Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fall Rock Climbing

From mid-October until this past week, I have been able to do a number of cool rock routes with friends. This time of year is one of my favorite times to rock climb in the Salzburg area. (Honestly, my favorite time to rock climb around here is when it's not raining!) The weather is generally pretty stable and temps are cool. In addition, I have been very busy with climbing courses both in and outside of the climbing gym too.

A short overview of routes includes, amongst others, climbs on the Austrian and Bavarian side of the Untersberg and in the nearby Tennengebirge. My friend Erwin and I climbed on the "Kleine Südwand" on the Untersberg and then a few days later roped up again on "Fun in the Sun"/"Panorama" (VI/550m) on the Große Fieberhorn in the Tennengebirge. Here's the obligatory ass shot as I smear up one of the cruxes on "Panorama". The photos are from the multi-tasking Erwin.

10th rope length, "Fun in the Sun", VI

Toni and Berni climbed as a second rope team with us too. It was a great way to welcome them back after an extended trip to South America, Canada the USA and a bit in the western Alps in between. We got to the top of the Große Fieberhorn at about 3:00pm. It gave us enough time to scramble down to the fixed ropes and ladder of the Via Ferrata in daylight and finish the hike out by headlamp.

Me, Berni and Toni on top of the Große Fieberhorn.

A couple days later, my friend Gernot and I did the route "Samsara" (VII-/450m) on the Gamsalmkopf on the Bavarian side of the Untersberg. This was a great climb: a very nice two hour approach, a long route that was fairly consistent, and again a descent by headlamp.

As I write this, I think the outdoor rock climbing season is over as winter takes hold. This week has been damp and frosty with snow in the mountains. Cold temps and snow storms are forecast for the coming week. With a bit of luck, the ice climbing season will start up in a couple of weeks and will have enough snow to be confronted with choice of, "skis or ice tools?"

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