Dry-Tooling at Urnerboden

Winter is coming - and so is Luigi ;-P He's been anticipating the cold season for a while now. Spending a lot of time at the "pig farm", a private training gym, where he practices dry-tooling and ice climbing. There's not super-much ice just yet, so we headed to Urnerboden to check out the conditions and do some dry-tooling. We had the entire area to ourselves and practiced laps on a wet limestone wall. We tried routes up to M6+ according to the guide book. Luigi was my rope gun while I basically just flailed around on top-rope. My severe lack of training definitely shows. But then I have the additional excuse of climbing with dual frontpoints when you really only want a single crampon tip for the delicate balance and moves required on rock. Dry-tooling is weird in that regard. On the one hand it is utterly amazing how you can somehow stick even the tiniest depressions and protusions in the rock. On the other, you get very little advance warning before you come off. Shift your weight just a little in the wrong direction. Pull your tools ever so slightly outward. Pop. There he goes. For regular rock climbing you tend to have both more advance warning when your grip is losening and a more gradual failure curve instead of the sudden all or nothing of dry-tooling. Definitely something to get used to. It was a fun exercise, but I need more gym time before I can enjoy it properly.

Ooooh, yes!
Luigi on the sharp end.
Love me some winter.
The tools of the trade.
Me picking my way up.
Luigi trying some steep moves on top-rope.
Last time I've been here this creek was frozen and snowed in. Now we actually had to ford it. Hurray to waterproof heavy winter boots ;-P
The walls on the right are still running with water. Ice will hopefully come later.

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