Ötztal Sessions

In the past view weeks spring has finally arrived here in Austria, the cold and snow has vanished of our valley grounds, uncovering the near by blocs in the Ötztal from their hibernation... I personally love winter for all it's beauty and pleasures it offers here in the center of the Alps, hiking up the mountains and ride powder really can catch up with climbing that's for sure! But at the same time I can't wait to escape the crowded and dusty gyms and go climb for real again as soon as the local crags are on.

It all started a couple weeks ago when I headed out of office on a friday afternoon to go and meet some friends at Tumpen Bloc for a quick session. It's the bigger one of the two major areas in the valley and thanks to some highly motivated and creative young guns and locals there's always something new to try. This time Flo Schmalzl has digged out and First Ascended another gem called "The drunken Master" (8A), a big line that sit starts in a small cave and tops out at about 5 meters off the deck, 15 moves of brilliant climbing! When I got there only one of my mates Flo Murnig was still there but the man is a beast and brought 3(!!) crashpads just by himself! So it would be padded nicely.... I warmed up quickly then tried another bloc called "Am Wasser gebaut" (7C+), a cool roof-climb with tiny crimps and a weird swing at the lip! I was able to hold it tight and top that one out, fingers where more than warm and psyche was high.
Flo just did The drunken Master earlier that day and had some nice beta to offer! With 15 moves it still took me a while to get everything dialed but when the puzzle seemed solved, I gave it a rest, cooled down my tips and gave the rig a try... The moves felt fluid and everything clicked perfectly, Flo gave me a good spot and motivating shouts and moments later I stood atop of the boulder... Infected with that bouldering virus once again!!! ;)

The drunken Master 8A

Soon after that motivating session I went to check out the other area in the valley, the Sherwood Forest. It was my first visit and so much fun to have so many new boulders to get on! The blocs are really close to each other so you just drag your pad from bloc to bloc and climb climb climb.... We did a lot of bouldering that day and also set eye on two cool lines there: One of them is a traverse on really polished granite with some bad slopers and moves that require a lot of feeling... It's called "Das Individuum" (somewhere in the 8A/B range, it's hard to grade!). The other one is just around the corner and marks the highest line of the area, really eye-catching and still a project... Both where cleaned by local ace Bernie, who did the FA of Individuum  and many of the other hard lines there.... respect!!!

FA of Robin Hood 8A

Those two boulders really got me hooked. Bernie was keen that I got on the project so I brought a rope the other day, cleaned the topout and figured out the moves.... After struggling at first I found a really cool sequence for the tricky crux, with some crazy heelhooks and toehooks..... Dam I was on fire! I pulled off the rope and immediately started trying it from the ground... It's quite high, the lip is at 5 meters I would say but the landing is good. I took some falls that first day and realized it's no problem.
I was back on it a couple days later, racing away from work, psyched to get on it again! This time I was well rested, cleaned the mantle once again, did the crux a couple times, pulled the rope and it went down first try..... What a boulder, Bernie was there too and he said he always wanted that proud one to be named Robin Hood when it's finally climbed, so that's what we named it then.... Big moves, cool moves a proud line! Around 8A I think but others should tell! Thanks to Tobi for a good spot ;)

After Robin Hood I put my focus on the Individuum and two days ago I was able to "Feel" through the crux moves and topped it out as well (thanx to Boulderschof for the spot!)..... Good times!  

The Sherwood - ascents were caught on film and below is a little clip of the action, enjoy!


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