Start of a new adventure
This summer my curiosity of adventure climbing started in Chamonix. After doing an alpine ridge traverse at the Aiguille du Midi with two experienced friends, I knew it for sure: Climbing without bolts, but with nuts and camalots is awesome!! It feels way more satisfying while climbing, and more natural. This summer the lack of knowledge about climbing with this sort of gear made me hold back many times climbing epic alpine routes. Time for change! Coming year I want to learn as much as possible about trad-climbing. This is the cause of the exploring: I don't want anything to hold me back while climbing routes :) The picture below is of the Cosmique Ridge, at the Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix(AD+).
Living in the Netherlands
First of all: Living in the Netherlands sucks as a climber! This is the reason why you can find us most of the time in foreign countries during the weekends. I'm the organizer of climbing weekends at the local association in the east of the Netherlands. This year we organized 18 weekends, all in Germany, Belgium, spain, and ofcourse the Alpes. First weekend of the new year: Ettringen! This climbing area is famous for the crackclimbing, and the trad-climbing. We couldn't find any available instructors, so we just went to Ettringen with some good friends that we know from the association.
When we arrived we weren't sure if we arrived on the right place. Is this Germany, or fucking heaven? Is this real life? It felt like we walked right into a fairy tail. Walking in grassland, and suddenly there is a gigantic hole in the ground, with those perfect genius lines.
On the first day we started with trying easy lines, starting with (German grade) 4's and 5's, and also a few 6's. After a few routes the cam placement was almost perfect, and thanks to this we had time left to focus on badass lines.
Me, toproping after a long and tiring, but inspiring day. Wearing the Kailas climbing pants which I won with the I love climbing competition. Best pants ever!
After a long day we arrived at our camping ground. Fortunately we could make some great campfire, alongside the greatest reward for all climbers after a long day: An ice-cold beer with some whiskey.
Last day in paradise
The second day we woke up with a slight headache, but the scrumbled egg changed it all. After some refreshing Tai Chi (recommended for all climbers) we left for already our final day in Ettringen. We felt more confident than the first day with cracks and after a short search we found a superb crack, just besides a meadow.
Unfortunately, there was a paper on a tree, telling us for some reason a few climbers fell down here while placing trad-climbing gear, due to slippery rock. So, today was going to be a sports-climbing day! After looking around we found some superb lines, and ascended them.
Our happy faces after two great days of climbing. The best thing that happen during climbing trips is that you are living in THIS moment. You don't have to think about tomorrow or yesterday, but just about being. No worries, enjoying being with friends, and ofcourse, climbing all day, living your own little happy world without problems. Hopefully we will be back soon in Ettringen. After our weekend I had the urge to write this story down, because I think it is sad that when memories go lost, so do the adventures that are buried in those memories. This weekend is the beginning of a big adventurous road, and I hope you choose to take this road as well :)
Cheers, Addicted-passionated-loving Jelmer.