Sam and I used the great weather on Sunday to go for a quick climbing trip to the "Gallerie Weesen". We chose "Verschneidung" as our warm up route. It starts with a 5c pitch and continues on a 6b. It was my turn to lead for the second pitch. I had an incredibly hard time and barely managed to climb it even after giving up and pulling on gear. I was starting to doubt my ability and was quite frustrated until we rappelled back down to the base and checked the guide book again. It turned out I had tried to lead "Maxima", a 7b. This redeemed me somewhat, especially considering that I have never managed a clean lead of a 7b, indoors or outdoors (I got close a few times in the gym though). I continued climbing "Deviation" 6a+ and "Übeltäter" 6b+ while Sam chose "Wixblau" 5c and "Anfängerglück Variante" 6a. Each one a solid 30 meters long and using the full length of my rope. All the while the sun was burning and added half a grade of difficulty because it greased the holds with a nice mixture of sweat and sunscreen. Good times! ;-)
Same procedure as every year: we participated in the annual hike through the night before ascenscion day. As usual, the route starts in the village of Bremgarten and follows the river Reuss for 45 kilometers before finally climbing 1500 meters over the final 5 kilometers up mount Rigi.
The hike gets more popular each year. This time a record 2363 hikers participated, 1679 of whom actually made it all the way to the summit. We started as a group of four: first timers Sandra and Björn, Tim and me. Tim had to bail after the first 20 km or so because he was wearing boots he hadn't used in more than ten years and consequently got nasty blisters. Björn and Sandra were great troopers and we reached the summit at 8 in the morning after starting at 8 in the evening, giving us a nice and even 12 hour start to finish time. The weather was picture perfect during all this time. Starry night with frozen ground (slippery on the mountain!) and blue skies during the day.
Returning back home from the mountain I barely had time to shower and to take a 40 minute power nap before Anita and I headed for the airport. We were flying to Germany to attend my grandmother's funeral. She had finally been redeemed at the age of 92 after a long period of suffering from Parkinson's disease. Rest in peace Oma.