Hintisberg via "Reisefieber", 5c+, 200m

Luigi had big plans - too big for my current abilities and training level. Luckily I could recruit another partner in Mark and we headed for the big limestone wall at Hintisberg. Seemed only fitting that after opening the granite season at Grimsel two days ago we would now start the limestone season as well. Driving to our destination it looked anything but certain that we'd be able to climb at all - it was raining most of the way. The weather forecast kept claiming that it would be cloudy but dry. We gambled on getting high enough to climb above the clouds and rain. Unfortunately it didn't work out quite that nicely. We *did* get to climb our route in dry conditions, but we were right in the clouds instead of above them. Luigi wasn't that lucky - they abstained from their original objective in Rätikon and went cragging at lake Lucerne instead ;-P

Elder tree at the parking lot.
Mystery wall. Our route goes up on the right side of it.

The climbing was unremarkable, but nice. The wall features many routes, most of them way harder than ours. Hard movers can give themselves a proper workout on massively overhanging 7c's. We heard only a single other rope team. French speaking. They seemed to be working a project - not making much progress but instead puzzling on a single pitch for hours on end.

Cave with ladder. Cheap appartments?

The route up to the wall is a limited access road that you have to pay to use. We were in a rental car that day. Fortunate coincidence as the narrow gravel road was rough enough to make the car scratch over rocks quite a few times ;-P

Disappearing into the cloud.
Nicely structured rock.
Mark practicing his "badass mountaineer" look while I'm setting out on the first rappel.
The only glimpse of Eiger we got.

The next day Anita and I took the kids to circus Knie in the middle of Zürich, right at the lake. They have some animals (exclusively horses), but are mostly focused on breathtaking acrobatics. Watching crazy calisthenics I couldn't help but wonder how these guys would perform on the rock. Pure muscle, not a gram of fat. Perfect balance and flexibity. Grip strength that allows them to do slow motion human flag air walks. Not afraid of heights - performing these stunts 20 meters up in the air without any protection. Seems like a winning combination?

Circus acrobat. I wonder how they'd perform on the rock?


Handegg via "Bügeleisen", 6a, 200m

For our Grimsel granite season opener Mark, Kai and I went for the five pitches and 200 meters of "Bügeleisen" on Handegg. Comfortably short approach and solid bolting make this a climb firmly in the "plaisir" category. We had a few route finding questions on the first pitch - it looks like since our topo was drawn, new routes have been added, making the bolting in the beginning slightly confusing. Mark and I alternated leads. Topping out is a bit anti-climatic. There's no well defined end of the route - you just randomly start rapelling in the middle of a slab. Nice day out with a lot of good conversation on the "commute" ;-)

Approach in a dry riverbed.
Mark demonstrating proper belay technique around your partner's neck.
Luigi's and my trauma wall: The mirror wall. The low angle smooth slab glistening wet with a horrible approach over patches of snow.
Good mood halfway up.
Steep and smooth.
Me working up a nice flake.
Don't let the looks deceive you - the wind was biting cold.
Kai and Mark coming up.


Cragging at Plattenkreuz, Näfels

Luigi and I went cragging at Plattenkreuz. I've never been to this particular crag, despite how convenient it is. By car, it only takes a few minutes longer to get to than the gyms. And the approach from the parking lot is literally only a few seconds long. In return you get a dozen or so routes with beautiful views and bomber rock.

We climbed:

  • Riss, 5b
  • Gringitta, 5c
  • Marcelino y Pan y Vino, 6a
  • Unnamed, 6b

Glarus is a catholic canton and we heard church bells non-stop. Must have been some kind of special Sunday.

Despite my long hiatus I managed to lead them all cleanly except for the 6b crux. That was a long traverse on crimps and marginal footholds. Felt quite good about that performance. And it certainly was extremely satisfying to finally be back on rock.

Coming back from the crag I immediately went to the outdoor swimming pool to meet with Anita and the kids. Hot weather and quite a few people lounging around on the grass around the pool. But suspiciously few actually in the water. It's unheated and cold! Lukas only dipped his toes and refused to go in. Leonie on the other hand didn't want to leave again. She has made tremendous strides in recent months in her swimming lessons and isn't phased by cold water at all. She was happily diving and splashing around long after I got cold and asked her if it might be enough!

Namesake for the wall. The big cross at the top that's visible from the village below. I surprised two hikers when I popped up my head from an unexpected direction ;-)
Luigi working the 6a route.

For the late afternoon we went to Zürich to a kids' birthday party. Cold drinks and cake in the park while the kids worked themselves out on the playground. Very satisfying day ;-)