Montag, 28. Januar 2013

Keeping Spirits High

on the fist hard pitch.....overhanging ice

The ice climbing season is not an every year fixed part of my climbing activity. It´s more a feeling that reminds me that it´s time again to hang on these crazy formations created by the cold. Some days ago I saw some frozen water while ski touring in the local mountains, and as I walked the summit ridge the noise of the crunchy icy snow rushed with each step into my body. It´s winter. It´s cold. It is time for ice.

still one pitch to go, but the hard part is done
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After two ice falls in the nearby Averstal, I wanted to visit Kandersteg because I saw a picture of the Breitwangflue made by some local. Crack Baby looked not as solid as in the guidebook but it looked like it´s grown together. So few days later accompanied by Hanno we put on our skis and approached to the base of the wall. It ‘was a relief that no one was already at the start of the route. Climbing behind a party on an ice climb is not a good idea.
The start went smooth, we climbed simultaneously until we reached the steeper pitches. This section looked really impressive. The whole wall seemed to be overhanging and the ice just gets some friction on the ledges. We had some mind game because of the big “pang” I provoked while placing my first screw on the crux pitch. The whole pillar got a horizontal crack. After calming down a little I thought: now the tension built up with the change of the temperatures over the last days is gone, now it´s maybe even more stable?!” With this in mind I focused and climbed on. The consistence of the ice was ok but it had not much ice so the steep pitches included big mushrooms, some of them created an overhang with a little hole to scramble through.
I lead most of the pitches so I was tired but happy when we reached the top. It was an amazing day.
Thanks Hanno for keeping spirits high.

on the decent of Crack Baby, after´s steep ;)

save the middle of the route

the line
avers ice

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