Thursday, December 24, 2015

Xmas 2015

We spent a couple of pre-Xmas days in Aachen/Hergenrath; it was (almost) too warm for a Glühwein; we went for a stroll with Andreas and Elke to the Entenpfuhl, walked into Aachen, went with Andreas on a hike in the Hohes Venn and enjoyed the wellness.
We spent the holidays in Bad Lippspringe with Andrea's family, played a lot of games, old and new (Colt Express was a Xmas present), balanced the cookie-eating with running and playing badminton and made fondue chinoise and bourguignon one night.

A track of one of our walks, from Hergenrath to Aachen:

Saturday, November 07, 2015

November climbing in the Gastlosen

The forecast called for an unusually warm and completely sunny weekend (and that in November!) so we decided to head out for what is likely to be the last climbing of the season. We were ready to stay in the winter room of a hut, but since the weather was going to be good, the folks running the Grubenberghütte decided to open it for the weekend. Bonus!

We left early on Saturday and took the train to Schönried, from there the gondola brought us up to the Rellerigrat (looks much different now than last time we were here). Some lovely walking (with great views!) later we hit the Grubenberghütte where we enjoy a sandwich out in the sun, learn that they weren't expecting the hut to be full (only 13 reservations!), drop off stuff we didn't need while climbing, and figure out what we are going to do for the afternoon. The weather is great, but the days are still short, so we can't do anything too ambitious, we decide to head off to the Wandflue to do a shortish multi-pitch route. Greg is initially worried that it's going to be completely packed (beautiful weather, parking lot 10 minutes walk from the wall, great climbing, etc.), but it ends up not being too bad: there are about 4 other groups there.
checking out the Wandflue
After surveying the situation, we decide to do the route 5eme Symphonie (5b, 5c, 5b, 5b). The rock is lovely limestone, with Wasserrillen (like on the Mattstock), and it makes for lovely climbing. Greg leads the first pitch, Andrea does the second, which has an adventurous traverse section before needing to get over an overhang, and then Greg leads the third. The third is long and very sparsely bolted (4 or 5 bolts over a 50m route); fortunately the rock is great and the climbing isn't overly difficult. From the stand we can't see the first bolt of the fourth pitch and we're both a bit nervous after that third pitch, so we opt to just abseil down from here. This goes pretty quickly and we're at the bottom of the wall before we know it.

After another short sandwich break we head back to the hut, enjoy a cool beverage and the views in the last of the sun, and settle in for the evening. There are really only 13 guests there (nine of them are one group), so we enjoy fondue in a half empty hut and are only sharing our sleeping room with two others. What luxury! After dinner it remains very clear and isn't too cold, so we go out and watch the stars for a while. Amazing weather for November.
enjoying the amazing sun near the Grubenberghütte
The plan on Sunday is to get to the bottom of the routes on the Dent de Ruth earlyish and climb the Diehlkante. We are underway before 8:00, but still get to the routes behind two other climbers and just ahead of another couple (they all slept in their cars/vans at the parking lot below the hut). Given that the first two are doing the Diehlkante, we opt to move to the left to L'avenue des Chamois. This is a lot easier, but we're ok with that. The two behind us arrive a couple minutes after we get there; they're doing the same route. The route is long, but pretty easy (3c, 4c, 5a, 4c, 4c, 4b, 4c, 4c, 4c, 2c), the rock is great, and the weather and views are once again amazing. We end up letting the other couple pass after a few pitches; despite their protests, they are definitely faster than us and we are taking more breaks than usual along the way to enjoy the views.
Climbing with a view
Once up top on the ridge we do a lunch break (oh! the views!) and change shoes. From here we can either follow the ridge and do some scrambling to the top of the peak or abseil down. Since we don't have a great description of the difficulty of the route to the peak and we do need to keep an eye on the time, we opt to abseil down. This ends up not being the best choice because at some point we lose the abseil piste and end up on the route, hitting a stand simultaneously with a group of three English speakers. After they head on, we do a bit of improvisation to follow the route down. This works, but we end up spending lots of time fighting with tangles in the rope. By the time we make it to the bottom, we're both definitely ready to be done.
on top of the ridge, view of the Diehlkante and the Bernese Alps
After another sandwich break we pack away the gear and, now very conscious of the time, head back. We're going to be too late to catch the last gondola down from Rellerigrat (at 16:30), so below the hut we decide to head to Saanen. Unfortunately the trail here follows the road, so from Lauchnere on we're on the road. Luckily it's not too busy and the going is quick. Outside Unterbort a farmer picks us up and takes us the last bit down to Saanen (nice!).

We've got an hour until our train and there's not much around the station, so we grab the bus (just getting there!) to Schönried. Here we have a quick, but nice, dinner in the hotel restaurant near the station and then board the train for the long, surprisingly crowded, way back to Basel.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Vacation Sardinia Part II: Climbing around Cala Gonone

view from balcony across the Golfo di Orosei
Sunday, October 11
did some afternoon climbing after driving up to and down from Olbia to get rental car
La Poltrona (behind sports grounds above town, all routes in the sun, rather warm)
#2, piccolo stronzo, 4c
#7, guendalina, 4c
#6, ciquita, 5a
#8, dopo il pesce, 5b
#9, hey jude, 5c (greg only)
La Poltrona
Margheddie (north of town, after walk on dirt road and scramble up to the rocks, all routes in the sun  and thus really hot, no route names)
#7, 4c
#9, 5c+ (andrea top rope)
#5, 5a
rest: greg only, andrea's feet got too hot and uncomfortable in her climbing shoes
#6, 5b
#4, 5b
#3, 5b
#8, 5c
Greg climbing in La Margheddie
Monte Bonacoa (drive to tunnel above town, then on small, steep, bad dirt road almost to the top of the ridge, walk along dirt road and path to climbing area, we were the first ones there at shortly past nine, lots of others were yet to come, but it never felt too crowded, we climbed in the shade almost all the time)
#20, riscaldati, 5a
#19, mister sierra, 5b
#21, bentu 'e susu, 5b
#14, una nuova vita, 5c
#16, tuco, 5c
#17, cocillo, 5a
#15, raiu, 6a (greg did most of this but then switched to the neighboring 5c to set up the top rope after failing at the crux a couple of times; both made it top rope)
the crag of Monte Bonacoa with Cala Gonone in the background
Budinetto in the morning (above town, crappy dirt road as approach, were really early, started climbing before 9am, as it was cloudy the sun was not critical, but sector gets sun at 10 or so, it did get rather crowded after a while)
#6, il re della griglia, 5a
#7, mitico gippi, 5b
#1 el piero, 5b (only first pitch)
#2, lolla, 5b+5c (greg both pitches, andrea only first one)
#3, snikky snakky mukky mukky, 5b+5c (andrea both pitches, greg only first one)
light rain started during our break, thus we packed up and went home for a siesta
La Poltrona in the afternoon (left the flat at around 3pm, cloudy but dry, saw many leaving as we arrived, yay)
#10, sono forse io?, 5b
#9, hey jude, 5c
#21, l'eremita, 6a (5c to the right, might not have used correct stand)
rain started again, thus couldn't continue with #20, Ciao Alex, 6a
Budinetto (as seen from Placche di Flinstones)
Placche di Flinstones (same approach as Budinetto, a bit further up and to the left, were the first at the rocks, nice blue skies and sun, but cooler and at times windy, shade moved in at around 1pm at the left hand side we were on)
#18, Dammi La Clava, 5a
#15, B.C., 5b (slippery start)
#13, Flintstone, 5c
#8, Barny Rubble, 5c
#7, Bam Bam, 6a (andrea top rope only)
#9, Edulcoranti non cariogeni, 5b
it got too crowded and we left
Buchi Arta (narrow, windy paved road south along the coast, stopped early and walked the last km, were the first ones there, but it really filled up quickly, lots and lots of people...)
#1, El Principe, 5b
two routes to the left of #1, not in our book, both rated 5c
a 6a in between #1 and #2 in our book
#2, unnamed, 5b
#33 or #34, unnamed , 5c or 6a (greg only)
pig interested in climbing?
walk to Biddiriscottai but directly in the morning sun and already too hot for comfortable climbing; drive to Cala Fuili, walk along the canyon Codula Fuili; last ice cream and stroll in Cala Gonone; drive to Olbia and flight back
along the coast to the caves of Biddiriscottai
in the Codula Fuili
if not noted otherwise, routes were done by both andrea and greg "im Vorstieg"
route #'s from climbing book "Pietra di Luna", deutsche Ausgabe, 2011

Friday, October 09, 2015

Il Selvaggio Blu: Cala Mudaloru to Altopiano del Golgo

Day 5:
Walk out through the Bacu de Mudaloru up to the Altopiano del Golgo (past the Chiesetta die San Pietro), get picked up and driven to the refugio of the COOP Goloritze, then drive to Baunei and back to Cala Gonone
through the Bacu Mudaloru

more wooden ladders

looking for the right way in the rain

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Il Selvaggio Blu: Cala Goloritze to Cala Mudaloru

Day 4:
from Cala Goloritze up and up and up, past the Ovile S’Arcu ‘e su Tasaru along the crest/Grat of the Serra‘ e Lattone (got lost and followed the path down to the Cala Mariolu for a while), to another view point (no name on map), then down down down to the Punta Mudaloru and around the corner to the Cala Mudaloru

and a bit of climbing


camp in a cave

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Il Selvaggio Blu: Portu Cuau to Cala Goloritze

Day 3:
Portu Cuau, along and along, break and map reading at the Ovile Su Runcu 'e su Pressu, to the view point of Punta Salinas, then down to Cala Goloritze

view down and along the coast

Cala Goloritze

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Il Selvaggio Blu: Ovile Su Idileddu/Ginnirco to Portu Cuau

Day 2:
walk along and along, past the Capo Monte Santu, past Portu Pedrosu to Portu Cuau to sleep
walking high above the water
hands required.....
Portu Cuau

Monday, October 05, 2015

Il Selvaggio Blu: Pedra Longa to Ovile Su Idileddu/Ginnirco

Day 1:
drive to Baunei (various shoppings) and Santa Maria Navarrese (more shoppings, then lunch and food distribution), drive to Pedra Longa, start hiking, walking along the shore, then up underneath the cliffs of the Punta Giradili, past the Ovile us Piggius to the road on some pass (Co 'e campu?) and the Ovile Su Idileddu/Ginnirco to sleep
walk along the coast
views down and back to Pedra Longa

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Vacation in Sardinia Part I: Il Selvaggio Blu

Saturday, October 3,
fly from Zurich to Olbia, pizza for dinner and night in Olbia

wander around town for most of the day, meet Bergpunkt group at Olbia airport in the afternoon, drive together to Cala Gonone, stay in Hotel Cala Luna

Monday to Friday: Hike along the Selvaggio Blu
Day 1: Pedra Longa to Ovile Su Idileddu/Ginnirco
lazy rainy morning, check out pictures on balcony, walk around town, group excursion to the Sorgente Su Gologone (spring) and visit of Dorgali

drive up to Olbia to get rental car, and back down to Cala Gonone to continue with Vacation in Sardinia Part II

Complete track of our hike along the Selvaggio Blu