Excalibur on Masha’s b-day

12 July marked b-day of Masha. We agreed to go climbing. It took some time to decide on the goal, but we went for the option of relatively easy day to be able to have cake and drinks in the evening with bunch of Masha’s friends… kinda… as things did not go as planned :D.

We left Zurich on Wed after work, got to the camping spot under Wendenstöcke. It’s actually pretty funny, as usually for this kind of small mountain roads you need to pay a small fee to drive. Funny part is that 1day costs 10chf, a week 20chf and an annual pass 40chf. We still went for a day ;-).

I got a beer, prepared some pasta for breakfast and went to sleep. We calculated again. 2h for approach, 5-6h climbing (450m I think), 1.5h rappels and 2h for descent. Great.

We woke up early, ate and got to the base of the climb quite quickly, all within the climb, there was a party climbing a harder route before us, and since the first two pitches went together we needed to wait around 30min. Not too bad. We got up, Masha lead the first relatively scary pitch, I got the second, equally scary. When we started the actually route it didn’t get easier. We were making progress, a steady progress but relatively slow… well, it felt a bit harder then 6b. We finished the route I think in 8h. It was 10pitches and 330m plus 2 pitches “on the approach”. Only later I saw that in the German Topoguide guidebook it’s rated as VIII-.

That was only the beginning of an adventure. I did a first rap in a completely wrong way, so it took quite a while to communicate with Masha and get us both on the proper belay. Then the rope would not get down, we actually had to climb up to get the rope down twice. Overall rappels took us somewhat around 3h. Oh, and I almost forgot… I dropped my ATC, so needed to rap with Italian hitch – fortunately I have my own patents on how to do that with not that much hassle.

We got to the base at 9pm. Really quick packing and fortunately we were able to get through the most horrible part of the descent while it was still light. BTW, did I mentioned that Masha’s guests were to arrive at 9pm ? We managed to notify some of them before Masha’s phone died.

Got to the car around 11pm. ate a bit, and drove home. Obviously on the way I got distracted and didn’t notice a speed limit sign, that 12km over the limit costed us 160chf. I still think the climb was worth it.

A wonderful Thursday !

Happy Birthday Masha !

Photos. Strava from approach – it’s btw pretty brutal you get almost 700m over 2.5km.

And Masha’s story.

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