3 March 2008

Tyrannosaurus Pecks

After Saas Fee we were on a bit of a downer. The weather had got hot and the ice was finished which meant that 'Dry'lands was probably out as it is one of those locations that seeps a lot and probably needs to be frozen for the rock to be at it's strongest. Law and Order? as far as I know that is one route in a cave with long term project written all over it. Back to Uschinen? my knowledge of euro dry-tooling was running dry. The best option was to bring forward our meeting with the Zoo.

What a result. The Zoo is awsome; a big steep crag with 20+ dry-tooling routes giving us plenty to go at. We have run in to some problems though; apart from the two routes that we were told were the warm ups it all seems a bit 'ard. Not many fig4s are used as the crag is steep but not horizontal so deep lock offs are the order of the day (bring your biceps). Then if you can see the next drilled hold, yes drilled (about 75% of the holds are drilled) you know the next move is a reach up to a stein pull with a scary transition on to the upside down axe followed by some brutal pulling with the axe head by your feet.

The crag has been equiped by Jeff Mercier, Boris Bihler and Eric Doizeau, these guys have done a brilliant job and must have put a shit load of effort in to make it what it is know. A topo can be found in: cascades de glace, du mont Blanc au Leman (book 2) although there are already some new routes not in the guide (I hope to add that info here soon). One oddity is the animal theme for the route names, each route has a animal (plastic) screwed to the start! strange enough, but there are 4 dinosaurs!!! so, if you pay this crag a visit you had better be able to spot the difference between a Lamarasaurus, an [allo] Allosaurus and a MadeinChinasaur.

P.S. Hastons for a weekend break than back to the Zoo (photo Kat)

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