2016-01-10

Wet-Tooling at Urnerboden

The plan was to go ice climbing on Sunday. Unfortunately, and despite claims that "winter is coming", it's not actually winter yet. So there was no ice. Luckily Urnerboden is set up for dry tooling too. With a warm 2°C even on a North facing wall at 1300m altitude we came to think of it as wet-tooling instead. Now this is the first time I get out my ice tools this season and my second time ever dry-tooling. I think for Vladimír and Tereza, despite being very strong rock climbers, it was even the first time. So the three of us were a bit intimidated by the thought of leading the steep rock with all these sharp and pointy things attached to us. Ilona saved the day by putting up top ropes for the rest of us. Hurrah to our rope gun!

Ilona leading the way.
Vladimír in action.

Like a total buffoon, I left my crampons at home and had to take turns with Vladimír's. Despite all of these fuck ups it turned out to be a great day and great fun. I think we climbed Volxlauf M5+ and Verschneidung M5-, both multiple times in several variations. I say "I think" because we only had a very coarse topo and weren't entirely sure what routes we were on. My first few climbs were completely ridiculously bad and I thought of them as "falling upwards": I kept losing purchase for my ice tools or feet but still somehow managed to cling on desperately, resulting in dramatic swings. I'm sure it must have been quite a comic sight and crowd pleaser. We ended the day with cheese fondue and cards against humanity at Nicola's birthday party. Great times!

Tereza all smiles.
More smiles.
Vladimír went spelunking.
Yours truly. Moments before I fell, leaving one ice tool stuck to the wall ;-)