Monday, December 12, 2016

Early Season (2016/17) Ice in Gasteinertal (Gastein Valley)

The photos are from the first Sunday in December, 04.12.2016. I have been in the Gastein valley three times now to climb some early season ice. The pictures are from various side valleys at the end of the main valley, in Bockstein and Nassfeld.

If you zoom-in on the photo above you'll see a rope team in this moderate classic. Of course the various climbs that are formed are more serious and technically more difficult than their guidebook ratings. The ice is more fickle to protect and not as compact and steeper as it is not filled in. 

A benefit of the lack of snow is that the threat of avalanches is non-existent in all the climbs to the right of the toll road unto Sport Gastein. There are two or three falls that are well enough formed (on 04.-09.12.2016) but will be much more susceptible to any weather and temperature fluctuations.

At the higher elevations in the Siglitz valley, the easier long embedded ice is compact and thickly built up. Additionally, the lack of snow makes all the low-angle climbs visible and fun to climb without their normal covering of snow to slog through in the flatter sections.

Specifically, I have climbed Federweis, Dopple Lutscher, Siglitzfall, Siglitz Coulior and some other easy lines at the back right side of the Siglitz valley in the direction of the Niedersachsenhaus under the Riffelscharte.

As of today, 12.12.2016, we have had some warmer, damp air move into the area and the ice conditions in the Gastein valley are pretty sensitive to any changes. On the 8th of December, it was already clear that it was a bit more humid and the higher moisture level in the air was effecting the ice. The Link Dopple Lutscher was running with water at 13:00.

As at the start of every ice season, it is best to be conservative in your choices and stay well within your ability level. You also have to be willing to just take your tools for a walk and check out things, leaving them for another day.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Schitechnik im Gelände, 11.12.2016 - UPDATE!

Den AV-Salzburg Alpine Ausbildungkurs, "Schitechnik im Gelände" am So. 11.12.2016 werden nur auf dem Piste durchgeführt. Leider, gibt es viel zu wenig Schnee den Kurs im Gelände zu machen.

Jeder Teilnehmer können allen technischen Skiübungen fürs Gelände auf dem Piste lernen und ausüben.

Sonst, als Ersatztermin mit (hoffentlich!) Skifahren im Gelände, kann ich den Freitag, 20. Jänner 2017 anbieten.

Jeder Kursteilnehmer können selbständig Entscheiden ob die den Kurs am 11.12.2016 mitmachen, warten auf den Ersatztermin oder beides machen (natürlich auch mit zusätzliches Gebühr). Mehr Infos oder beim Fragen, bitte mit 'Contact Form' (rechts) bei mir melden.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Alpenverein Salzburg Alpine Ausbildung

Meinen Kurse und Übungstouren sind On-Line für dem Alpenverein Salzburg Alpine Ausbildung Programm!

In Winter 2016/2017 biete ich Kurse in Schitouren, Skifahren im Gelände, Eisklettern für Anfänger, Eisklettern Fortgeschritten und Eisklettern Übungstouren für Anfänger und Erfahrene

Kurse & Übungstouren:

1) Schitouren Grundkurs - Anmelden!
Fr. 02. Dez. (Start um 09:00 vor Ort) - So. 04. Dez. 2016
Ort: Obertauern oder Kaprun (je nach Schneelage)
Treffpunkt: Salzburg (genauer Treffpunkt wird noch bekannt gegeben), ca. 07:00 Uhr

2) Schitechnik im Gelände - Anmelden!
So. 11. Dez. 2016 (Start um 09:00 vor Ort)
Ort: Obertauern
Treffpunkt: Grundwaldkopfbahn Talstation, 09:00 Uhr - Mitfahrgelegenheit von Salzburg 07:00 Uhr

3) Eisklettern Anfänger - Anmelden!
Do. 05. Jän. (Start 18:30 Maltainerhof) - Sa. 07. Jän. 2017
Übungstour für Eisklettern Anfänger, So. 08. Jän. 2017
Ort: Maltatal
Treffpunkt: Gasthof Maltainerhof, Malta, 18:30 Uhr (Gruppe Abendessen)

4) Eisklettern Übungstour
Sa. 21. Jän. 2017
Ort: Gasteinertal
Treffpunkt: Salzburg (genauer Treffpunkt wird noch bekannt gegeben), ca. 07:00 Uhr

5) Eisklettern Fortgeschrittene - Anmelden!
Do. 26. Jän. (Start um 18:30 Malteinerhof) - So. 29. Jän. 2017
Ort: Maltatal
Treffpunkt: Gasthof Maltainerhof, Malta, 18:30 Uhr (Gruppe Abendessen)

6) Eisklettern Übungstour
Sa. 04. Feb. 2017
Ort: Gasteinertal
Treffpunkt: Salzburg (genauer Treffpunkt wird noch bekannt gegeben), ca. 07:00 Uhr

Fragen, Details, Mehr Infos, usw., würde ich gern helfen, bitte bei mir einfach melden

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Kalymnos Kletterunterricht & Kurse 2016

Ich werde in dieser Saison ab Mitte Mai 2016 auf Kalymnos. Die Sportklettern paradise Kalymnos bietet im späten Frühling eine perfekte Klettertrainingsumgebung. Dort kann Mann für die Kletterseason in Europa sehr günstig vorbereiten. Mai in Kalymnos bietet sichere, stabil Wetter und die Bedingungen für Klettern den ganzen Tag in den warmen, sehr angenehme Temperaturen.

Ich plane, auch mit Kunden auf Kalymnos über den Sommer und von Ende September bis Ende Oktober 2016 arbeiten. Die Herbstsaison auf der Insel einfach wunderbar ist. All-Tag Klettern ist möglich, die Temperaturen sind angenehm und die Ägäis ist noch warm und einladend für apre Klettern schwimmen gehen oder eine Ruhetag am Strand genießen.

die Routenentwicklung auf Kalymnos ist unübertroffen. Sie können eine nahezu unbegrenzte Auswahl an Routen für Ihre Kletterfähigkeit finden. Aufgrund der Make-up die Routen, perfektes Wetter und reichlich Kletter Sektoren,  können ein Kletterer in einer Woche mehr klettern als in einer ganzen Saison in den europäischen Alpen. Es gibt viele Mehrseillaengentouren von bis zu 10 oder 11 Seillängen sowie eine Vielzahl von Top-Level 2 und 3 Pitch Mehrseillängen Ausbildungtouren.

Ich habe seit mehr als 10 Jahren Kalymnos regelmassig besucht, eigentlich seit dem Beginn der Kletterentwicklung auf der Insel. Ich habe eine Fülle von Wissen über die Klettergebiete, Routen und Optionen sowie logistische Kenntnisse an Unterkünften, Restaurants, Transfers, Dienstleistungen, usw. Ich kann in alle Arten von Informationen, Unterkünfte reservieren, Scooters oder Mietwagen buchen, Taxi Transfers arrangieren, sowie aktuelle Ferry Fahrpläne von Kos, usw, mithelfen.

Das bedeutet, dass man die Freiheit und Flexibilität hat einen kostengünstigen Flug zu finden und erlauben Sie mir, in alle anderen organisatorisches Bereiche zu helfen.

Um etwas genau zu organisieren, oder weitere Informationen zu erhalten, kontaktieren Sie mich ("Contact Form" Rechts) und werde ich ihnen gerne helfen.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Kalymnos Climbing Instruction 2016

I will be in Kalymnos starting in mid-May 2016 this season. In late spring, Kalymnos offers a perfect climbing training environment for getting ready for the climbing season in Europe. May in Kalymnos offers secure, stable weather and conditions for all-day climbing in warm, yet very comfortable temperatures before the onset of  the summer heat.

I am also planning on working with clients on Kalymnos through the summer and from the end of September through October 2016. The fall season on the island is wonderful. All-day climbing is possible, the temperatures are comfortable and the Aegean Sea is still warm and inviting for a post climb swim or rest day at the beach.

The route development on Kalymnos is second to none. You can find an almost unlimited choice of routes matching your climbing ability. Due to the make up of the routes, perfect weather and abundant climbing sectors, one can climb more in a week than in an entire season in the European Alps. There are many multi-pitch routes of up to 10 or 11 rope lengths as well as a multitude of great 2 and 3 pitch multi-pitch training routes too.

I have been going to Kalymnos for more than 10 years, actually since the beginning of the development of climbing on the island. I have a wealth of knowledge about the climbing sectors, routes and options, plus logistical knowledge of accommodations, restaurants, transfers, services, etc. I can help with giving all kinds of information, reserve accommodations, book scooter or car rental, arrange for taxi transfers, pass along current ferry transfer timetables from Kos, etc.

This means that one has the freedom and flexibility to find a inexpensive flight and allow me to help in all other areas.

To make arrangements, or get more information, contact me using the form on the right and I will gladly assist you.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Smugglers Notch Early Season Ice 2015/16

soloing on 30/11 at the mid-point of the gully leading up to the goods
On Wednesday before thanksgiving, 25 November, I was first up in Smugglers Notch. I had a hunch that there would be something or other to climb, so I took the tools for a walk. I am new to the Northeast this season and I don't have a sense of how things form up yet. Smugglers Notch is only 45 minutes or so  away from from where I'm living in Warren, Vermont. And it isn't such a inconvenience to get over there.

On the 25th, the climbs on the right side (coming up from Stowe) were hanging with forming ice, verglassed slabs and wet rock. The upper pitches of the climbs looked like they were coming along nicely. The lower parts where just wet rock or a very thin sheet of ice with water running underneath. The ice on Ragnarock and Elephants Head Gully was coming in but certainly not formed.

The west-facing side on the left was much more inviting: shielded from the sun, cold, hoarfrost and a dusting of snow. I went up the creek bed to approach the amphitheatre where Blind Fate looked good and a beautiful ice column as part of a line immediately to the left also was promising.

I climbed up the final approach gully mixing it up on thin ice and rock until I was under Blind Fate, (III, WI4). I took the Blind Fate option, mostly because I wanted to climb a Bouchard route on two different continents. I moved over the lower angle ramp, trending right. The ice was pretty thin and not always well bonded because of some running water. The upper part was in great shape. Plastic ice, well structured and a joy to climb.

I was back up at Smugglers Notch on Monday, 30 November. The warm weather on Thanksgiving Thursday and the following Friday took its toll on the fragile, early season ice. Everything had substantially deteriorated. The Elephants Head Buttress side was stripped of much of the hanging ice and just wet. The climbs in the Blind Fate sector were broken and dangerously unclimbable. All the following photos are from Monday, 30 November.
two daggers that will be nice when they touch down
elphants head sector
After seeing the effects of the warm weather and changes from Wednesdasy the 25th, I had mentally written-off the thought of finding anything to climb. I walked over the pass with a couple of dog walkers and turned around to head back towards Stowe. As I started descending on the road southwards, I saw the upper ice of a gully tucked-in a cold nook and facing a bit more north / northwest.
the good stuff at the end
I made my way up  a creek bed and into the steep woods towards the promising-looking ice curtain. I geared up at the base of an approach gully that was filled with compact ice. It was about 120 meters of climbing before I got to the upper part of the ice curtain visible from the road. The gully was thin and interspersed with vertical steps of two to four meters with some fun, easy mixed climbing too.
second 30 meter rappel
I used the ice features to move diagonally right towards a small cave and then up and left in a kind of ice staircase to top out. It was easier than it looked from lower down. The ice was plastic yet well bonded. It was, however dripping / running with melt water over the hanging icicles and forming nice cauliflower blobs.

I made five, 30 meter rappels to the base of the ice gully. finding good ice for V-threads was a challenge. I bored four holes for one anchor and equalised them with cord. The rest of the anchors were normal threads, with the last one from a tree.
skinny rap line through v-threads
A techical note: I really like my 6mm Rap Line (Mammut, but there are also some from Edelrid). I have used it while soloing in Chamonix last spring and summer. The 60 meter length packs really compactly and is very light. It's pretty unnerving to use it the first time if your not accustomed to such skinny ropes. At only 6mm, I can thread it directly through the V-threads, saving the waste of leaving cord behind when the fall melts out in spring.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Winter Season 2015 - 2016

chalky powder in verbier
For the 2015 - 2016 ski season I will be working as a ski instructor and backcountry guide at the Sugarbush Resort in Warren, Vermont.

I will also take advantage of the opportunities of being in the Northeast USA to ice climb and guide in the abundant well-established areas for winter climbing. Some of the best ice climbing east of the Mississippi can be found in Vermont, New Hampshire (North Conway, Franconia & Crawford Notch), In the Adirondacks of northern New York and across the Canadian border in Quebec.

Additionally, I hope to do some climbing and skiing in the western & north western USA and Canada. From Christmas through the end of January 2016, I'll be in the western USA and Canada. Plans are to ski and ice climb in some of the regions most iconic places: Jackson Hole, Whistler, Baniff, Mount Raineer, Bozeman, Ouray, etc.

I have skied a few times at Sugarbush to get familiar with the area's terrain. Unfortunately, there hasn't been any substantial snowfall yet so all the skiing has been on-piste with artificial snow. As I write this a bit of snow is forecast for tomorrow (2nd December), but nothing significant. The long-range prognosis isn't optimistic. To get the snow cover to be able to ski the trees, which is the standard fare in the northeast, we need some major snowfall.

So now is the time in both my own skiing and with clients to work on refining technique in ways that can only be done on piste. Sort of like using indoor sport climbing to work on technical aspects of rock climbing.

Appointments for skiing together can be made through the Ski and Ride School of Sugarbush Resort ( or contacting me directly.