pretty well protected with bolts and anchors on top, the easier ones of course less than the more difficult ones – but since this was our very first time actually climbing in real rock, we didn’t want to take any chances and started off with a 4+ (5.5) called West-Wand. The route was easy enough, it was just a bit of a psychological thing which made it a bit strenuous and me move very cautiously, since the first bolt was at about 6 meters height and no good place to put in extra protection really. That being said, I felt quite exhilarated after having done my first „real“ route.  Rikita managed it in toprope as well, and we both had a  second go at it thusly too.

 Stefan coming down

We met another pair of really nice climbers, who have been climbing there for quite a long time already and gave us some good advice for anchor points for routes where there weren’t any and the guy Stefan was belaying me later, when I toproped a 7- (5.10.b), called Emmanuel Strubich Gedächtnisweg after several attempts at the crux though (couldn’t have done that on the lead yet without seriously hurting myself).

Me on the Emmanuel Strubich Gedächntis Weg

In the meantime Rikita belayed Christina on the only other route we did, a 5- (5.5/5.6) called Nord-Riß (Northern crack). It was a bit awkward to lead, since I used two bolts from a route next to it, but else really nice to climb.

All in all a vast improvement to our last visit there, and we went home quite chuffed – even the bike journey seemed much less strenous than before. We are both looking forward to the next time there.

Unfortunately, there are just a few pictures of me and one of Stefan from this trip, since I couldn’t figure out Rikita’s camera well enough to shoot her while belaying her at the same time – but we gathered a bit of material for the upcoming topos page already.

Hildesheim – DAV Gym

März 6th, 2008

A so-so session today at the DAV gym – I wasn’t feeling well all day and wasn’t feeling any better on the wall either. Anyway, I managed at least all the moves on a 7-/7 (5.10c)I had tried briefly the last time and one more move on the 8 (5.11d).

Rikita had a similar experience, and didn’t manage to do the overhang route on the lead, as she had planned to, but another similarly graded one on the first attempt in toprope.