Hintisberg via "Blüemlipfad", 6a+, 160m

Luigi, Tobias, Arne and I headed up to the Bernese highlands to climb on the massive limestone face of the Hintisberg. This would be Arne's first climb of the season, so we had our eyes set on one of the modest routes on the Eastern end of the wall. However, once we hiked in, we could see that this part was wet with running melt water. So we decided to head up the more challenging classic Blüemlipfad route on the West end instead. This meant that I got to lead five of the six pitches. I managed a clean on-sight which felt extremely satisfying. My recent climbing rampage in the gym and outside is having an effect ;-P

Even the road leading up the mountain is quite adventurous. A narrow winding limited access mountain road with traces of fresh avalanches and last season's snow.
Arne presenting the wall.
Patches of snow on the approach.

Luigi and Tobi at first tried the adjacent route. Tobi gave a valiant effort on the first pitch, including an impressively large lead fall, that I got to witness from a front row seat. In the end, they abandoned that attempt and moved over one more route. Still a challenging 6b, but easier than the one they tried at first.

The labelled start of our route "Blüemlipfad" - flower trail.
Arne following up the 5c+ start pitch. This felt sufficiently hard and intimidating that it got me worried about the harder pitches to come.
Steep stuff ahead!
Looking back down the crux pitch. Steep slab with beautiful finger slots followed by athletic layback moves up a big flake / corner.
Greeting the fans.
More steep moves to get up from the anchor.
Getting organized.
The higher 6a pitch. Could have stayed in the chimney and be an easy cruise. But the first ascensionists decided to go out on the face instead and get some exposure and fun moves.
The final slabby bit.
Family pic at the summit.
Waiting my turn to rappel.
Rappelling back down the route clearly shows just how steep it is.
I believe these flowers are fittingly called "snow piercers"?
What a beauty. Lots of routes to come back to!

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