Gandschijen (2388m), via "Gatsch", 220m, 6a

Björn, Tom and I planned to climb the "Gatsch", a route at the Gandschijen at the Göscheneralp. Björn is a strong gym climber but doesn't have a ton of experience outside. So the idea was that Tom and I would share the leads, especially on pitches that require augmenting the bolts with trad protection. Unfortunately Björn got sick and had to bail at the last minute. So it was down to just Tom and me.

Behold this beauty! So many possible lines on this wall.
Tom on the approach.
Me lagging behind. We passed a family having breakfast on the terrasse of their mountain hut. We came by them again on the way down and reported on our climb. Nice chance encounter ;-)

As soon as we started the approach I felt weak and under the weather. It felt like my engine had leaky valves somewhere - despite a crazy heart rate, I didn't seem to get any power in my legs. Had to stop and catch my breath every couple of meters. It got bad enough that I suspected I might have contracted another round of Corona. There had certainly been plenty of opportunity with our recent trips to crowded Legoland, Hamburg's Miniatur Wunderland and riding packed subways on Christopher Street Day. Anyway. Tom was patiently waiting for me and we made it to the base of the climb.

Tom leading the first pitch.
Me leading a funky balancy diagonale.

For the first couple of pitches I made an effort to lead my share, but eventually I gave up and Tom led the crux and one of my pitches. Despite my somewhat miserable state it was still a beautiful climb on bomber rock in great weather. I have no regrets pushing myself to continue. Although I did have to cheat a move on the crux - all the more reason to return to this nice wall. I think Björn and I should make it our objective to go for a second round ;-P

Beautiful flake.
Photo-bombing of a different kind - paraglider behind us.
Tom entering the crux section traversing below the small roof.
Me struggling with the wet holds. In the end I had to admit defeat and pull on the rope for a move. Chapeau to Tom for leading this cleanly!
There was a freshly dug out cave at the top. Strahler hunting for crystals. I collected some of the left-over ones for our kids. The photo doesn't capture this well, but these were really glittery in the sun.
Our good deed on the way down: we replaced a bunch of the rotten slings with my backup cord.


Denmark 2023

Most people seek out warm beaches for their summer vacation. We are inclined to go the other direction and escape the heat rather than seek it. This year we went to Denmark in July. Ecological considerations meant we intended to avoid flying and booked a night train from Zürich to Hamburg half a year in advance. A week before departure the railway company informed us that the sleeping coach we booked would not actually be on the train. WTF? Faced with a twelve hour train ride through the night with kids in a regular coach we ended up booking a flight after all. So stupid. Talk about making it hard for people to do the right thing. First, the railways of the two countries we meant to travel don't actually offer night trains (neither Switzerland nor Germany have any), so you book with the Austrian railway. Then the offer is so popular that you need to book on the very day they enable it, half a year in advance. And finally they don't actually deliver. Anyway. We made it to Hamburg by plane and got a rental car for the last leg of the journey to our rented vacation house Juelsminde in Denmark.

For us this location had another benefit besides the cooler climate: we could have friends from both Hamburg and Stockholm visit us. Having an entire country between us means we get to see each other far too rarely and this offered a great opportunity to spend a few days together. First, Linus, Gintare, Upe and Elve visited from Sweden. Then Thomas and Stine drove up from Hamburg. Of course we had to go see Legoland with both of them. So our poor kids had to endure that experience twice ;-P

Very hygge two weeks!

Lukas first flight and Leonie's third.
First glimpse of the sea.
Juelsminde adventure playground.
Linus, Gintare and kids show up from Stockholm.
Soccer match.
Bedtime episode.
Legoland Billund. Massively overcrowded on this visit.
Leonie underwater.
About to be eaten by a spider.
Great live show. Leonie is into horses at the moment and real life jousting left her open mouthed.
Fishing for crabs.
You needed to catch a few so that you could make them race one another.
Harbor food.
Adventurous slide!
Legoland again. This time less crowded and with our friends Thomas and Stine from Hamburg.
Stine and Thomas.
Leonie and Lukas.
Horsens prison museum. Luckily we didn't have to stay ;-P
Exploring the old harbor area.
Yoga time.
Thomas brought some board games and Leonie was all over them. We had to play multiple sessions a day, whether we wanted to or not.
The weather wasn't always great...
...but we still went exploring.
Jelling viking museum and village.
Game of Kubb in our yard.
I placed a sun umbrella on the grass for a single day. Enough time for the ants to build an entire mound under it.
Givskud safari zoo. One of the best we've been to.
Tall (!) climbing structures on the playground.
Apparently this kind of ice cream sugar overkill is a tradition in Denmark?
The zoo had the largest and best dinosaur exhibit I've seen.
The kids loved it.
Driving right up to lions was also an unusual experience.
Horsens museum of industry. A lot of hands on experiments for the kids. And as an engineering geek I was pleasently surprised that they actually fired up all of their steam engines! An amazing and amazingly noisy exhibit. Loved it.
One just has to appreciate the steam punk aesthetic.
Anita and the kids.
Some hygge time.
This image has special significance. If you squint, you can see that I accidentally captured the exact moment the wind blew Leonie's baseball cap into the water. By the time I had undressed and reached the end of the pier I had to swim quite a distance to retrieve it. Cold! With a long hike back home.
Hamburg Miniatur Wunderland.
This thing is amazing. The hobby of two random dudes turned into a major attraction for Germany's second biggest city. Not quite the Eiffel tower, but also not too far off.
The attention to detail and craftmanship that went into this thing is mind blowing.