Saturday, November 1, 2014


Schneeberg (2076 m) is the highest mountain in Lower Austria and together with Rax (2007 m) considered the Viennese Hausberge (local mountains). Schneeberg is the mountain that seems to always rule the view when driving south from Vienna. If the weather is clear, Schneeberg is visible even from Vienna. 

We are not really mountain climbers, but what I was interested in the most were the 450 meter long sport routes that are on the west side of the mountain. However, Schneeberg is quite big and it’s not really obvious where we should go. And we didn’t even know for sure where we would like to go. Maybe to the top? Or at least above the clouds.

Most of the pictures of Schneeberg were taken from Puchberg am Schneeberg so we decided to go there at first. There actually is a train(!) from Puchberg to (almost) top of Schneeberg and for us, it sounded like a nice way to cheat our way to the summit.

However, 70 € for two was a bit too salty price. So, instead of train-mountaineering we bought a good map, and drove as high as we could with the car.

 Anu spotted a pizzeria at Hintern Federn, so here we go again... It was already 1:30 PM so I was a bit skeptical about our mountain climbing plans. However, the pizzeria was very close to a ski resort and the lift was running. We didn’t know where it would take us, but at least we would get 500 meters higher.

 Hydrating with red wine makes mountain climbing a bit more fun.

 Holy moly, snow

 Hiking makes you thirsty. Nice crags on the background. Probably not worth the hike though.

 No idea what the scale is, but these look nice.

 Smoky crags

 Ok, this is more fun than boulder hunting.

 Taking photos of snow made me feel like a Japanese tourist. 

Afternoon pizza & beer = no summit. Our high point was probably somewhere at 1500 - 1700 meters. We also missed those 450-meter sport routes, which happen to be located on the other side of the mountain. Still, we weren't too disappointed. 

After all, we got this

 This is the top of the snowy crags we saw before


 65 km of driving from Mödling, helt okej!

 Sun goes down, it's time to move

 Back in the foggy forest

 ISO 12800 gives a nice Blair Witch effect

 It was pretty foggy, but not a problem as long as there was a bit of sunlight

30 minutes later it was a bit different... with a headlamp you could see only about 1 or 2 meters. We found a bar on the top of the ski resort (closed, too bad), but the lift 50 meters away was impossible to find. Not that it would have been running any more, but there was a road close by and that might be the easiest way down. 

After wandering around for a while we ended up at a cabin. There were some lift workers who were just about to drive down. They offered to take us down so unfortunately we skipped the adventurous part of the day. A few minutes later we were already at our car and driving back to Mödling.  A nice way to spend a rainy day, and a not too bad alternative for crag hunting!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Crag hunting has been our primary sport when the weather is bad. This time we decided to check out Köningshöhle. It is a small boulder cave in Baden, about 10 km from Mödling. 

The area is also known for downhill tracks, so there was a good chance to find something worth the hike.

 15 minutes approach was pretty much on the limit that I would walk for bouldering

 The main feature in Königshöhle is a cool arch

 The cave is pretty steep and here it’s possible to climb even when it’s raining

 Anu & Mezza da luna 6a+

 Me & Love is not a game 6c. Soft but no cigar.

 There is a big block in the middle of the cave. No matter which side you are climbing on, there is always a chance to hit your head. I think the only reason the block is still there is because Dag lives in Umeå.

 It’s not only jugs in Königshöhle. This is Hormonregler 7c (I think). The hardest problem in the cave is 8b+.

 Time to complain about bad friction

 Culture act of the day: Ruine Rauheneck (a castle)

 Anu spotted a bar where we stopped by while riding on Lindkogel-strecke

 I’m probably just getting old, but it’s kind of cool to see almost 1000-year-old buildings.

 Anu & her crux of the day: passing pigeons


 Some rich people

 Another castle

Sometimes I wonder if bouldering sucks mainly because I usually do it when the weather is bad. On the other hand, if the weather is good, why to ruin a good day on purpose. 

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.