Monday, April 17, 2017

Face de Plagne

von Markus
Zweite Seillänge - fantastische 5b+
Es ist Samstag, 1. April 2017. Wohin des Weges? Bereits am Freitagabend telefonieren Richi und ich und haben nicht den Hauch einer Idee, wohin wir am nächsten Tag klettern gehen sollen. Richis pragmatischer Ansatz grenzt denn auch schon an Genialität. Er meint: "Wenn die alten Männer schon nicht wissen, wohin sie klettern gehen wollen, dann sollen sie doch einfach mal das ganze Material mitnehmen!“

So packe ich am Samstagmorgen mein 70-Meter Seil ein. Ich packe mein 80-Meter Seil ein. Ich packe alle Express und alle Sicherungsgeräte ein. Ich packe die warmen Kleider ein. Wie ich so auf den Rucksack schaue, bin ich mir nicht ganz sicher, ob ich nun nicht den Rucksack für eine viermonatige Reise ans Ende der Welt gepackt habe oder nicht. Und schwer ist das Teil auch noch, und wie.

Pünktlich um 11 Uhr treffen wir uns auf P Angenstein und wissen exakt nicht, wohin wir klettern gehen sollen. Richi hat auch noch ein
Seillänge 3 - exzellente Kletterei in bestem Fels
Seil mit dabei - 50 Meter lang, 8,5 Millimeter im Durchmesser – ein geniales Stück Ausrüstung! Aus Sicht des Materials könnten wir nun doch 5 Monate nach Patagonien gehen - oder noch länger. Die Frage bleibt: wohin des Weges?

Plötzlich - wie ein Blitz aus heiterem Himmel - die zündende Idee: Bielerwand in Plagne. Im ersten Moment sagt mir das nicht so viel. Auf dem Weg nach Plagne dämmert es mir langsam. Das ist doch die Wand, durch die ich mit allergrösster Mühe und hilfreicher und sehr starker Hand von Chris "geklettert" bzw. hochgezogen worden bin?

Die Erinnerung an die Wand ist gut, damals stand das Abenteuer ganz oben auf der Liste. Mit zunehmendem Alter nehme ich etwas Abstand von den sehr wilden Abenteuern und verlagere den Sinn meines Tuns hin zu Genuss.

Wir parkieren das Auto, steigen aus und die Sonne wärmt herrlich. Soll man überhaupt eine
Zeitzeuge von 1955 - selbst geschmiedet!
Jacke mitnehmen? Der eiskalte Windstoss Sekunden später lässt die Entscheidung leicht fällen und der aufkommende bissige Wind lässt es nicht zu, dass sich während des Marsches zum Ausgangspunkt Schweiss bildet.

Der Wind frischt noch etwas mehr auf und nach einem letzten Becher heissem Tee heisst es  „Action“! Und siehe da – der Abstieg zum Einstieg lässt gute Erinnerungen an einen wunderbaren Tag zusammen mit Chris wach werden und nach wenigen Minuten stehen wir bereits am Einstieg von „Face de Plagne“. Die Wand präsentiert sich in bestem Zustand, kein Wunder, hat es doch seit Wochen nicht mehr geregnet.

Die Route wurde 1955 von Paul-Henri Girardin erstbegangen und ein halbes Jahr später kletterte er solo durch die Wand. Chapeau. Es ist die erste Route, welche an den Rochers de Plagne eröffnet wurde, ein Ultraklassiker also. Geboten und gefordert wird in der Route alles: Athletik, Technik, Steilheit und ganz viel Luft unter den Sohlen. Herrlich!

Prädikat: sehr lohnend

Für mich ist klar, dass ich sicher noch manches Mal an die Face de Plagne kommen werde um all die Klassiker zu klettern. Das wird eine wunderschöne Zeit werden....

Sunday, April 16, 2017

One more of Pelzli - New routes and rebolting

written by Chris

Tina in 'Teufelsriss'
For the native (swiss-)german speaking climbing scene it seems a bit weird to have local-rock-news in english. But there are a lot of expats working in Basel's chemical industry and amongst them are climbers. One can hear so many different english slangs while climbing in one of Basel's three major climbing gyms. And they are happy too to get some first hand information from the cliffs in front of the door.

Again some news from Pelzli. There is a lot more going on in the moment. Most actual activities bear the hallmarks of Michel Glesser and are described in the new topo guide "Jura EXTREM" by the edition Filidor.

But it's still going on. On the west face of Bärenwirt in the Pelzli I've cleaned and rebolted the ultraclassic 'Teufelsriss' ('Devil's Crack) and 'English Rain', due to it's straightened line now called 'New English Rain', as well as the nicely pocketed short climb 'Avec les doigts' right around the corner of the easy ramp with all the routes called something with 'Joggeli...'. And new routes that have been established without being mentioned in the new guide-book.

Here we go:


Pic Left: Bärenwirt Westwand (West Face)

1  Erzählmirnix  6a+
Opened by Michel Glesser Takes the original start of 'Teufelsriss' but breaches to the left and  follows nice pockets.

2  Teufelsriss  6a+
Rebolted. The original line of this ultra-classic. Squeeze in... I left the old pitons by purpose as silent witness of climbing-times long past - and they don't disturb!

3  Teufelsriss - Right Start 5c
Rebolted. More homogenous. But still a bouldery move at the second bolt. Can feel harder with wrong beta.

4  Go quickly slowly  6b
Opened by Michel Glesser. Nice climbing up and right of the obvious ramp. Joins 'Teufelsriss' on the last few meters.

5  New English Rain 6c
Rebolted and straightened line. Amazing bouldery move in the lower orange wall. From the ramp follow two bolts of 'Teufelsriss' and then left on the pillar with good sidepulls, flakes and pockets. 

Pic Right: Rechenschieber Right 

1  Avec les doigts 6c+
Rebolted. Great technical pocket climbing. Should be 50 m long...

2  Les pieds inspirés 6c
Opened up by me. Not a use of leftovers but a really cool little climb with an interesting crux on very small and shallow pocketed crimps and some nice deep pockets.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Pelzli - not so new but still news

by Chris

Just a short one with an update from the grand old dame Pelzli... a limestone crag in the Basler Jura with a history that lasts over a century!

Sector 'Westliche Mättelifelsen' 

Some time a ago I've rebolted two very good routes that have almost been forgotten due to their bad state of bolts and non-existing belays. The extremely good 'Boulderweg' from 1982, opened up by the then young Dominik Egloff. And 'Würfelspiele' (engl. 'Dice Games'), an very short but yet interesting boulder in incredible good rock, opened up by Wenzel Vodicka in 1986. Inbetween I've bolted the new 'Vergissmeingwicht' (a not tranlateable word game in german...) with a cool bouldery start and technical moves in the middle part. It joins the final flake of 'Boulderweg'.


Left        Würfelspiele 7b+
Middle   Vergissmeingwicht 6c
Right      Boulderweg 6b

In the left pic the obviously old scrap...

There's more...

Left picture below: Face to face of 'Moserkante' and 'Grümschelli-Highway' on the 'Bärenwirt' there is a free standing face that now hosts 'Finger in der Steckdose' (engl. 'Fingers in the socket'). The peculiar routes name refer to the strange two-mono-finger-socket-type-hold in the crux. It's full of interest and not that easy. I propose 7b+. Is that correct?


Right picture above: Right of the famous 'Händli-Versteck-Wändli' there is an overhanging corner in best solid rock. I've bolted this one and expected it to be untouched. Some weeks later I've heard it has been climbed as a Highball more than a decade ago by Michi Steimle Richi. Sorry, I didn't knew that. There should be more infos about such already existing lines. Unfortunately there are none. The debate is open and maybe will never lead to a conclusion, wether such a line should ever be bolted (in an area with already mostly bolted routes) to be accessible for many or if it should be left as a monument of the braveness of a few. And should a route like this getting dismantled because of it's historical origin? Now it's there... and what will happen? To point out the difference of the two, I've baptised it 'Cocoon Chanel' because of a move where you shrink yourself around the corner like a cocoon, versus it's Highball-Name 'Zecke' (engl. 'Tick'). (Addition April 2017) Taking in account the comments of Richi, he doesn't agree and wishes back it's Highball-Name.

Absolutely a climb of it's own is the blank looking face with it's excellent, albeit smeary rock. A bolt has been set by Thomas Kraus in 1987 to work it on toprope. But he wasn't sure about the line and where to go, put off the bolt and left it aside. I've now set three bolts plus belay and the line follows a bit on the right (right hand on the right corner) but goes left into the face to the second bolt, wich is a very hard clip, and then leads straight to the belay. Nice open pinches and pockets create a cool little and balancy climb. It's called 'Die finschderi Sytte' (engl. 'The dark side') and I'm not sure if it deservers to be 7c. Could be easier or even very much harder... I have no clue. The longer I climb (now more than 35 years) the worse my abilities to rate a climb with a grade...

Pictures below: 
Left: Jürgen ist going for the crux on 'Cocoon Chanel Zecke 6c'.  
Right: My backside well visible in the bouldery 'Die finschderi Sytte 7c'.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Soyhières-News - rebolting and a new long 7c+

by Chris

Good news from Soyhières for the community.

Never wait until things go worse! At the littel sector Us in Soyhières there are some of the more frequented routes in the Laufen-Valley inbetween Basel and Delèmont. Very nice climbs on a slightly overhang wall with edges and even jugs, mostly in the range from 6a up to 7a - with their equipment from the 80's last century they had to wait a long time for a rebolting. Sämi had the great idea to use two days with cold and bad weather two weeks ago to finally put hands on the power-drill. And I felt the need to support this achievement. Thanks Sämi for organising bolts and glue from the IG Klettern Basler Jura. And it was worth it! Some of the bolts (the infamous Longlife-Bolts) were lose and sticked out of the drilled hole...

The now rebolted ones are (with glued FFME-Bolts):

Humus 6b+ - not "expo" anymore!
Plexus 6c
Nexus 7a+ - one additional bolt
Sexus 7c - no more belay after the boulder problem. Now joines Nexus RH variation and goes all the way to the top.
Cinq-Plus 6a
Septième Sens 7a+

Already rebolted years ago have been Malus 6c+ (with glued bolts) and Bonus 7a+ (with Inox-Spits). Sämi in action...


Fresh wind also on the huge overhang of Devèrs.

I've bolted and climbed a new line of about 30 m homogenous endurance climbing at 7c+. Really rare in the Jura. It's called 'AOC Domaine Soyhières'.

It takes the same start as 'Public Domain' and most of it's crux. But before you reach the knee-bar-rest in 'Public..' you breach to the right over the little roof. From here follow the direct line all the way to the top, joining the last two bolts of 'Révélation', respectively 'Adrift' . It really feels like a little journey. Definitely worth to check out.

On the double-photo below the line is well visible along the rope. Julo in wonderful light on the routes crux. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Flatanger 2016 - new bolted routes at Hanshallaren and more

written by Chris

Time for a photo-blog...

Flatanger again! This time in September 2016...
New routes bolted by me and Joris, one of the world's most beautiful 8b and the 300th route in the realm of the french eighth grade.

Unfortunately it was very wet this time. A lot of rain, sun was rare, the climbs in the cave were wet, more wet,  most wet... Not always easy, but we made the best out of it.  Thanks Luca, Joris and Andrea.
This might be of most interest... the new routes! Thanks again to the Norges Bolte Fond for the bolts and the climbing club of Trondheim for the power drill.

The two ones on the left pic are left of 'Limpa'. So these routes are the very first you bump in while hiking up to the Hanshallaren cave.
Left: 'Joris' 6a - bolted by Joris.
Right: 'Pelle' 6b - bolted by me.

On the pic in the middle there is the new 'Lykkelige Sønner ' 6a+ inbetween 'Trykokkeren' and 'Ingwe', bolted by Joris and me.

On the right pic the line of 'Swiss Miniature' right of the short and nameless 6b+ wich is on the right of 'Banana Ballet'. Great one! Still a project at 8a+ or 8b. It was too wet for a send... Next time!

The Doorkeeper, opened up by Adam Ondra in 2013. What a great climb! 40 m full of interest. Maybe one of the most beautiful ever at it's grade of 8b... Grey and black clothed climbers on grey and black rock is not the best photo subject and should be forbidden... :)

Here on the send - me doing the last bouldery crux high up the route. A hearbreaking showdown... glad I never fell there!
By doing the 'Dverg Trav', a 40 m traverse deep inside the cave at 8a+ I could celebrate my 300th route at 8a and above. Only for the statistics, not a goal of mine. But well, the number came together... Pic by Joris. Thank you!
A unusual view of the Hanshallaren cave from Olav's boat.
And another special view from the Villa Island - Hanshallaren is visible in the middle of the pic.
Norway's landscape is simply wonderful and stunning, sometimes mystic an surreal. Pic by Andrea. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Goldfinger 8c - a miracle story

by Chris
Re-edition 24. January 2017.


Sometimes miracles still do happen.

In August 2016 one of these happened to me in Gimmelwald...

A very wet spring forced me to do a lot of indoor bouldering. I really didn't knew where I stand. And I had nothing to compare - to see if all indoor effort, work and pain pays off. It's nice to have a project outdoors and feel the progress. But this year I was asking myself if something's wrong. Staying for too long in the fine dust of gyms always kills my mind...

The middle part of the crag - Goldfinger is situated in the red wall on the right
To gain some spirit back again and motivation for upcoming goals on an already planned trip to Norway, I went to my personal favorite crag in Switzerland: Gimmelwald. The idea was to get some endurance on the classic 'Surfers Paradise', a well-known and rather hard 8a+, suspected by some being one of the most beautiful in its grade in Switzerland.

In my first bouldering sessions I was trapped by the heat in July. Then the next two days I wasn't even able to try, because after heavy rain and thunderstorms a lot of waterstreaks ran down from the grey-colored headwall. All other 'easier' climbs (in Gimmelwald this means up to 8b) I had already done or were also soaking wet. At least, there is the always dry but very bouldery and resistant 'Goldfinger'. For me its grade of 8c was more daunting than appealing. And a 7C+-boulder-problem in the middle of the line sounded more like tempting a god or a journey to Mars. In fatalism but happy to find some dry rock I began to play on it.

Cruxmove of Goldfinger - Rene, who established the route, in Phase One...
To my surprise I found the moves being a pleasure. I realized how nice and complex but yet interesting the climb is. With my in-built dedication I tried to put together all pieces of the puzzle wich resulted in some microbeta that may only fit me with strange movements and body-positions. Somehow I understood more and more, that my body shape seems to be made for the route. Literally I fit into this climb. There is one super-slopey pinch right hand. And I must admit, that this hold is perfect for big hands with short fingers. But still I never managed to link the entire boulder. I didn't took too much care about. Intuitively I began to work the upper part, a powerful and in its end an agonizing fingery 7c+.

Cruxmove of Goldfinger - Rene in Phase Two... Unfortuanately there are no pics of me in the route.
Mid-august came. I still don't know what was going on then. There are these special moments in a life as a climber. Hard to tell what it is exactly. Several month of feeling paralyzed, having no goals and doing exercises on plastic holds making my head and body feel heavy, vanished in a second for a clear and strong mindset. Virtually out of oblivion. First I send 'Surfers Paradise' with ease and without being pumped, although only days before I complained about its pockets being too small for my superfat fingers and hence power killers.

Cruxmove of Goldfinger - Rene in Phase Three : the long reach...
Only a few days later the seemingly impossible happened on 'Goldfinger'... A great day out with nice people in a great setting on one of the best crags... Pure magic!

Because of its difficulty I believed to have only two good tries a day. But the sent was on my third try of the day! After I screwed up my first two go's I thought to give more or less a 'training-run' to calibrate my body and to understand the moves better. Simply for recruitment and preparation for the next visit and set of tries. I felt weak . More shaky and insecure than the tries before I made it through the lower section to the bad rest before the crux. Already tired I made some nervous shake outs. I had to dive into the boulder. More in disbelief I linked the first tricky moves around the above-named sloper pinch right hand. I made it to the hard long reach which is the ultimate crux move.

 
Happy Rene writes the route name after the succesful first ascent in summer 2011.
All tries before I had the same problem. Coming from the start my left arm and fingers were too tired for the ultimate cruxy lock-off. What I do there is a highstep right foot to continue with a rockover. Then suddenly it happened. Somehow and not explainable why I was sitting relatively solid on my right foot. This allowed me to put away a bit of load on the fingers of my left hand for just a few seconds. That coincidental trick must have been enough of recovery, because I stuck the reach for the first time in a redpoint try!

Sefinen Valley - home of the crag - with the mountain range of Tschinggelspitz, Gspaltenhorn and Buettlasse.

The many eye-witnesses later said, that my strange manoeuvre of not moving on for a few seconds looked more like I had no more power with alarmingly high chicken-wings. The following upper third was an incredible fight. After the reach there is another very physical move that always felt being at my limit. I must have been full of adrenaline, because I kept it together even with vanishing body tension. While my working sessions I had fortunately found a little rest just before the final crimpy moves. Luckily – but maybe more thanks to the overdose of epinephrine – I recovered so well that I had enough strong fingers and - the icing on the cake - clipped the anchor without grabbing the draw. The latter has happened to me several times while working the route...

I was lowered to the ground. I couldn't believe what has happened. It felt great but surreal in the same time. A miracle!

Handshakes and High-Fives from all the guys around. There is no better place in Switzerland to celebrate climbing. Thank you Tina and N. for patience in my bouldering sessions.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

"Meister Franz" am Brüggler

von Markus

Der Brüggler
Weihnachten 2016 sind vorbei. Für mich ist es klar, dass ich im Alten Jahr zur Arbeit gehe. So ist es geplant, so möchte das mein Arbeitgeber und so ziehe ich es auch durch. So ist der Plan. Am Dienstag, 27. Dezember fahre ich denn auch artig mit dem Zug nach Bern und treffe 2 Leute im Grossraum-Büro. Nach ca. 1 Stunde sind wir dann schon genügend Leute um einen Jass klopfen zu können. Draussen ist herrliches Wetter. Eigentlich müsste ich draussen klettern. Eigentlich. Am 28. Dezember fahre ich wieder ins Büro nach Bern. Etwas stimmt einfach nicht und ich weiss auch genau was.

Am Donnerstag, 29. Dezember um 9 Uhr treffe ich Richi in Oberwil. Zusammen fahren wir an den Brüggler. 1980 war ich das letzte Mal zusammen mit Roland S, Olivier T. und Peter R. am Brüggler. Wir kletterten seinerzeit durch die „Kleine Verschneidung“. Diejenigen, welche sich die Mühen des Lesens meiner etwas lang geratenen Blog-Einträge auf sich nehmen wissen, welche Bedeutung dieser Tag hat. Unbeschreiblich viel! Richi. Brüggler. Etwa 1976. Der Blog-Eintrag heisst: In die Vergangenheit und zurück

Das Thermometer im Auto zeigt minus 2 Grad. Es ist kalt, auch ich ziehe die langen Unterhosen an. Einmal mehr ist am Himmel keine Wolke zu sehen, die Sonne lacht von einem stahlblauen Himmel. Wir packen die Rucksäcke und starten mit dem Aufstieg. Eine Stunde wird dieser dauern. Das hat mir Richi versprochen. Der Aufstieg dauert exakt eine Stunde. Das geübte Auge von Richi erkennt schon von Weitem, dass auch viele andere Leute das prachtvolle Wetter für eine Tour am Brüggler nützen.

Richi hat sich für den Klassiker "Meister Franz" entschieden, eine Route, welche von Franz Anderrüthi erschlossen wurde. Auf Wikipedia steht folgendes zu Franz:

Pionier des Extremkletterns in der Schweiz
Legendär sind seine Haken mit dem Initial FA, die man noch heute auf klassischen Routen findet.

Eine dieser wunderschönen Seillängen!
Vor dem "must have climbed once in a lifetime" Quergang in der 5. Seillänge (Danke Richi)
Und tatsächlich. Während der fantastischen Kletterei durch "Meister Franz" finden sich solche Originale! Irgendwie macht es mich stolz und glücklich, dass ich auf den Pfaden von Franz klettern kann. Und immer wieder erinnere ich mich an 1976. Ich habe es nie zu erträumen gewagt, auch nur einmal mit meinem Idol aus jungen Jahren am Brüggler zu klettern. When a dream comes true! 

Les Sommêtres


An Silvester gehen wir zusammen an Les Sommêtres bei Le Noirmont klettern. Bestes Wetter, bester Fels, beste Bedingungen, beste Klettereien und eine Fahrt durch den wunderschönen Jura runden das Jahr 2016 vollkommen ab-