Sunday, May 06, 2018

Climbing the Balmfluechoepfli

Another hike->climb->hike.

The multi-pitch routes up the south face of the Balmfluechöpfli are supposedly some of the longest multi-pitch routes in the Jura. We wanted to do one. They're also supposedly quite popular, so we wanted to get an early start.

Leaving Basel on the train at 6:30 and then hiking none-too-slow from Oberdorf got us to the parking lot below the trail up to the routes at around 9:00. There were loads of cars and climbers getting ready. Shit... maybe not early enough. Still, we continue up to check it out. This is a steep trail up, easy to follow (it's popular!) and with a funny bike stand (it's a joke) at the point where the approach trail branches off. There are people waiting to do the south ridge, but when we get to the south face and the start of our route, there are just two guys in front of us getting ready to go. By the time we're ready, they're well underway. There's another pair behind us, but they're planning a different route. Yay! not so crowded after all!

The climbing is very fun Jura multi-pitch. Finding the route isn't always easy, there's some walking between pitches, tree belays, etc. The protection was decent (though it's a good thing the last two 4a pitches on the ridge are easy, because they're pretty exposed and there's really not much protection there). Somehow Andrea ended up leading most of the 5a pitches in the first bit. We'll have to switch the order next time we do this. We'll also have to think about doing the (more difficult) tower pitches... that's a beautiful piece of rock.

Great weather, great day of climbing, happy greg and Andrea. :-)

up along the edge (3rd SL, 5a+)

last bit up the ridge (4a)

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