2015-11-08

Climbing Brüggler: "Glückspilz Heavy" 6a+

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.

The approach.
Mark navigating the crux pitch. A delicate slab just before you have to work your way over a small roof.

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 ;-)

Diving through the tree marking the exit to the summit ridge.
Lake Zürich.

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.

Hanging around, waiting for the taxi.
Dusk.

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!