Anita and I spent a week of November on the Canary Island of La Gomera. A very atypical style of vacation for us, comprised mostly of chilling at the pool, slurping cocktails.
Last Sunday Mark, Arek, Andrey and I took advantage of the outstanding weather and rented a mobility car to head for Brüggler. I figured it might soon be the end of the abnormally good weather spell and wanted to introduce Mark to the joys of multi pitch climbing before the season is over. The two hundred meter tall Brüggler South face is well bolted limestone and served this purpose before. The rock is of superb quality and the wall well cleaned, eliminating most objective dangers.
We had a leisurely late start and headed up the first pitch of Glückspilz Heavy 6a+ around noon. Mark and I made one rope team while Andrey and Arek were off to an entirely different section of the wall. We wouldn't see them again for the entire day. The sun was scorching hot (mid November at more than 1500 meters altitude!) and we were climbing in t-shirts. Lots of people had the same idea as us and the wall was quite crowded. Luckily it's easily big enough to accommodate dozens of rope teams at once, so it didn't matter much. In fact, it created quite an enjoyable atmosphere. Pleasant conversations all around us. That's how the Swiss roll: Sunday stroll and tea on a vertical wall ;-)
I led the entire climb and Mark handled the climbing and the half ropes really well. We linked a few pitches so that we topped out about three and a half hours after we started. A few obligatory summit pics and we started rappelling back down. This is not strictly necessary, there is a hiking trail one can use for walking off, but I figured a bit or rappelling practice wouldn't hurt. Mark led one rappel, missed the next anchor and ended up reaching the end of the ropes. Instead of ascending the rope back to the anchor he attached himself to the wall and waited for "rescue". By now we were racing the daylight and we figured it would be faster if I rappelled to the anchor just above him and set up the next rappel to pick him up on the way. We made it back to base just as it got dark.
Andrey and Arek were nowhere to be seen, but some of their gear was still at the foot of the wall. We waited a while and were just starting to worry about them when they appeared from the hiking trail. They had topped out a little later than us and decided to walk down. Great day!
We have unnaturally good weather at the moment. 18°C and sun. Vladimir, Nicola, Laura and I took advantage of it by going climbing at the Gallerie Weesen/Amden. A crag right above a road and thus easy to get to. It features lots of very hard routes and is listed in the "extreme" guide book. And indeed there were quite a few people working on what looked like challenging projects. We stuck to the easier stuff. I'm still recovering from a cold and haven't been climbing in weeks. Laura hadn't climbed for a year or so. Vladimir had pulled a muscle in his neck while bouldering a few days earlier. Still he put up an impressive fight all the way to the top of Halloween, 6c+. I was a little less daring and only followed it instead of attempting a clean lead. I managed the entire thing without cheating. I'll definitely return for a proper lead. It was a very satisfying climb in any case. 6c+ is right at the very limit of what I ever managed to climb outdoors.
Anyway, great afternoon - thanks gang! Special credit to Laura for bringing a good camera and taking pictures!
- Kurzprogramm, 6a
- Bonsai 6a+
- Halloween 6c+
- Brillätidi 6a