Gandschijen (2388m), via "Gatsch", 220m, 6a

Björn, Tom and I planned to climb the "Gatsch", a route at the Gandschijen at the Göscheneralp. Björn is a strong gym climber but doesn't have a ton of experience outside. So the idea was that Tom and I would share the leads, especially on pitches that require augmenting the bolts with trad protection. Unfortunately Björn got sick and had to bail at the last minute. So it was down to just Tom and me.

Behold this beauty! So many possible lines on this wall.
Tom on the approach.
Me lagging behind. We passed a family having breakfast on the terrasse of their mountain hut. We came by them again on the way down and reported on our climb. Nice chance encounter ;-)

As soon as we started the approach I felt weak and under the weather. It felt like my engine had leaky valves somewhere - despite a crazy heart rate, I didn't seem to get any power in my legs. Had to stop and catch my breath every couple of meters. It got bad enough that I suspected I might have contracted another round of Corona. There had certainly been plenty of opportunity with our recent trips to crowded Legoland, Hamburg's Miniatur Wunderland and riding packed subways on Christopher Street Day. Anyway. Tom was patiently waiting for me and we made it to the base of the climb.

Tom leading the first pitch.
Me leading a funky balancy diagonale.

For the first couple of pitches I made an effort to lead my share, but eventually I gave up and Tom led the crux and one of my pitches. Despite my somewhat miserable state it was still a beautiful climb on bomber rock in great weather. I have no regrets pushing myself to continue. Although I did have to cheat a move on the crux - all the more reason to return to this nice wall. I think Björn and I should make it our objective to go for a second round ;-P

Beautiful flake.
Photo-bombing of a different kind - paraglider behind us.
Tom entering the crux section traversing below the small roof.
Me struggling with the wet holds. In the end I had to admit defeat and pull on the rope for a move. Chapeau to Tom for leading this cleanly!
There was a freshly dug out cave at the top. Strahler hunting for crystals. I collected some of the left-over ones for our kids. The photo doesn't capture this well, but these were really glittery in the sun.
Our good deed on the way down: we replaced a bunch of the rotten slings with my backup cord.