Adventures must be done!

Climbing and Canyoning at the Weissenstein (14th Oct 2007)

Team: Andy, Marcel, Andrea, Joerg

The last promising autumn days had to be used for some more outdoor climbing.
I reckon it must have Marcel's third time he climbed at this place and my second for sure. We were stunned by the fact that we could not really remember what the path to the start of the climb looked like and indeed, we hit a dead end, as usual, but were able to correct for this in a timely manner.

This would have been just the day for 'white sky' spectrodirectional measurements: thick fog clung to the mountain side, visibility was about one length of a pitch. We started in two teams, I led the first pitch and noted the coldness of the rock, but this got better after we got a bit warmed up.

Pine trees in the mist

Marcel focusing on rope handling.

Andrea climbing on a ridge with the unknown below her.

Joerg having fun while belaying Andrea.

The crux of the route was of grade 5c/b and I had the chance to lead it. I was mightily pleased with myself at getting to the top without too much hassle, although I once held onto a quickdrawer, but I figured that this was no style contest ....
The gain in altitude was directly proportional to the increase in direct solar irradiation and we managed to get a glimpse of the solar disk above us in the sky, still fairly diffuse. By the time we got to the end of the route the sun had finally made it and revealed a stunning, sheer cliff to the left of us.

Cliff as seen from the end of the route.

The route took just about 3 hours, even a bit shorter than planned.
Our short lunch was followed by a steep ascent through a colourful autumn forest.

The team ascending towards a trail.

We then split up into two teams; Joerg and Andrea returned to their car while Marcel and I chose to descend through the canyon.
The little rivulet feeding the canyon with water during rain events was completely dried out and we thus avoided getting wet, a welcome fact as the temperatures were not that gorgeous anymore.

Me rappelling at the first drop.

This was Marcel's first real introduction into canyoning rope techniques and he seemed very much impressed by the efficient handling.

Marcel checking the setup before rappelling.

Me at the 30m+ abseil. Not as exciting as the first time, but still pretty cool ....

The canyoning took a good 3 hours to complete, thus we had a full day of adventures. I figure that bigger groups would take considerably longer, this should be taken into consideration when planning another outing with more people joining the canyon session.

Sunset near Ruettenen.

Pinut VF (6.10. 2007)

Team: Anna, Yves, Andy

The Pinut via ferrata near Flims is apparently the oldest in Switzerland with first references to a very steep path leading up to the Pinut pastures dating back to the mid 18th century. It was a hundred years ago that some guys realized the potential for the tourism and fitted the route with some iron stairs. The Pinut via ferrata has been recently totally redone including new fixed cables providing a very secure via ferrata experience.
It was Yves first 'Klettersteig' and we chose the Pinut because it is well protected and of an easy grade. In contrast to the very sunny Friday today was overcast and when we arrived in Flims a light rain was falling. This was all not too inspiring, nonetheless we made our way up to the entry point, just taking enough time along the way to read a sign stating :' .... do not blindly trust the cables and ladders ....!'

"Golly, how can you not trust a ladder when you gotta climb it!?!"
'You need to stay critical towards ladders, mate!'

Historical via ferrata 'Pinut'.

Any potential view was obstructed by heavy fog and it was not until the very few last metres that we caught a first glimpse of the wall. Time to gear up!

The team ready to head into the misty unknowns

Yves at the start of the VF Pinut with some rock pillar looming above in the mist.

It did not take long to loose sight of the ground due to the thick fog. This was certainly a bit of a drawback as some passages were just not really scary ...

An airy pathway

The first cliff was followed by a forested terrain, the 'Pinut' parcel. Here we found natural arrangements of colourful autumn leaves.

Arrangement of Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) leaves

Beech (Fagus) tree with golden autumn leaves

Dew drops on a grass blade

All the time we had the feeling that the sun was getting stronger and just when arriving at the foot of the third and last cliff we got into sunshine!

Yves and Anna at the start of the last cliff

The joy was however short lived as new ranks of mist closed the gaps and the sun was obscured again. A further ascent across alpine pastures led up to 2050m asl (Alp Staffel Sut) where we got some more sunshine and a fresh wind refreshed us after all that sweaty toil up the mountain.
A hiking trail led down to Bargis where we had enough time to sample some local beer in two varieties: lager and dark. The dark one had an unusual, somewhat bland taste while the lager was generally better but I associated the smell with a milk like odour with a bit of a cow shed tang added to it. It made us however immensely tired and relaxed!

Wrap up: a good excursion under cloudy, foggy conditions that added a lot to the atmosphere.