Saturday, August 03, 2013

Sport Climbing in Grindelwald

We had to catch a train to Zurich at 2:30 p.m. so, after breakfast, we had at most five hours and with some errands and a final shower, more like 3-4 hours. Homie had found a sport climbing place during our day of rain and I photographed the relevant pages out of a Spanish guy's guidebook. He was staying at the hostel with another guy and a woman who could speak English. We struck up a little friendship as they were headed up the Eiger. We even shared a room with them one night. Anyway, I now had the guidebook in my phone!

We hiked the 2.5 kilometers over to the cliff and found one team of two guys and a man and women team. We chose a climb between them. This cliff was naturally divided into three tiers. In general, each tier got steeper and harder. Homie led the first pitch, which was rated 3b. I led the next pitch, a 5c+, and then I led the pitch on the upper tier at 5c, which felt much harder than the 5c+ and Homie concurred as it was the only pitch where he came off. We rapped back to the bottom of the top tier and I led another 5c and this felt about right, compared to the original 5c+, but the first 5c must have been at least 6a or 6a+. We rapped the top tier and then the middle tier and I TRed a 5b pitch before we finished rapping to the ground and heading back to the hostel.

After a quick shower, lunch, and final packing, we headed to the train station. We rode a train from Grund up the hill to Grindelwald where we changed trains to ride to Interlaken Ost. We changed trains there to get a train to Bern and did out final change there to get to the Zurich airport. I had booked us a room in the Holiday Inn Express there, hoping to ease our transition back to America. We fly out of Zurich tomorrow at 11:40 a.m. 

It has been a great trip. It wasn't all that I had planned, since we cancelled the planned trip to the Dolomites, but I was okay with that. They are really very different mountains. Here, it is more alpine climbing. There is it more pure rock climbing. Homie is more of a mountaineer/alpinist than a rock climber, so this was a good choice. Homie has been a stellar partner. He is easy going, has the same attitude and preferences about food, and is always motivated to do another mountain. We've been together nearly 24 hours a day, every day, and have not had a single conflict, not a single harsh word. He's frequently been our navigator and my cash bank. I hope we have many more trips in our future...

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