Sunday, 23 April 2017

Early Season Van Tours

Last year I didn't do a very good job of blogging. There's two reasons for that, 1) we were having waay to much fun and that plus the mountain of organizational (paperwork) and other such international affairs meant little time. 2) we spent a lot of time in Frankenjura, which is haaarrrd to photograph, as it's all in beautiful forests, but  armed with a new 180deg Fisheye lens, this year will be different!

Armed with a new Fisheye in the Czech Republic

We started the year with a visit over the Czech border (with Jen's friend Nick), to Pravčická brána, a beautiful sandstone arch just over the border. Despite some initial "fun" with the police in both directions, and running out of coolant halfway up the mountain it was a really peaceful weekend.

The famous arch... packed with tourists over summer

I had underestimated quite how much snow would still be on the ground in February, despite it all being gone in Berlin. There was a lot of snow bashing and slipping and sliding, but on the otherhand a usually-packed tourist destination was left all to ourselves!

Jen going for an early season dip.....

opting to keep my feet dry....

We were rewarded with a beautiful sunset at around 3pm

In March, Jen, Bubbles and I headed out to the Harz for the weekend, which is only just over 2 hours from Berlin, for a couple of days walking and exploring the Bodetal Gorge. This time the snow was off the ground and it was great walking temps.

Jen happy with our new Van Guest....
Bodetal Gorge
Harz isn't far from civilisation but feels remote very quickly. We were too scared to venture in to the big town!

A few blustery weekends and a visit to the UK (Cheddar! Portland!!) with the boys kept us out of the van for a while. However we had a great visit to the Spreewald, a UNESCO world heritage site only 1.5 hours from Berlin. It was supposed to be a bike ride, however halfway round with a puncture and it turned in to a lovely sunny walk.

Exploring the market town of Lubbenau
Hot and Sunny start to April!

The closest thing to a Tufa in the Spreewald

Easter came around eventually and this meant...... Frankenjura!!!! I was excited, can you tell? The weather was unsettled to say the least, and most sensible people would have avoided a 4 hour drive. We are not sensible people.

Risking the long drive in hope of some dry rock...

We were rewarded however with some sunshine amongst the clouds, and the countryside is just beautiful. It would have been worth getting out even without the climbing. We did climb however, and got 3 days of great mid-level mileage under our belts. Nice to get some sends in before warmer days allow for projecting!

Still not over the water tank problem.... but great to be in the countryside

Some warm and dry rock

A visit to Wildpark near Plech

"do not handfeed the animals" (don't worry, they are allowed the food)

Jen making friends

Amazing bivvy spots tucked deep in the Krottenseer forest

A huge suprise on Easter Monday was waking up to a bright light shining through the van. I had heard the patter of rain stop at about midnight, so thought we were in for a bright and dry day... Nope. As it turned out the patter had stopped as snow started to settle on the roof, and we woke up to a blizzard! No climbing today, but at least we kept the winter tyres on and could escape the hillside!

Waking up to a suprise!

Home time.....


Hetzendorfer Wand
7- (6a+) Schwester Fuck
7- Bruder Tuck
7 (6b/+) Robin Hood
7+ (6c) Ninja Turtle (RP)
7+ Tanz Der Teufel (Jen)
7+ Unnamed
6 (5c) Vogelwild Jon did not finish!!! ;-)

Schoene Aussicht
7 (6b+) Schoene Absicht

Betzenstiener Sportkletterwand
7- (6a+) Abstauber
Tried some harder stuff....

Grune Hoelle
8- (6c+) Solid Rock (RP)

Neue Heimat
5+ (5b) Franken plaisir
7- (6b) Kaum Zeit Zum Furchten
8- (6c+) Neue Heimat * (RP)

Next up? A whole May week in the Frankenjura, fingers crossed for the sunshine!

No comments:

Post a Comment