It basically works like this. Routes are graded A-G, where in reality A is a path with a rope, E is "extreme" which basically means up to French 6a but this can be in an Alpine situation or a 1000m face, where a fall could be very serious indeed. As for G... well we didn't get that far, and there is nothing harder than E/F in Austria.
|The Klettersteig Guidance!|
|Waking up to sunshine|
It was then quickly on the road down to the far south east of Germany, to Konigssee, for our first Klettersteig experience and a lovely hour long boat ride to Obersee. Where you get to see a guy dressed in Lederhosen play a mini trumpet to the mountain... and the mountain plays back Yes Germany!
|Jen not containing her smile!|
|Getting started on the first hard stuff.... still having a blast!|
|Exposure creeping up|
|Yes, as fun as it looks...|
|Obersee, Jen's take on the classic boat house shot|
Austria was calling, so after some confusion with the toll system, (YES you need to pay tolls in Austria and NO there isn't any booths or much warning, you just need to know and get a sticker for 9eur a week), we head down to Hallstatt.
|Hallstatt - thanks wikipedia!|
|Echernwand in the background|
Having driven down during the day, we made a speedy afternoon of the short but steep Echernwand. This was super fun, other than the "Panorama leiter".. which is basically a ladder overhanging over the edge of the cliff. Jen loved it. I shat myself.
|Starting up the Echernwand (or should that be Urchin Wand?)|
|Jen definitely not taking Via Ferrata seriously.....|
|Can you see the whites of my knuckles? This I did not like.|
|Amazing views of the Hallstatt and Dachstein range in the background|
|Happier to be back on Rock (and Iron)|
After a crazy night of red wine and cards (plus a couple of spectacular thunderstorms), we were ready for a bigger challenge....
|Who needs Berlin Clubbing?|
Keen to attempt something more Alpine we head over to Krippenstein Nordwand, which is 2100m, and in May still very much covered in snow.
|Oscar and Jen with the Krippenstein in the far background|
The only way up this time of year is by cable car. It was getting pretty obvious that it was too early in the year to be trying this.... but someone was too excited!
|Snow Fields below Krippenstien, and Jen's first Gondala ride!|
|Wondering if the Blizzard, and Snow Fields can be navigated through...|
|Left - way in totally covered in snow, so we downclimbed the hard route...|
|The long and exposed traverse across the bottom of the north face|
|Here's where it goes up... can you spot the ladder? 400m of gently overhanging north face klettersteig|
|Half way up the Krippenstein|
|Enjoying the Metal Pokey Rods. Not too hard but stamina needed!|
|Back on the tourist route!|
Proud, we treated ourselves to a visit to the Eishöhle - really impressive ice cave!
|Away from the tourists, south of the Dachstein|
|Jen showing her moves in the Silberklamm|
|Still not quite adhering to the Official Austrian Guidance for Safe Klettersteig|
After the alpine day before, the routes were almost a bit tame, despite climbing the infamous "Rosina" which is basically a 400m vertical ladder. Very easy if you can hang on for that long, one handed moving over all the cables, and I am sure very tiring if you can't!
|The awesome Vertical Ladder pitch of Rosina|
|The third of three Klettersteigs, hidden at the top of the Gorge|
After some debate as to what to do next, we eventually settled on a rest day. It was windy and a storm was brewing after all.... A visit to the local Therme and wander around some of the local sport crags, debating whether trying an 8 pitch 6- with 1x30m rope, 1xBelay device, and some quickdraws, while absolutely knackered... was a sensible idea or not.... nah.
The day after, it was back to Hallstatt for a 4 hour epic tour of the Salt Mine. No photos unfortunately but just to say it was super cool. We did the non-tourist extended tour...
And with the final weekend coming up I couldn't resist.... 2 days in the Franken! As it turned out it was the Marmot Kletterfestival. So after crushing some 8-'s at Verte Dimension, we head over to join the Freibad, Fun, and DWS Competition....
|Nice weekend for the Kletterfest!|
|Jen hoping to catch a glimpse of Alex Megos' abs (who unsuprisingly won the competition)|
So after another amazing week in the Van, reality felt like a vague blur. It was time to come home, feed the bunnies, and sleep in a normal bed again....