2015-05-17

Climbing Romys Traum

Vladimir and I set out to Braunwald on Sunday to climb Romys Traum, an alpine route up the Leiteregg (2310m). It's still early in the season so the cable car wasn't running yet. We had just started to hike up when a tractor stopped next to us. At first I thought the farmer would tell us the via ferrata was still closed (which it was) and advise us to turn around. Instead he offered us a ride. Awesome. Sitting in the flatboard he saved us 300 meters of elevation gain, so we only had to climb the remaining ~500m up to the ridge.

The views that could have been.
Vladimir. Perfectly dressed for the Alpine.
Intimidating? Not at all!

We shuffled around at the base of the face for a bit, trying to find the start of the route. It's about 170m and 5 pitches long. Since we had been climbing on the day before I thought I was very clever to just leave my backpack packed with all the gear. That way I couldn't forget anything. Unfortunately I failed to realize that today's route was meant for 60m half ropes. So there we were, standing at the base of the first 40m pitch with a 50m single rope. If we decided to start climbing that would make a retreat very difficult indeed. The only way out would be up. The rope would be too short for rappels. To make matters worse the weather was anything but good, with a forecast of rain a few hours out.

Onward into the cloud!
I challenged Vladimir to reenact that famous Climbing Magazine cover from the seventies and free solo dangle off the roof. He declined. Can't imagine why?

Of course we committed ;-) I led the first 6a crux pitch. Once that was done we got into the rhythm of things and had a great time taking turns on lead and cruising up this beautiful route. Very different from last week's Balmflue this route is continuously steep and offers very sustained and difficult climbing. A few places are peppered with loose rocks and we have some close calls with stones whizzing by.

So much potential!
The mood...
...is good!
The final belay. You can't tell, but that ravine between my feet goes straight down for more than 200 meters.

We got really lucky with the weather and once we topped out the clouds broke to reveal beautiful views down to the valley. Since our rope wasn't suitable for rappelling we climbed down the via ferrata instead.

The first proper alpine route this season! Awesome! According to the route book the route has seen only 4 ascents in all of 2014 and we were the first this year.

Romys Traum:
  • Pitch 1: 40m 6a
  • Pitch 2: 30m 5c
  • Pitch 3: 30m 5c+
  • Pitch 4: 40m 5c
  • Pitch 5: 30m 5c+
Fuck Putin? Pussy Riot? Is that you Andrey?
Coiling rope in style. There was a cold wind blowing up from below all day, hence the attempt at staying warm with fancy socks ;-)
This bird materialized out of the fog the second we took our food out of our backpacks.
Downclimbing the via ferrata.