Rock Addict Corsica Dispatch #2

Restonica skylines

Restonica skylines

Daniela laying away from the offwidth

Daniela laying away from the offwidth

Veronica starting up Linea d'Ombra

Veronica starting up Linea d’Ombra

After the rain...

After the rain…

Limpid skies, perfect rock

Limpid skies, perfect rock

Rock Addict Corsica Dispatch #1

Chamonix – back for more

One week in Cham per year is definitely not enough. Climbing potential of this place is so huge that you could probably spend your whole life there and you wouldn’t be able to climb all the routes. So when leaving the town in the beginning of July, after 4th stage of The Mountain Academy, I knew I would come back. I just needed to wait for the right moment 🙂 And the right moment came in August. Together with my friend Tomek we came for 10 days with our heads full of dreams and names of big routes. Although weather was marvellous in previous weeks it deteriorated soon after we arrived. We got drenched to the bone already on the approach to Envers des Aguilles. Another storm hit during our warm-up route on Tour Verte. Then there was another one accompanied by some minor showers… Luckily a weather window appeared exactly when needed so we could send our main goal for the week – Republique Bananiere on Aguille de la Republique. The route is magnificent and a real must – 700 metres of climbing (25 pitches) on perfect granite, taking mostly impressive corners, cracks and some technical slabs! Cold bivy on the rocky ledge, starry sky above our heads and amazing sunrise over the Drus and Aguille Verte also made it unforgettable experience…

Beautiful sunrise over Grandes Jorasses

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Grand Cornier – a one day trip?

During our week of TMAC in Zinal, Cabane de Grand Mountet, just next to the Dent Blanche, there was this very interessting looking ridge of Grand Cornier. That’s where I decided that this was a ridge I would like to climb once.

So this weekend with a friend of mine we decided to go for it. So we started in Ferpecle on Saturday morning at around 10am. Walking up and up…always looking at the amazing Dent Blanche, I climbed last summer. On the way to the bivouc du col de la Dent Blanche we were stopping for a little rest and had a look on the map. That’s where we realized that we were acutally on the patch which was supposed to go from the valley directly to the summit. With some friends of ours, just walking behind us, we decided that we could go directly to the summit instead of going to the bivouc. So this was the plan…

Walking, climbing, scrambling, passing some huge crevasses…we were on the way to the summit. After around 2100 high meters, 7 hours from the bus station, with 4l of water and lunch for 2 days in the backpack we arrived finally very happy on the summit.

The descent was just nice, with the sunset on the glacier we arrived to the Cabane de Moiry. After some beverages we were hitting the last bit of the day direction down to the vally with our headtorches.

Traverse of Grand Cornier, SW-ridge up and NW-ridge down in 12 hours. What an amazing and unique mountain experience!

Thanks to Steffi and Janick, Michi, Fridli, Dominik, Ivo

on our way up, Dent Blanche

SW-ridge with Dent Blanche

Michi enjoying the Spaghettis from my mum (which were supposed for the bivouc)

Just happy

Steffi…yeah, you are a amazing climbing mate!!!

sunset atmosphere on the glacier

Bonatti-Tabou on Chandelle du Tacul

After tasting the Chamonix-granit in our last week of the MAC, I wanted to get more of if. As Sang and Seb enthused about the Bonatti-Tabou rout on Chandelle du Tacul we went for it! And they were so right!!! 🙂

the amazing 6b+-pitch

Luca in Bonatti-Tabou

Luca on the traverse

direction to Mt.Blanc

on the top with the Grand Capucin in the background

Go out and figure it out ;)

When I started climbing in the mountains, around 4 years ago, I bought pretty much everything you need, to survive “up there”. But being a total mountain n00b, I didn’t have a clue on what to actually buy. I did not know what I need, let alone what I want, so I asked other, more experienced climbers for advice. What I learned from them was good, and the gear I bought was fine. But by actually using it in real life situations, I quickly realized, that what works perfectly for someone, might not be the best for me.

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Sea to Sky

The Mountain Academy headquarters asked me to contribute a short story to this blog. Well, my story is simple enough: I travel and I climb. Participation in the TMAc2 program actually is only a small part of what I currently do. But of course it does provide a regular rendezvous with the whole cool crew.

In between seasonal stages I just lead that gipsy, dirt bag kind of lifestyle. Continue reading

“Volando entre ñapas”

Foto by Vari Escribano

After two weeks of rainfall predictions seemed to indicate a weekend break with some sun. “El Callejón” is a remote place of San Martin de Valdeiglesias crag of climbing. In this area is hidden a good collection of crimpy routes in a wall of perfect granite, appreciated because its quality, pitch or inclination and high grade. There are grouped four 8a, a project, other three 7c, four 7b, two 7a… and my favorite:

” Volando entre ñapas ” is a 7a+/b committing move full of boulder and balance steps. In just 12 meters are concentrated crimpers, which size of a distal phalange. It must be scratching the rock to cling on to the wall, slightly overhang and tiny feet. These features are ideal for thin fingers and lovers of short and explosive routes.

Foto by Vari Escribano

When you test a route at the limit of your possibilities, the quality of the equipment with which you climb makes the difference and give security in the ascension. The “Ozone Harness Black Diamond” is perfect for its lightness and comfort, feeling free with every movement. Absolute confidence/trust in his strength combined with scant 320 grams, make literally “Fly between small crimp”.

In sport climbing we are tempted to not wear helmets. We invent excuses about vision or weight. We underestimate the danger of a bad fall or even a loose stone. However, thanks to the new materials, much lighter, the range of helmets “Helmet Black Diamond Tracer” has gained strength and lightness, being comfortable and without hindering visibility. There are no excuses for not bringing them!

The clothing also can influence the achievement of the objective, it’s noteworthy the “Mountain Hardwear pants”, being flexible enough to allow a greater legs aperture during the climbing, and reinforcements on the knees prevent from rips. In this way I can give as much “burns” as I need without worrying about external conditions.

Ready to “volar entre ñapas”!!