22 February 2009

Lukasz Warzecha Images


Busteni Photographs

Some of the awesome photos Lukasz took at the Saas Fee competition

latest holiday round up

Day 1
Kiental - The Tuba pillar looked good from the front until ...... "you want to climb THAT?"

Day 2
Kiental - Elvis; I did not finish the top roof but then did do better with a flash of the RH start to Cabron.

This is a view of Kiental from the approach 'road'. The right hand line of continuous ice is In der wurze.... and the line to the left of that is Edel and Stark.

Pete or! Stu on Namenlos (no. 14) Photo Dennis Van Hoek

Dennis on 'No bolt no way'

Day 3
Kiental - In der wurze liegt die kurze (number 20 in the guide 'Hot ice cold rock')

Day 4
loaaaaads of snow

Day 5
Buy a shovel. Dig out Swiss. Climb Edel and Stark.

Day 6
Kiental - Back to the roots.

A brilliant little route culminating with some fine loam and a few roots (and that was just in my pants) OS. Photo Ramon Marin

Lucky Day 7
Oeschinensee - Kraftort and Kraftwerk

Photo Ramon Marin

Thanks to Markus for sharing some local beta with us.

Day 8
Back to the beginning: Oeschinenwald - Grimm/Haizafine

Good climbing with the unusual luxury of nice hooks. Photo Ramon Marin

The team (snowed in for day 9)

and thats the view from the SECOND floor window

21 February 2009

New (ish) Routing

The creator of this new line working the moves before getting the second ascent!! luckily he gave me the beta so i could get the third. Kraftort.

And the huge pillar? Kraftwerk: FA Ramon Marin

Photo Markus Stoffer

It doesn't get much better than this.....

Photo Ramon Marin

A 70m rope will get you back to Earth (photo Ramon Marin)

17 February 2009


The RH start to Cabron (photo Ramon Marin)

We have been spending quite a lot of time here over the last few days partly because a lot of snow has fallen recently that has put some of our target routes out of bounds but mainly because it is a brilliant venue. Lots of steep ice routes and mixed lines that are not steep like Uschinen but have an 'out there' feel to them. Great fun.

Ramons rp of pitch 1 of the full on route "Edel and Stark"

me contemplating the high step to start the os solo on pitch 2 (photo Ramon Marin)

12 February 2009


As someone who has only visited Western Europe and North America Romania is, as one Romanian described it “untidy”.

To get here we decided, last minute, to drive from Switzerland via Germany, Austria and Hungary the route taking us on good roads all of the way. Hungary has an excellent motorway running east - west past Budapest, we cruised east along it until reaching the border and Romania's single lane, lorry transporting roads. From then on the journey got interesting, actually just a hastle to begin with, as we arrived at the border in the middle of the night and had to contend with fog and lorrys on the windy road. I say we but Matt drove all of the way out – good effort!

After passing new industrial units and ruined factories from a past era driving conditions improved a bit with the arrival of daylight but then it became apparent that lots of people die on the Romanian roads probably mainly due to the very brave overtaking manouvers. We also started to see villages spaced along the road every couple of miles, small concrete block houses planted close together, maybe from mediaeval roots or a much more recent creation? what ever their origins the villages didn't seem to house many cars or young people.

Eventually we did arrive at Busteni and received a totally helpful reception despite me lumbering the BMC and therefore Club Alpine Romania with my late entry application then registering and booking a room for Malc and Lukasz who were snowed in to the UK! Everyone has been friendly and worked hard to run the event for their guests even if the comp timetable evolved at its own relaxed rate!

Good fireworks that were improved by being fired from very close to the crowd. The sweet bar-b-qued doughnut tube things.
A quick guided tour of Brasov including the old town, climbing gear shops and Pti's climbing wall (in an old rocket factory) where he is getting strong for bouldering and the ice comps. Thanks Pti.


As I slowly came round to the idea of taking part in my first climbing competition at Val di Daone I had no expectations about what positon I would finish so wouldn't have felt pissed off if I didn't qualify. Now ....... after climbing myself to the highest place not to qualify at Busteni (Romania) that is exactly how i feel!!

part of the good structure at a warm Busteni ice climbing competition

Val di Daone was a lucky result for me.
Saas Fee would have been better if I didn't have a cold (I like to think).
On reflection this comp was more speed climbing orientated than the other two events holds were positive and the moves not too technical. After my climb I watched a video of myself then saw the other competitors climb and it was obvious that I had climbed too slowly. So I planned to climb faster in the semi finals, only I didn't have the luxury of getting in to the semis. Next year? (if my shoulder wants to compete)

Markus Bendler on the way to a clean sweep - winning all three rounds of the UIAA ice climbing world cup.

2 February 2009

Kandersteg part 1

Sunday - Arbonium
Ramon and I traveled from Saas Fee then I was surprised how hard it is to climb ice (for about the twentieth time this trip!!!)

Monday - Saule
Unfinished business from Ramon's previous visit (done in 2 pitches, P1 Ramon)

Tuesday - Reise Integral
I took a couple of attempts on the first pitch which looked difficult but turned out to have two really good hands-off rests and good pro. Then a sustained and airy second pitch lead by Ramon.

Wednesday - Oeschiland (M8) os
A tricky traverse to get on to the hanging ice but that's not surprising as it looks like the mixed route goes straight up the crack!

Top right Saule, Top left Reise Integral, Thinnest line on the LHS bottom tier is Oeschiland

Thursday - Skiing rest day

Friday - (Rubezahl NOT) Mehr Power durch sportliche Aufkleber
I was going to take a couple of attempts on the daunting first pitch but Ramon accepted the challenge after my retreat then gave me the second pitch from a half height ledge.

Saturday - (Rubezahl NOT again) Kiental
Go here! lots of awesome ice (shortish - some routes with bolt lower offs for warming up then some longer steep lines) and some mixed and some futuristic mixed!!

Ramon @ Kiental today

Sunday - Rubezahl (3rd time lucky!)
Awake at 5.30 to ensure we were first on the route. Due to a bit of water and new ice filling in the previous ascentionists holds the leader gets totally absorbed climbing pitch two by the aesthetic line (freezing water doesn't put out burning forearms)
All of the good belays are on the RHS of this route (watch out for the HUGE cauliflowers).

All photos taken by whoever isn't in the shot