Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The dosser's account

a door in Nick and Nicole's house. they travelled for 20 years before settling down...
The last two weeks I have been on a trip between Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Here's a few of my mental notes...

- Frankenjura is this awesome forest in the middle of Germany. With every day spent here I like it more. This place has character, and so much history around it. It is awesome to climb on old routes put up by Wolfgang Gullich and other pioneers. I noticed that despite it's famous for short, bouldery routes on pockets, there is much variety to be found - also longer routes of all styles and hold types. After all, there is probably about a 1000 small crags one can choose from, and it stretches quite a big area.
Julien on the arete of Polymorphie, 10- at Plankenstein
me on the same climb. Definitely gets five stars!

- I like Germany in general. It's all clean and efficient and surprisingly, the food in Frankenjura is cheaper than in Slovenia.
There is one point where the German always-logical mentality has been exaggerated, though. Many climbs are only sparsely protected in their easier bits. Well, why waste bolts where they are not necessary, right? If you are on the more careful side, make sure to check the guidebook about how the protection is at the crag you want to go to. BUT, this should definitely not stop you from visiting this amazing area, as there is plenty of routes of all grades and good bolting.

- I am improving my German! Being in the country is always the best way of learning a language. We had a great time travelling with Camille and Julien in the little yellow van. We're all learning German, Camille is learning English and I am learning French, too. It was getting confusing at times... :)

- Schleier Wasserfal, a crag in Austria just south of Munich and the border of Austria and Germany. The playground of the Huber brothers and home to what could actually be the world's first 9a+ (Open Air).
It was great to go check it out and it calls for a return visit. We could make weekend trips from Slovenia. It's only a four hour drive!!
it is big!

Schlaya selfie

- Switzerland holds a whole country's worth of awesome crags to see and climb. We all know it for the bouldering in Ticino, but not that many people go to try the bolted crags.
While staying at Amanda's I went to see a crag called Lehn, just above the idylicall town of Interlaken. I could spend many days there for the climbing seems awesome, nicely varied with a predominantly power-endurance character.
Then there's Gimmelwald, Rawyl and so many others. Is anyone keen for a short trip to the Swiss in the near future :)?

it is beautiful!

- contrary to the general opinion today, hitch-hiking is still a considerable option and a solid means of transport for a climbing bum. It does take some patience and planning. Hitchwiki is a good resource of information.
You're guaranteed a bucketful of new experiences. One of my favourites on this trip so far was speeding down the Deutsche Autobahn with an Audi employee in, of course, an Audi wagen. It wasn't really a sport-wagen but it still went 240 km/h.

- big thanks and hugs to everyone who has offered me a place to stay, shared a belay or a beer, or gave me a ride for part of the way. Julien, Amanda, Luke, Camille, Nick and Nicole, Sophie, Moritz, Franz, Felix, Ronny, Julian, Marius, Dan, Fanna and Johannes...