Climbing Aaterästei (near Engi)

We woke up to fresh snow last weekend. It got worse and the complete weekend drowned in rain. Sucks. So we spent the days playing worms all day and planning future vacations in a hangout with my brothers (Torsty in particular apparently is "adventure deprived" and was calling out to me for help. I'm sure I can arrange for something ;-)). The forecast for this weekend was abysmal as well. On the other hand, Thursday turned out to be a beautifully sunny day. So I decided to take Thursday off and work Saturday instead.

Waking up to this at the end of April. Quick, close the blinds again!

So it was that Andrey, Ivan, Volodymyr and I went climbing to Engi on Thursday. We mostly had the area to ourselves and climbed from 9 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon. Andrey and Ivan even arrived an hour earlier at 8. Quite the workout. Quite successful too. I mostly climbed new routes, unknown to me. One notable exception was Senza Stumpä (6a+) - an old nemesis of mine. While it should be well within the range of my ability it gave me trouble before and did again today. It's continuously hard, as opposed to some routes which are easy but feature a single hard move to warrant their rating. Anyway, I needed a rest on my first attempt (unfortunately at a point where I was quite a bit above my last quickdraw, so I smashed Andrey into the wall good). Then Andrey tried it and had to bail from the crux. So I had to go again to rescue our gear. The second attempt was finally successful.


I've tried another route which looked doable but was missing in our topo (a typo apparently. The list of routes jumped from route number 48 to 50, skipping 49). Thus we didn't know what it was rated at. I failed miserably on the initial two moves and had to traverse onto the route from another, neighboring one. It's funny how different climbing outdoors feels from climbing in the gym. I can climb much harder routes indoors. The fact that artificial routes follow the logic of their human creator and a very predictable rhythm makes quite a difference. Maybe even more importantly: all the holds are clearly marked and I can finish a hard route by "running" through it, blindly trusting the next hold because I know exactly where it is and that it was meant as a hold. Outdoors you need to be much more static in your moves, always holding back some reserves for carefully scanning the rock for the next hold. Always prepared that the nub you are reaching for turns out to be shit and you'll have to try again somewhere else. Much more interesting!

My Walter Sobchak look.

I climbed:

  • Besäfrässer 6b
  • Sternä-Pizza 6a+
  • 2x Senza Stumpä 6a+
  • Mc Suworow's 6a
  • Only for Members 6a
  • Rauhfinger 1st 5b / 2nd 6a-
  • Götterspass 5c
  • Missing Route 49 6b-6c?

This was followed by a very successful evening in the gym on Friday where I finally completed two 6c+ projects I had been working on for while. A long, continuous roof and a vertical, very technical route, which may well be the nicest one I've ever climbed.

In other news - our living room furniture finally arrived. There should be less echo now ;-)

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