Results for category "Guiding"

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love the finish

Gallatin Swing – a farewell to the Bozeman cragging


“Let’s head out bros” we gotta finish the “fall project” before winter,
but, are we “ready for the check”?

This one is the “organic rock line”,
“All in” – time to bring on your skill set!

“6b+ (6b+ obligatoire)”
The “Gallatin Swing” is all “no bacon – no flavor”

So “bring some pro”, but no worries …
Ben bolted, it is “a padded line”!

Split the “191 ft” at a halfway stance and enjoy
“Euro-sytle” sweet little pitches.

Feel free to “climb to the end of rope”
Feel free to “leave the rope at home”
But “have fun”

Follow Strom Castle Road from the camping with the “no overnight sign” for 3 min.
Sticks, cairns, slings and signs and a little “mounatain feel” will take to the base.
A fixed line comfort the last feet through “Bozeman style choss”.

Route (no fun here):
Pitch 1: 6b+, 28m, 6 bolts, little cracked buttress (.4″), dihedral, steep face.
Pitch 2; 6b+, 30m, 4 bolts, traverse, short buttress, crack (doubles .4″ – .75″), steep face.

Descent (keep it serious):
Anchors equipped for rappel (2x25m)


Desert season – Red Rocks


The desert season’s on!
The long sunny periods handed over to more changeable weather patterns.
We’re headed south. Nevermind the long drive it’s all new and exciting. Really.

Salt Lake City is so quiet on a Sunday morning. A spot in a coffee bar at 9 is easy to find.
Right, the Mormons are at church.
Same thing in Las Vegas. Almost 9 am and no one’s up for a coffee? What about Nevada’s religion and coffee?
Right, it’s 6:50 am. We missed daylight saving and pacific time.
But, we’re wearing flipflops – this we got right!

The first climb was on mediocre rock. The second a chilly outing on rather tiny holds for the grade.
Why are people crazy for this place?
– “So tonight we go out and play?”
– “I’m not sure I want to see the lavish splendor.”
– “A city build on ripping people off? I mean that’s what it is, isn’t it?”

In wait to finally discover the sandstone jewels we decided to hang out.
People at the campground were so generous to share their site.
So the next day, we spend a happy day on the south faces of the Juniper Canyon.
Birdland put a big smile on our faces: what a varied rock climb on good gear!
– “Should we check out downtown tonight?”
– “A enormous city in the desert that just feels weird.”
– “I mean the Colorado river delta in Mexico is dry and here the lawn is bright green … ”

After Y2K we were not sure whether we wouldn’t extend our stay.
Maybe a reason to put the topo online.
We loved it. And we almost passed downtown on the way home.
In the end we decided not to.
So, we no nothing about that place – time to stop the charges.


High up on the Mountaineers (our 6th pitch)

The Elephant’s Perch – a jewel lies in wait


The sharp ridgeline looks like a sawing blade – despite the dense haze that is in the air. Too many wild fires currently are burning not too far away from the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho – and elsewhere in the U.S. Northwest. This mountain range holds some of the rock climber’s wildest dreams of unspoilt faces, perfect granite and  remote adventures at no more than a couple of hours walk.
As we’re in it for the fun, we took a shuttle across Redfish Lake, set up a camp and enjoyed 2 light daytrips to the Elephant’s Perch – rather than committing to a long roundtrip. What makes this trip still an adventure is that there is no guidebook on this area. We sketched a topo of the Mountaineer’s route – to the best of our memories and photographs.
This first small dose got us motivated … we’re coming back!

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Durrance Exum to The Grand Teton


“When the guide Paul Petzoldt slowly worked his way up towards the summit of “The Grand” with his guests, his assistant pushed off to the side. Glen Exum traversed a ledge towards the south rigde – today known as Wall Street. He free soloed the to the summit to join his master and guests.” This was when the upper part of the south ridge was first discovered, the lower section was awakened from hibernation by Jack Durrance five years later in 1936. That’s why, often the enchainment of “Lower Exum” and “Upper Exum” is called the “Durrance Exum”.

We like the old stories. And we like to check out the routes. Be amazed by the ancient and genius.

After a calm night between the boulders of the moraine below the Lower Saddle we got an after sunrise start. The route is a flow. It takes you through featured, occasionally exposed rock while you move into thinner air. The Tetons stand tall from the plains and eclipse surrounding ranges, yet being part of the chain of the Rockies.

Why are the Tetons that special? Ask the nerd! After the ranges in today’s western Wyoming had formed millions of years ago, not so long ago, but still more than half a million years ago, Yellowstone’s supervolcano erupted turning the mountains to the northeast of the Tetons into ashes and clouds. What is left behind is  a majestic range with summits hovering more than 2000 m above the plains. In short, the Tetons look like mountains are supposed to look like.

Lyngen fjord with reflections

The 2017 Lyngen Adventure


Another day, another trip – but, different style.

Baggage delayed, flights changed, some guys in late. That’s how it started. But now that we’ve all arrived, there’s no hurry any more. The pace of the North slows us down. There’s no “rush for the slush” here. The sking starts in our backyard so to speak – and tons of great outings begin just a short drive down the road.

For day one we chose Tverrelvdalstinden. It offers a short climb to find the rhythm, an easy scramble along the ridge to challenge yourself and a varied descent to get a first taste of the spring season’s mix of slush and powder.

Day two was “the day with the break at the tree”. This trip took us across two passes, namely Rhieppi and the col North of Skaidevarri. It was all about travelling a mountain range on the island, see where we are and inhale the beauty.
Then, the time had come to tackle the first big piece. We climbed Rundsfjellet just south of Lyngseidet. The calm sea refected the mountains opposite of the Lyngen fjord. Unreal. The light, sugary snow made for some great shots in the evening sun we got into the open forest.

The next morning we welcomed our friends on board of the ferry to Olderdalen. They took us to a quiet island named Kagen. The stunning view from these mountain tops reaches out across the waters of the Northern Atlantic. We avoid commenting on snow conditions.

What’s next? We had already seen so beautiful places … but there’s one thing missing: the full alpine adventure. Lyngen does offer that, too. Indeed, we hadn’t collected any “hell points” yet – although we had earned several points on Norwegian food traditions. Stockfish, Fiskeboller and Karamelskecheese scored high!
So, we got a reasonably early start – Norwegian style. We cruised along the frozen Jaegervatnet and then headed up towards Trollbreen. The couloir appeared and there was no holding back, thus soon we topped out at one of Lyngen’s most iconic peaks. After this day, we had really earned the turns and deserved the relaxing sauna. However, for some of us the relaxing just had a medical purpose, as another day brings another trip …
Day six took us up the very steep southern flank of Sofiatinden. An incredible run to conclude a marvellous week.

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Across the rooftop: Verstanclahorn – Silvretta


- “Mit alles und scharf, bitte.”
– “Voilà !”

It’s tough to be the fourth – just not making it up to the winners’ stage.
It’s a little sad to not stand out from the crowd – despite a really good performance.

But that’s not fair, only in height he comes after Piz Linard, Fluchthorn and Piz Buin.

The Verstanclahorn truly is a big boy.
His majesty sits enthroned at the end of long valleys.
Around his crown chunks of solid gneis sparkle in the sun.

During summer climbers seldomly indulge their passion and put up with the approach.
But spring seems to be the season when the appraoch is fast and snow between the rocks carries our weight.
Check out the view from our rooftop!
Our tracks may be gone, but there’s a topo to download.

Scuol – Zuort – Samaun


Mit dem Women’s Tourchase unterwegs in einer einsamen, idyllischen Ecke der Silvretta!

Spannende Abfahrten – im Firn – mit Seil – und schwups im Bach
Verwinkelte Anstiege durch wilde Talkessel – mit Harscheisen – im Strum – im schönsten Sonnenschein
Gemütliche Abende in Zuort - nach der Sauna – am Kamin – bei Engadiner Spezialitäten

Ein rundum gelungenes Wochenende! Danke!



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Arête du Petit Belvédère


The cabin shakes in the storm.
No cry of suprise when passing a mast.
In the passengers’ faces you see worry, maybe even fear.

Are we going to climb?

We lay in waiting as the weather conditions did not allow playing at the big mountains.
Now we’re keen to get out, touch the granite, hit the ice and feel the elements.
Just a day ago we practiced rope maneuvers and dry-tooled rock pitches.
Now we are right in the fleeting foehn winds up on Grands Montets.

Feeling in shape on our crampons.
Somewhat crusing the pitches along the ridge.
Almost enjoying the forces of nature are at work.

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Tourchase – Flow and Spray


A trip of extremes: sunshine and fog, slush and powder, showers and sweat

A memorable trip in the spring-ish Silvretta range. “Decent” snow was hard to find, and similarily Italian coffee. We did our best to find both. Pictures prove we got some sweet turns in, but in search for “proper” coffee we had to rely on our own skills – best of all McGyver Jeroen.

But thats not all, our borders balanced plenty of switchbacks, mastered a couple of challenging traverses and finally began to”really like skiing”. I mean the downhill version. The skiers also suffered, though in a different way. Blisters and aching feet were their challenge. The evenings let forget the diurnal pain. While the risotto simmered under the sharp eyes of the cooking lawyer, the director called for “Toepen” and the “Bunter Abend” began to pick up drive – finally revealing some secret acting talents.

Thank you guys, you were great. And who still believes you were not up for that kind of trip, did not see the “switchback queen” saving her orange to the very moment: back at the parking.

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Silvretta Skitouring Adventure


Endurance athletes love doing the balance, here comes our:
3 days
3400 Uphill-meters
7100 Downhill-meters
2800 Untracked-downhill-meters

Das Setting oder der Samstag:
Gestern war die Lawinengefahr “gross”. Es gingen zwei Tage unglaublicher Lawinenaktivität voran.
Wir verabschieden uns von Bahn- und Busfahrer und ziehen los. Die Einsamkeit hat uns. Über die Seelücke geht’s hinauf in Richtung Seehörner. Der Blick nach Süden offenbart uns die Dramatik der letzen beiden Tage: “An manchem Berg ist fast jeder Hang unten.” Über den weiten Gletscher fegen wir hinab ins Seetäli, wo unverspurte Hänge in der Abendsonne glitzern. Am Abend köchelt Risotto ai finocchio im Topf und so können wir uns im warmen Stübchen erholen.

Der Plan oder der Sonntag:
Eine Runde wäre eine runde Sache. Gesagt getan. Auf nach Klosters. Der Triebschnee hatte nun schon zwei Tage Zeit sich zu setzen, oder runter zu rutschen. Dem Altschnee gehen wir mit Respekt aus dem Weg. Steile Südhänge hoch, kleine Schattenhänge runter. Das ganze zweimal. Zwischendrin üben wir uns in gehöriger Schneekraxelei an den Seenadlen und schliesslich zum Gipfel des Chessispitz hinauf. Von dort aus geniessen wir 1000 Meter Pulverschnee. Da die Schiebepassage – bis zum Rivella in Schlappin – in die Oberarme ging, waxen wir am Abend die Ski.

Das Finale am Montag:
“Selbst der beste Arbeitstag kann einen freien Tag nicht schlagen.” Stimmt. Ganz frei sind wir aber nicht, denn das Ziel heisst Montafu’! Das gute ist, der Plan lässt Luft zum Durchschnaufen – was will man schon anderes machen hier oben zwischen Schnee und Sonne? Spätestens beim zweiten Anstieg schnaufe ich richtig. Bernhard schaut immer noch völig “cool” aus seiner Goretex Hülle. Also geht er ein bisschen voran. Danke! Den dritten Anstieg nehmen wir direkt, denn die Sonne neigt sich schon etwas dem Horizont. Mit Port’O’Biren geht’s leichter und so sehen wir schon bald die Liftstationen der (einst russischen?) Skidestination Gortipohl. Dank dem Kunstschnee erreichen wir den Talboden des Montafu’.  Und dann sagt Isabell: “Ich dachte schon, ich würde nie wieder Skitouren gehen”. Wie sie das nun meint? Bei Pizza und Espresso erklärt sie, dass diese Tour Lust auf mehr gemacht hat. Mir geht’s da genauso, von A nach B und B nach C durch luftig, lockeren Schnee schwingen ist ein Geschenk.


Alpinisme dans le Massif des Ecrins


Resümée einer fast strahend blauen Woche im Parc National des Ecrins.
Beachtliches haben wir versucht.
Vieles ist uns gelungen.
Einiges haben wir dazugelernt.
Dennoch blieben manche Fragen offen …
Wie wird Gendoping den Bergsport verändern?
Wird man durch die Forschung mehr Antworten oder Fragen erhalten?
Braucht man in Zukunft schärfere Pickel oder erübrigt sich das vor dem Hintergrund des Klimawandels?

Nach zwei, statt einem geplanten Vorbereitungstag, starteten wir eine Rundtour von La Berarde aus, die uns zum Refuge Chatelleret und zum Refuge du Pavé führte. Kurz gesagt: hanebüchne Wirte auf der Chatelleret, griawige Abendstimmung auf der Pavé. Als Übergänge dienten uns das Col du Pavé und der Pic Nord des Cavales. Kurz gesagt war von eisig bis felsig und von engagiert bis bärig alles geboten.