Brüggler (1777m) via "Kleine Verschneidung", 200m, 5c

Mark contacted me to open the climbing season on Brüggler. It's a South facing wall at relatively low altitude, so while one must expect snow on the approach, it is reasonable to hope for the rock itself to be dry in early April. Mark wanted to introduce two colleagues to more multi-pitch climbing: Samuel and Carl. I had already climbed Hanibalturm with Samuel last year, so we decided to pair up Samuel and me and Mark and Carl. It was a beautiful day, almost warm enough to climb in t-shirt despite snow on the approach and passing the occasional icicle on the wall ;-P Samuel and I had a good groove, alternating leads for all the eight pitches to the summit. This meant that each of us got to lead one of the 5c pitches. Challenging enough to be interesting, but never intimidating. Samuel practiced placing trad gear and delivered a "rock" solid performance. Hopefully we'll get to do some bigger missions soon!

By now a very familiar approach for me. Brüggler coming into view.
Good surface to walk on.
What a great day!

We picked different routes for the two rope teams, which meant that we hardly caught a glimpse of one another all day. We only met up again back on the summit ridge. Carl and Mark traversed over to us and we started a joint rappel. While we initially hoped we might be able to walk off the mountain, there was still too much snow on the ridge and North face to make this a safe or comfortable option. Once we were walking down the steep grass again I proved that rappelling had been the right call by slipping in the mud and falling on my bum. The ground, frozen solid in the morning, had thawed into a treacherous slippery mud.

Mark & Carl.
The wall looming large.
Samuel on the sharp end.
Sööli Ridge.
Our route followed natural weaknesses in the rock and would have gone entirely without fixed protection. So many cracks, hour glasses and pockets to place mobile gear.
Good times at the anchor.
Look at that glazed wall! Luckily we could climb around that section - otherwise it would have gotten "interesting".
Extended lunch break. I had a super nice ledge with a view, sitting on a bolstered cushion of ropes.
Coming up the final few meters.
Summit ridge.
First rappel.
Carrying the other ropes to set up a rappel highway.
Still quite a ways down.
Mission accomplished.

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