All photo's are Copyright of Scott Swalling or the tagged Photographer. (Background photo Scott Swalling Photography).

About Me:

24Hr MTBike racer and general bike rider, climber and mountaineer. Good coffee drinker and cake eater (any cake, seriously, don't leave your cake laying around). Also, I like to try new things that challenge me.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Kander-what? Kandersteg!

Kandersteg, a swiss mountain town nestled at the end of a pastoral valley in the Bern-Oberland.  Home to langlauf (cross country skiing) and more climbable ice than you can shake a Nomic at.

Last year sometime Rob invited a few of us to join him and Ramon in Kandersteg for some winter fun, it did take much convincing to be honest.  Fast forward, Tommy, Pete and I are in The Red Peril and on our way to Kandersteg and arrived somewhere around 9:30 am and The Red Peril promptly broke.  Insert cursing that you find appropriate for my character.

Anyway, after finding Rob taking time out to get a new do, we found some food, some coffee and decided even after driving through the night, climbing was a good idea.

In an attempt to keep things readable I'll try to break this up a bit.

05/02: Tommy and I climbed the first 3 pitches of Ausstiegsvariante Links.  I was completely knackered from the drive through the night and the pleasant 3M felt more like a Wi5.

Sunset at the end of the first day.

06/02: Tommy, Pete, Rob and I headed to Ueschenen.  The approach was first Rob comfortably negotiating the icy/snowy road in his Landy whilst the 3 of us thought of other places to be.  Pete at one point was thinking of walking long behind the Landy.  Then and easy walk to the crag thanks to Rob's driving.

Anyway, at Ueschenen, still feeling tired I did not get on well. Dogged an M7, got completely shutdown by an M8- (my arse) and then couldn't finish another M8, even after several goes and two big falls.  I elected to take a few photo's and watch Rob send Pink Panther in fine form and different style to "his" first ascent of it. (Pic below)

Rob on Pink Panther, Ueschenen

07/02: After a late start, we decided to check out Blue Magic and Rubezahl at Staubbach.  But both these routes proved to be quite wet and it would be a late start.  Tomy and I checked out Baretritt after a bit of sledge fun. But found this to be too wet and falling down.  So some more sledging fun, a wonder through the woods and we found Rob and Pete about to get on Arbonium, so we elected to climb Rattenpissoir 5+.

I climbed the first long pitch to a wet cave belay, I did have a bit of a am I good enough moment, but soon gathered my senses and then climbed to the belay like a man possessed and running it out alarmingly as Tommy would point out, when he arrived at the belay.  The second pitch appearing too wet and Tommy already soaked we bailed and headed for the Chalet and food.

08/02: We drove into Gasterntal to look a new area Rob had spotted.  Gasterntal is an amazing area with a terrific atmosphere.  Whilst the new area was a bit wet and maybe a bit smaller than first thought.  The true adventure on this trip was digging the Landy out of super soft powder (we should have been skiing) twice.  The first time I seemed to be ending up in photo's taken by others, rather than getting their help.  Hmm? ;-)  (Below the Landy appears through one of the tunnels on the road down from Gasterntal.)

More to come.

No comments: