Friday, July 10, 2015

Climbing the Chly Diamantstock

We do the early breakfast thing again in order to be out before the kids show up. There's another couple who has the same idea and we leave for the Chlyne Diamantstock routes at the same time. It's an absolutely perfect day: not a cloud in the sky, but still cool. This is the first time that we've really ever actually seen the mountains around the Bächlitalhütte; it's great!

We don't end up taking the best route to the foot of the routes, so there's a bit more unstable rock scrambling than strictly required, but it's not too bad. The other couple gets there a bit before us, we're doing the same route (Piccolo Diamantino 5a) and they start first. They end up being pretty slow, even by our standards, on the first pitch. This and seeing the big group of kids coming behind us puts some very bad thoughts in Greg's head (trapped between a slow group and kids all day!) but we compromise and decide to go ahead anyway. Fortunately the couple in front of us actually ends up speeding up quite a bit and the kids are super slow, so we are neither pushed nor slowed down. yay!

The climbing is great - granite is just fun to climb - and we're done with the first three pitches (the first wall) before we know it. This puts us on a broad step, where we enjoy a break and scope out the route across the talus and snow to the base of the next part of the route. We think that the other couple has opted to switch to the second (a bit more difficult) route, but realize on the way up (via a shouted conversation) that they've just confused themselves and ended up in that route accidentally. Ah well. We have another four pitches of big fun and then we're on the ridge. We do another break, enjoy the views, take some pictures, change back into our boots, shorten the rope, and then set out to figure out how to get from where we are down onto the broad flat shelf on the other side of the ridge (there's a 2-3m drop from where we are down to the shelf). This takes a bit of improvisation, but we figure something out and head towards the saddle. The ridge is nice going: broad enough to not be hairy, but still with great views, particularly into the Grüebenkessel. At the saddle we take some more pictures, meet back up with the other couple (who catch up to us), and then head down. We'd been anticipating an unpleasant loose talus descent, but there's enough of a track through the steep first bit that it's really no problem. Further down, more talus, some nice snow sliding, more talus, etc. until we need to decide between trying to find the top of the abseil route down the last face or taking the T5 path. We opt for the path, pack away the climbing gear, pass the other couple (who are using the bolts that are present to abseil the first bit of the path), and follow a fairly obvious route down to join the traces connecting the hut to the glacier (the route to the Gross Diamantstock, which we will also have to do at some point).

Back at the hut we have about 45 minutes before needing to head down to grab the bus, so we have a cool beverage, eat some more cake (mmmm, sooooo good), pack up the rest of our gear, and then head down. We don't hurry and do enjoy the views, but we still make good time and don't need to worry about making the bus. We cross the dam, walk down to the bus stop, and enjoy the last bit of outside sun before getting on the bus and starting the long trip back home.

What a great day!

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