Climbing Sommerloch, "Baal Integral", ~170m, 5c+

Another good weather window, another trip up the Grimsel pass. This time with more complex logistics: Luigi and Luigi are the advance party and climb Fair Hands Line on Friday. Anita, Silvia, Marzia, Leonie, Lukas and I drive up the same day, but later. We find a good spot to spend the night, set up camp and play with the kids. Luigi joins us in the afternoon while the other Luigi goes back to Zürich for a friend's birthday. We spend a nice day, exploring the forest, the creek, caves, boulders and a stroll on the Räterichsboden dam.

Leonie, checking out the surroundings.

The campspot we eventually decided on. Right next to a creek and some chalked up boulder problems.

Leonie building a family of cairns. "This is daddy, and the small ones are mommy and Lukas and Leonie!"

Come Saturday morning, we break camp and cram the three kids with Silvia and Anita into the bigger of the two cars. They return back to Zürich while Luigi and I set out to climb the route Baal Integral. This was the very first route we intended to climb at Grimsel this year, but had to fall back to the Mittagflue because of too much snow. There's still a lot of snow on the approach. The easily accessible routes directly next to the lake have a few parties climbing on them, but nobody ventured all the way up to the Sommerloch. Suits us well, we get the entire wall to ourselves.

Marzia and Leonie using our "couch" as a bouncy castle and having a blast.

Hiking around the dam.

Anita and Silvia posing.

We have to solve a bit of complicated logistics to cross the bergschrund while keeping our climbing shoes at least somewhat dry. Once on the wall the climbing itself is an absolute joy. The route follows a somewhat illogical line, often ignoring the easier solution (a crack or dihedral) to instead go up more difficult slabs. Doesn't matter much since it's well within our ability - and after a few prior outings to Grimsel this year, we have our slab Mojo on. The easier pitches are somewhat sparsely bolted, requiring confidence on slabs. Since this is Switzerland, there are a few bunkers sticking out the middle of the wall. Strange to think that there are supply tunnels running beneath our feet. The route actually takes advantage of some holes drilled during construction of the bunkers and uses them as holds.

Training the next generation of climbers.

They almost got too confident scrambling around on the rock...

And into the darkness they went.

We run up the 7 pitches in less than two hours, despite all the hassle with the Bergschrund and switching shoes. Only annoying bit is that the pass reopened that very same day and there's a constant stream of motorcycles roaring up. We are back home in time for a late afternoon play with the kids. Another great climb and I think the kids enjoyed plenty of adventure as well.

On the approach. Still slabs of snow around the lake.

Luigi preparing to cross the Bergschrund.

They call it Sommerloch ("summer hole") for a reason ;-) Switching from hiking boots to climbing shoes at the start of our route.

First pitch. Luigi's boots on the wall.

One of the beautiful and super fun 5c+ cracks.

And another one. This time Luigi's lead.

One of a few steep sections. They all feature huge jugs and are easy and fun.

Final slabs.


Another steep bit with a giant jug to pull yourself up.

"Summit" selfie - we forgot to take one, so this is during the rappel.

Nice position for putting on shoes ;-)

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