Monday, April 20, 2015

Visiting Leiden and Amsterdam

Visiting Leiden for a day for Holly's defense and then spending the rest of the week with greg's family in Amsterdam.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A bit of fun on the Gerstelgrat

 Andrea found this T6 tour - along the Gerstelgrat above the Waldenburg ruins - on; it sounded too good to pass up, and the weather was ok, so off we went.

After walking from Waldenburg up to the ruin we went looking for the "path" that would take us to the ridge. We started out at the right place, but greg was convinced that the little trail we saw was too small and crowded with brush (silly greg), so we did a bit more looking before coming back to it. So we fight our way through the brush along the outside of the wall until reaching the small saddle between the ruin and the beginning of the ridge. At the saddle we put on the climbing harnesses, rig up the short rope, and then set off on our alpine Jura experience. :-)

The next few hours along the ridge are just pure fun. It varies between more or less normal ridge hiking, very narrow ridge hiking, and scrambling, with a bit of climbing tossed in for good measure. We did much of it with alpine belaying and both of us moving, though there were a few spots where we actually did belaying. The 20-30m up to the top of the tower in the middle (the Spitzenflüeli, p804 on the map) were actual climbing and we both just climbed down the "hang and drop" spot later in the ridge. Throughout we kept more or less directly on the ridge (Andrea was leading most of the way and seemed to have a spring attaching her to the ridge!). Once up top we took a short lunch break, signed the book, and then continued along the ridge downwards until we hit the path leading down into the valley to the South (no idea the name of this). After a bit of bushwhacking we ended up on the forest road along the other side of the valley which we followed, at times with great views of the wall of the Gerstelflue (looks like good, but maybe harder, multi-pitch routes there), back to Waldenburg.
along the Gerstelgrat

Throughout the day we were mostly alone: we saw one pair climbing the other side of the tower, a couple hikers on the normal path between the tower and the next stretch on the ridge, and a group  of three on the ridge itself getting ready to abseil down to the Drachenloch.

view of the SpitzenSpitzenflüeli (tower to the left) and Gerstelflue
This was our first T6, viewed as a hike it would have been nuts (greg wouldn't have wanted to do it without the rope), but as a multi-pitch climb it was great fun (and pretty easy). We could do more of these. :-)


Thursday, April 02, 2015

Easter trip to Tessin, the climbing

We wanted to make the most of the Easter break and it looked like the weather was going to be better south of the Alps, so we headed down to Tessin to do some climbing. We stayed in Locarno and just took the bus to nearby climbing or hiking areas.

This was our first time climbing in Tessin and we both really enjoyed doing the gneiss slabs!

The climbing, difficulties and route names from either "Plaisir Sud" or the SAC Kletterfuehrer for Tessin. Unless otherwise indicated, we both lead-climbed each route.

Thursday afternoon, Ponte Brolla
  • Jimmy 4b
  • Pino 4c (greg lead on the first pitch) then 4c/5a/3b (multi-pitch)
  • Bionda 5b (just greg failing here: getting over the first step was too much)
  • Chiara 5a
  • Rosso 4a/4a/4b/4a/4b

Friday, Ponte Brolla

  • Salamandra 3b
  • Azzuro 4b
  • Chritin 4b+
  • Schogsii 4c (both lead) then 4c/4a (multi-pitch)
  • Sunneblueme 5a (Andrea only)
  • Gero 4b
  • Trio 4b (both lead, then greg did it wearing his hiking boots for the practice)
  • Coccodrillo 4a

Sunday, Arcegno
Sector Rotaus:

  • Rote Schlüfi (4a)
  • Mamma li Turki (top rope) (5b)
  • Bambela (4a)

After finishing those things were starting to get crowded, so we walked past a few other sectors (full!) to get to the one furthest from the street. As hoped, there were a lot fewer people there.

Sector Ruino:

  • Ruino (4c)
  • nicotina mon amour (4c)
  • zululubambalu (4c)
  • calypso melody (5a)
  • kottolengo kante (5a)
  • samba pâté (4c)
  • artore (5c+) both top rope 
  • la zota (5a)
  • vampiro dal nero mantello (5c+) Andrea top rope, greg lead
  • la petrolleuse (5b)
  • Survi (5c) Andrea top rope
  • il Volo di Marco (5c+) greg lead

Monday, Ponte Brolla
We got moving pretty early so that we could do the whole wall up to the Rovine del Castelliere multi-pitch without being in a crowd. There are multiple ways to do this; we opted for a pretty easy one:

  • Joggi (4a)
  • Coniglio (4a/3a as one pitch)
  • Farfalla (4b/4c)
  • Congilio (3b/3c/3b)

Not particularly challenging, but very fun climbing and a great lunch spot at the top. Since we got an early start, we only saw two other climbers. From the top it was a nice walk back down to Ponte Brolle and the bus back to Locarno.