2018-04-21

"Transsibiria" (6a, 180m, 6 pitches)

Saturday had gorgeous weather so we headed for a quick multi-pitch mission. "Transsibiria" near the village of Hasliberg is a comfortably easy plaisir route with a quick approach from the road. We were a group of five, Andrey and Luigi making up the first rope team while Arne, Mark and I brought up the rear. Since we allowed ourselves a leisurely late start there was another party ahead of us and we had to wait around at the base for a bit.

Luigi was riding his motorbike to the crag while the rest of us were in my car. We stopped for coffee and Luigi couldn't resist a ride on this extreme racing bike.
The wall.
The approach involves scaling some avalanche/rockfall barrier.
The gang at the base of the climb.

Luigi, always one to bring terrible music that'll stick with you for the entire climb, was singing Baile de Favela. We couldn't let this stand, so someone else (name redacted to protect the guilty) played Pussy, Pussy, Pussy, Marijuana instead. This song served as our rope commands for the remainder of the climb. You'd shout up "Pussy Pussy Pussy?!" and receive a "La la la" acknowledgement in response. Maybe not the safest climbing handshake taught by the mountaineering association, but it worked for us.

Andrey following Luigi's lead on the first pitch.
Mark leading our party up the first pitch. At 6a- nominally not the hardest, we all thought it was the crux of the route.
Me following on the first pitch.
Butt-ugly Switzerland. Really, someone should pour concrete all over the place.

The climbing itself was a blast too. The route is steep with the harder pitches demanding athletic moves over small roofs. At the same time, they are of the one hit wonder category, meaning that usually only a handful of short sequences are a bit tricky, while the rest of the pitch allows for good rests and cruising. Thus I'd consider the entire affair more of a party climb than a proper sport outing ;-)

Mark negotiating the roof in the fourth pitch. A pretty wild overhang with big jugs that make it a joy to climb.
Me following through the roof.

The easiest way to descent is to walk down through the forest. We encountered a door in a telephone booth sized concrete structure in the middle of the forest. I joked this must be the elevator to the hidden underground lair of a James Bond style super villain. Next thing we know is that we turn a corner around the mountain and are faced with a military base tugged into the hillside.

Arne's hand.
Arne's feet.
The rest of Arne.
Mark pulling up over the roof in the final pitch. Super cool move: you start from an undercling and do a long move up over the edge of the roof.
View from the top.
Mission accomplished.
Reminds me of the bases in Far Cry 4.