It was raining North of the alps, so Vinay, Mark, Sam, Evialina and me drove to Ticino for some sports climbing. The Gotthard tunnel did not disappoint: gray clouds and rain on one side, blue skies and sun on the other. The crag at Sobrio features lots of single pitch routes on beautiful granite. The guide book for the area is called extremSüd, correspondingly there is a relative lack of easy routes. Also, just because it's a well bolted sports climbing crag doesn't mean you can let down your guard.
I climbed a long route and ran out of quick draws. This was fixable by down-climbing and retrieving the last one I clipped after every new clip. When lowering, the end of our 60m rope very nearly slipped through the belay device, which would have led to a painful tumble for me. Luckily, Sam was paying attention and noticed just in time.
Lesson: always tie a knot in the end of the rope, even on single pitches.
Just before sundown Vinay quickly toproped another route. We had already stowed away our helmets. Of course it was just then that he dropped a fist sized rock from the very top of the route. A shout of warning, a quick scramble, and the rock smashed into the ground between Evialina and me.
Lesson: Always wear your helmet. There's loose rock even on often frequented, well cleaned sports routes.
A beautiful day in great company. I had a lot of fun and was quite happy about my climbing too. I led:
- Natty Dread 6b
- Zimbawe 6a
- Bushdocter 6a+
- Lindor 6b
- Chant down Babylon 6b