Friday, October 24, 2014

Der Winter kommt

Semmering bike park is closing the doors for the winter season. It’s hard to believe as the weather has been nice and warm until the last days. Now it has rained a couple of days but it still feels like a (Finnish) summer to me.

Time has gone fast. In July I started to work with a big 3D-project. It's nice to be able to work in distance with a Finnish client as finding a job from here is a bit more complicated when you don't speak German. I did start a German course a month ago so hopefully that's going to change soon.

Unfortunately I can’t show what I’ve been working with, but here is an older project I did for training a while ago.

 As I’m working through my own company, I can choose my working hours. Nothing beats a midday quickie in Peilstein.

 Peilstein two weeks ago, it was still pretty warm. I climbed all day in the shade and a t-shirt was more than enough.

 Mandatory selfie in action at the top of Cimone


 Semmering bike park

 During the week you can ride pretty much alone, but on the weekends it’s quite busy.

 Lifts are big and comfy

 This is what I really like about Semmering, it’s very beginner friendly. There are always different options to fit your skills.

A local guy taking some air

 Riders waiting their turn

 The young generation shows how it’s done

 It’s hard to take photos while riding...

 More air time by a local badass

 Mist came in

On the top it’s still nice and sunny. This photo was taken on 19 Oct. Hard to believe they are closing the doors on 26 Oct for winter season.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Wo sind die Klippen?

In Austria we have faced new kinds of problems. Those who have been to Frankenjura know what I’m talking about. Too many new crags around, it’s not obvious where to go for climbing. And if you find a nice crag, should you stay there or search for more? Yes, first world problems.

So far we have checked out dozens of crags, but most of them seem to be somewhat abandoned. It’s nice to be alone at the crag, but I have a feeling we haven’t found the best crags yet. Sometimes we have climbed some world class limestone, and other times found just a pile of loose shit with homemade bolts.

Adlitzgräben. 1 minute approach.

 Me looking at King size 8 (7a). Steep and juggy. Very similar to Ton sai roof.

Falkensteinhöhle at Adlitzgräben. Erfolg ist trainierbar reclimbed 11 (9a) on the left side.

Adlitzgräben has 9 sectors. Most of the routes are between 7a-8b. This is a very good place by any standard. For some reason we have been here only once.


 Looks nice but is unfortunately quite loose. 

 Maitre vauban und der basilisk 11 (9a). A 33-meter route which overhangs 12 meters. 

Hardest routes seem to be quite nice here. Anyway, this place offers very little for mid-level climbers like us. I don’t think we are coming back.

 View from Schattenreich.


 Rock quality is very good and it’s quite different from other areas. A lot of slopy pockets.

 A tufa!

Scheiblingkirchner wandl. This is one of my favorite places. It is just a small sector and a couple of routes. I have been here only once, but everything I’ve climbed here has been super good. Steep and juggy and not polished at all. Unfortunately the hardest route is 7c.

Niemandsland. This is the place to go when it’s hot in the summer.

 A local climber on Big sleep 9 (7c+)

Arnsteinhöhle. We have been here a few times and here I’ve climbed my hardest piece of Austrian limestone so far, Das dritte auge kundalini 9/9+ (7c/7c+)

 Energieembargo 9- (7b+). Dynamic belaying is a big no-no on this route. Try to find a fat belayer with a grigri.

 Anu and her shiny 29”. Approaches just became a bit more fun. 

 Thalhofergrat. Ok, this seems to be the place where people climb. 

15 sectors and hundreds of routes up to 8c+. It’s near to us and the approach is 1 minute to the closest sector. It is a pretty obvious choice for "after work"-climbing.

We just got yet another guidebook. 2000 routes only at Höllenthal area. This doesn’t really help with the problem.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Hohe Wand

Hohe Wand is, as the name refers, a “high wall”. More specifically, it’s a 8 km wide and 300 meters high rock face with top at 1132 meters. There are several guidebooks for Hohe Wand. A sport climbing guidebook (UIAA 6 - 10, 1000 routes), and a guidebook for easier routes (UIAA 1 - 6, 750 routes) are probably the best known. We have yet another guidebook, ”pleasure climbing", (up to UIAA 7), which focus on longer routes on different areas.

The wall is easy to spot while driving highway A2 towards south from Vienna, and I think you can see the silhouette already in Mödling junction. Hohe Wand is about 50 km from Mödling and as the road is highway it doesn’t take too long to drive there. About the same time than to TKAK-väggen from Umeå.

 Hohe Wand

 Nice exit for base jumpers

 Some grass and loose holds, almost like climbing on Rösås

 Traffic in the air

 Anu enjoying Austrian autumn weather. No need for a down jacket.

 The first 7- (UIAA) pitch on “Traum und Wirklichkeit”. This is a harder variation to super popular Draschgrat 5+, 200m.

 Some traffic on Draschgrat

 A paraglider

 More traffic… Traum und Wirklichkeit goes to right from here. This was a nice 40 meter pitch following overhanging crack systems.

More paragliders

Anu & 7th and last pitch

 Yet another paraglider

 On the top

 Climbing was nice, but this place is made for base jumping

Hohe Wand on a map

 Random fact of the day. You can pick only 2 kg mushrooms per day in Austria.

 Sleep late, climb slow and be at home at 5 PM.