Monday, April 13, 2015

Hatschi Bratschi Luftballon goes free!

Hatschi Bratschi Luftballon (8- A0) is one of the steepest and hardest long routes at Hohe Wand. The route is pretty sustained at UIAA 7, 8-, A0, 7+, 8-, 7+, 4 but the crux pitch (A0) is obviously harder free climbing than the rest of the route.

Andreas told me that the aid pitch is a steep hand crack, and if I am good with cracks I might be able to do it. The crux pitch has been tried to be freed for a while, and the latest info I found was that “redpointing is close, free climbing grade would be 9+ (7c+) ”. 

 Me on the route for the first time

 The second pitch is super steep and juggy 6c+. We decided to go light and fast. No backpacks and with only one 40-meters rope, which makes rappelling the route pretty much impossible.

Andreas on the second pitch

 Working the crux pitch. It’s hard, but very doable.

However, the biggest problem wasn’t climbing, but belaying. It doesn’t get much more uncomfortable than this. 

 Andreas working the crux. We both did all the moves, and thought it would be a bit easier than the proposed 7c+. However, I don’t think these suggestions matter until it’s done.

After the crux the climbing gets more vertical. 

Andreas on the fourth pitch, still pretty exposed climbing

Andreas starts his block 

Superb climbing on a pocketed wall, almost like in Verdon

 Higher up on the wall, one more pitch to go.

 The route tops out in the center of the Skywalk

 Next time at Hohe Wand, now with Anu. 

 Good friction day?

 The weather got finally better

 Starting the second pitch

 Advanced top roping skills

 This time we decided to haul the gear

 And use a belay seat

 Can you spot me in the photo?

It was still too cold so we decided to rappel down

 Third time on the route

 Lowering down back to the anchor is a bit trickier than usual

The beginning of the crux pitch is also a bit tricky

Andreas in the hand jam section

 Double score! 

 Time to move on

I don’t usually use rope organizers, but they are great if you are hauling

The top part was as good as ever. 

It was a long day, but we climbed everything free, and we both redpointed the crux pitch. Our grade suggestion for the crux pitch is UIAA 9- (or 7b+). This was one of the days to remember.