Saturday, April 30, 2016

Clean climbing practice at the Baerenfells

We had a decent weather (though a bit cool) day so we set out with our new gear to practice clean climbing at the Baerenfells.

Greg ended up losing his motivation after pretty much the first route, but Andrea had a successful day of practicing setting protection on a few routes:
  • Beta + Penny Lane (combined) a couple times
  • Verborgener Traum twice
We even managed to find a good place to test her placements: they held. :-)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Back to the Gerstelgrat

A great weather day, but still too early to head into higher mountains, so we did a Jura tour. Since we wanted something at least somewhat adventurous, we opted for the Gerstelgrat. We did this almost exactly a year ago (52 weeks).

This time greg led most of the way (real progress here, he wouldn't have been able to do that last year) and we walked out on the North side of the ridge (a nicer walk than the Southern route we took last time). It was another very nice tour, we need more things like this in the area! :-)

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Clean climbing course

We were really excited to find an introductory clean climbing course offered by Silvan, the climbing instructor we spent the week in Sicily with back in 2012. Fortunately the weather also played along. The course took place in Tessin, in the Ponte Brolla area, so we got to enjoy the Tessin sunshine (and the long train ride) for the second week in a row.

We started in the east sector of the wall with some philosophy and the very basics: how to set nuts and friends. Then, after some practice and lunch, we split into two groups. Our group went around to the "front" of the crag, through parts of the burned out area, and up to a set of routes where we could practice. The idea was to practice setting protection next to bolted routes so that we could start getting used to the gear and how it's used. And, most importantly, so that we could test our placements by setting a piece of protection and then jumping backwards. A great way to make sure you're doing things properly and to gain some trust in the gear and the way you're using it.
Routes: Pizzoccheri (4b), Rübezahl (4b) or Noggeli (5a) or a combination thereof, and Sunneblume (5a) following the crack rather than the bolts to get to the top of Noggeli.
After the fun afternoon the whole group walked to a nearby rustico where we were staying the night. We made dinner as a group and then had a long evening sitting around the table telling the usual kinds of stories. :-)

Sunday was similar to Saturday afternoon, just in a different sector. Sector East, the beginning of Leicht lang; then along the crack in the region of Am Anfang War Das Feuer; Greg tried Tutto, and then did  La Fessura.
After the climbing the whole group got together again and Silvan showed us the basics of setting up a stand. After some practice of that we all walked out and we started the long train ride back to Basel.

We learned a lot at the course and enjoyed ourselves. Getting comfortable with setting our own protection really expands our ability to do stuff in the mountains. I see a large hardware purchase in our not-too-distance future. :-)