Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Frankenjura 2013

Welcome readers, time for an update from the Jura from our spring trip. Well it would be fair to say that the crags were a bit wet to say the least but we made the best of it and traded in our dreamt of projects for some 1 and 2 star material which was dry and probably almost as good as the stuff we meant to get on. We had an abortive visit to the southern crags where we had planned to get on, amongst others, Hercules, a superclassic 7c at Barenschlucht, and maybe Nightmare, an amazing 8b with an infamous clip off a mono. However, a deluge of rain and seeping crags put paid to that plan and scarcely had the tent been pitched at the deserted campsite when it was taken down and we had bailed back up to our base in the north. 

The crags in the north of the Jura are relatively unsung but boast some pretty high calibre climbs with such lines as Nikita, the standout 8a+ classic and the brutal Raise the Roof, an 8b+ which could not be much steeper! Unfortunately, most of these climbs were seeping but the lads managed to get up a few 8a's and 8a+'s at Holzgauerwand, where Nikita is located, despite the odd spoogey pocket (make that most pockets!!)

For my part, I managed to get up Infiziert, a nice 9+ or 8a at Rolandfels that consisted of a sustained wall on crimps and small pockets leading to a wet crux crimp and shakeout jug. From there the style changed to some awkward pull of slopers and strange pockets leading to the loweroff. Quite a few redpoints were expended on this section resulting in some exciting whippers!

Ethan on Nullkommanix 8a+ (Rolandfels)

We had a rather character building doss in the cave at this crag on a bed of leaves living the true outdoor life! The morning brew sure tasted good made with water hulked up the hill from the nearby river.

The saving grace of the trip was definitely a sunny wall called Kuhkirchnerwand near a charming village called Loch. This crag was dry and south facing but the flip side was that it was hot as hell in the sun and pretty busy at weekends to boot.

Crag scene at Kuhkirchnerwand, Loch

The popular steep 8a+ of Primeur de Luxe that saw sends from Ed and Ethan seemed to often have queues but thankfully it was so steep that people were not on it for long.

Ethan on Primeur de Luxe 8a+ (or 10-)

I went for a bouldery number called Fingerfood 10- (or 8a+). This had a Rubicon style crux right off the deck which was probably V8 involving pulling on a tiny tooth and then rocking onto it to gain a shakeout jug. The final 4 bolts were probably 7b+ or 7c with some intense pulls on small crimps and pockets.

Fingerfood 8a+ (or 10-)

Sam and I indulged in the Wolfgang Gullich classic crack of Heinzin 8 just to the left, originally climbed on trad I believe that gave an exercise in technical bridging with some jug pulling and rattly finger jams to boot, awesome!

Heinzin 8 (or 7a)

Another good find was the microcrag of Andeltodrom, which is randomly located in the middle of some dense woods and rather difficult to find with the limited (to say the least!) descriptions in the Extreme Frankejura Select guide. The crag is tilted at 45 degreees for 30 feet and climbing on it is like going up a giant woodie. Hakuma Madada is the route of the crag at a stout 7c on some tasty pockets, and saw several flashes.  

We had a couple of nights out to nearby Bamberg to sample the infamous weissbier, which at 2 Euros a pint is hard to quibble with! Snitzel was duly sampled along with the ubiquitous sauerkraut. Drinking and hard sending don't tend to mix, funnily enough, but luckily there is a place for both on any well balanced trip.

To sum up, to borrow a quote from Dosage III, whenever the season was, it was not now! We had a blast, didn't we boys!!

Sam on Stalingrad 7b+

Ed on SMS 8a+


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