Alpen en bloc summer

Spending every summer abroad since finishing school in 2006, it wasn’t hard to stay in Europe this year as there is still so much for me to discover here. A lot of nice places which aren’t even that far away from Freiburg.

At the moment I’m busy writing my Masters thesis, so during the week I try to work but on the weekends I often take some time off and go bouldering or climbing. Luckily the weather in the Alps was really nice for most of the summer, so I could enjoy the sun a lot while bouldering in different places.

I spent a few of these weekends in Magic Wood which was quite busy at this time of the year. As Scott was away in Africa I found it nice as I was able to meet some new people, and every time randomly met some friends which I really enjoyed. It was super fun to meet Alex Raczynski again and very impressive to watch Thomasina Pidgeon climbing.

In Magic Wood I still had so many boulders that I haven’t tried, or even seen. It was very motivating and every morning I got up early in perfect timing with the sun. On the first weekend I could do Exclusive, Neandertaler, New Age Travellers and From Darkness to Sunshine, a nice roof boulder with a lot of moves.

The following weekend I managed to do Waldbrand, Marihuana Corner, Gulliver Kante, Stirb langsam, Minisex, and Down Under. There was a lot of motivation involved 🙂 Down Under has very good moves and I can recommend it to shorter people. I also tried Octopussy again. It’s such a fun boulder to try even though I couldn’t manage a couple of the moves – there is a big move as well as the release is pretty tough.

Down under 7c+, pic by Otti Gebhardt

Down under 7c+, pic by Otti Gebhardt

The next time I went to Magic Wood was great fun as well. I could do Scrubs, Freiwild and End of Darkness, which is a slightly overhanging ‘fridge’ next to Marihuana Corner… interesting how many moves I had to do for this relatively small boulder. Mörderballet definitely was one of my favorite boulders in the forest… it looks way easier than it is but it’s quite technical. Up in this area there are some more really nice boulders that I was able to finish off, Jack the Chipper and Jackass are great. Another one is Swizz Beats – such a cool roof, but so far I couldn’t figure out some of the moves – especially the first big move is quite a throw. 

Last week I was in Ticino. It was still quite warm but very pretty with all the colours at the moment. I met up with my brother and some friends and we stayed in a nice little Rustico in the Brione village. It was a lot of fun to do some rope climbing at the Russo crag. There are some really nice lines there, some of the routes basically exist of a big long granite pinch, that you climb up.

Molunk

Molonk 7c, Brione

One day we went bouldering in Brione, where I tried Molonk again. It’s such a beautiful line! I think I might have found a solution to do the big move to the lip but so far I couldn’t figure out how to release it without swinging off…future will tell… maybe I’ll still grow a little more 😉 We also went to Chironico and had a fun time just doing lots of easier boulders. I felt as exhausted as after a long parcour in Fontainebleau but maybe it was more the good “Z’Graggen” Schnapps from the previous night 🙂

Homo mouse 7c at San Gottardo

Homo mouse 7c at San Gottardo

For the way home I decided to drive over the San Gottardo pass. As I’ve only been there at night I’ve never even seen all the boulders, just so many stars! Ever since I saw a picture taken by Steffen Kern of the boulder Homo Mouse I’ve wanted to go there and try it. I was alone and donkey-like I carried a Black Diamond Mondo and Drop Zone crashpad all the way up. It’s such a nice view from up there so all the effort was definitely worth it. I was very lucky with the weather cause actually rain was predicted. I really liked this boulder, it’s a line as you just follow a crack and it has an obvious start. After linking through all the moves I sat up on top of the bloc and enjoyed the great view for a while.

Great end and I felt very tired from the previous days but happy to meet all this people and share a good time.

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