Cragging at Bättlerchuchi

The month continued wet and rainy. I still wanted to go climbing outside and suggested a crag that had only recently been discovered by my climbing chat group and promised to be convenient to get to and non-committing. Thus if we should have to bail, it wouldn't be much of a loss. So Björn and I drove up to a small pass in the Jura to visit "Bättlerchuchi" ("beggar's kitchen"). Convenient approach is almost an understatement for this particular crag: you drive right up to it and could belay from the comfort of your car seat if you drove a convertible (c.f. Top Rope Tough Guys).

A sector in the forrest on the left that we haven't tried yet.
Park right at the rock. Convenient.

It was raining by the time we got to the crag, so we decided to find the nearest gas station first before trying to climb. I had cut it pretty close and we had arrived on top of the pass with barely one litre of Diesel in the tank ;-P This strategy worked out and half an hour later we scaled a few of the routes at the parking lot. We stuck to the easy ones at first while the wall was still wet, but ended up climbing all of them once it dried off a bit.

A bird's nest halfway up one of the routes. Mother bird would nervously wait for us to leave to check up on her offspring.
Slippery when wet.

The pass road sees little traffic. On this day there was a constant back and forth of tractors towing trailers full of cows though. An old guy on an e-Bike stopped and harrassed Björn, who was belaying me at the time, with pictures of his grand children climbing the same route. Irresistable need to show off it seems. Another guy parked his car, got out and leaned on his crane to observe our climbing for quite a while. He seemed to get really into it, cheering us on while we were puzzling out a trickier 6b.


We also tried a nearby sector in the forest. This one is on average much harder than the parking lot wall. And consequently we got our asses kicked quite severely. We climbed a bunch of the easier 5 something routes which went well. But then we attempted a long diagonal 6a+ and found it really hard and pumpy. For some reason we didn't seem to get the technique right and it felt like climbing an overhanging roof instead of a diagonal crack where you should be able to support yourself more easily. In our defense, there were two other parties on that wall, both climbing the hard overhanging grade 7a and up routes. Both remarked how they struggled with our diagonal and found it "sketchy". Blame it on the moisture.

Puzzling out the diagonal.
Björn. Just after coming out of a "full body jam" resting position.

We also met a military instructor training with two soldiers. He pointed out another nearby crag that apparently usually has better weather. Another good reason to return.

Nearly dry towards the end! Optimism pays off!

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