UKBouldering.com

Fairly Long, Moderately Hard and Mostly Free (Read 75541 times)

duncan

Offline
  • *****
  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 1957
  • Karma: +233/-2
Fairly Long, Moderately Hard and Mostly Free
September 01, 2011, 09:47:44 am
After the Comici in July I’m compiling my bucket list of similar routes to keep me syked during the next few months of bouldering walls and occasional day-trips to Swanage.

Inclusion criteria are great climbs of ~8 pitches or longer with minimal death potential.  I'm not keen on freezing in a storm or being hit by lumps of rock or ice and crevassed approaches void my BMC insurance (plug for sponsors).  BHAGs could stretch as far as E6 trad. and 7b-ish sport.  Routes should be mostly free, a little sneaky cheating is acceptable. 

I have in mind things like the Rabada-Navarro on Naranjo de Bulnes or The Scenic Cruise.  Routes that might make it into a less Franco-centric version of the Parois du Legend books:  Europe and the Rest of the World (16 in total so far, since you ask).  Don Quixote is on the list (a bit of glacier on the descent but no need for axe, crampons or crevasse stuff) but Elixier d’Astaroth is not (weather and crevasses).   

shark

Offline
  • *****
  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 6752
  • Karma: +448/-13
  • insect overlord #1
I doubt that there are many more knowledgable than you on these sort of routes but I'll throw in Pat Littlejohn's original E4 route on Kjerrag, Lotus Flower Tower, various in Verdon and Rainbow Bridge.

andy popp

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 3889
  • Karma: +254/-4
Can't recommend Naranjo highly enough, it fits the bill perfectly - not only Rabada-Navarro but also Murciana (7a/A0 or 7c+/8a). If not the Capucin then how about West Face of the Blatiere? Brown/Whillans is one of the best routes I've ever done: period. Of the harder stuff Fidel Fiasco was class. The front slab on the Peigne is also very good, though obvious and probably too popular.

metal arms

Offline
  • **
  • menacing presence
  • Posts: 208
  • Karma: +33/-1
Would something like Oceano Irrazionale on the Asteroidi, Mello fit the bill?

http://www.planetfear.com/articles/Oceano_Irrazionale_510.html


account_inactive

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 2716
  • Karma: +85/-25
Can't recommend Naranjo highly enough, it fits the bill perfectly - not only Rabada-Navarro but also Murciana (7a/A0 or 7c+/8a). If not the Capucin then how about West Face of the Blatiere? Brown/Whillans is one of the best routes I've ever done: period. Of the harder stuff Fidel Fiasco was class. The front slab on the Peigne is also very good, though obvious and probably too popular.

I 2nd all of these suggestions!

Muenchener

Offline
  • *****
  • Trusted Users
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 2484
  • Karma: +108/-0
Don Quixote is on the list

A bit easy for the standards you're talking about, surely? Vinatzer-Messner perhaps?

If sport routes can qualify, Wassersymphonie in the Berchtesgaden Alps is supposed to be a classic, little known outside the German speaking world. 15 ptiches total, crux 6c+, half a dozen pitches around 6b. (Disclaimer: my experience of this route consists of having read the guidebook and looked at it from the road. It is firmly on my "some day but not yet" list. Along with the V-M)

Fultonius

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 2911
  • Karma: +87/-1
  • Was strong but crap, now weaker but better.
    • Photos
Grand Wall and Freeway in Squamish. Storpillaren, Lofoten, Norway.

Have done the first - amazing but maybe a bit easy for you. Have done the "lite" version of the second - the full fat version would be right up your street! E5 (ish) and AWESOME!

Would love to do the last!

rc

Offline
  • **
  • player
  • Posts: 86
  • Karma: +8/-0
That link gives an interesting list
Rest of the World
You into a USA road trip? Loads of long trad (or semi-bolted long routes) with no snow, lots of different rock types, and often minmal walk in! Probably all a bit obvious but:
Rostrum (Yosemite), Moonlight Buttress (Zion), Levitation 29 (Red Rocks), Fine Jade (Moab - only ~4 pitches), Naked Edge at Eldorado.
Stuff that might involve a bit of snow but nothing serious: Positive Vibrations/Sun Spot (Incredible Hulk, East Side), them famous lines on The Diamond (yellow wall?)...


Teaboy

Online
  • ****
  • junky
  • Posts: 877
  • Karma: +44/-2
I thought the final list at the bottom of this thread looked pretty good:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=394615&v=1

Edited due to not having read the original post. I've been looking for that Parois du Legends list since I saw the book in Cham, thanks for that.

duncan

Offline
  • *****
  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 1957
  • Karma: +233/-2
Thanks all, some great suggestions already.  Several people have apologised for including "easy" stuff.  Don't!  I bet the VI+ on Don Quixote feels plenty hard enough after the 18 pitches to get there.

 
Can't recommend Naranjo highly enough, it fits the bill perfectly - not only Rabada-Navarro but also Murciana (7a/A0 or 7c+/8a).

Andy,  I was hoping you'd reply.  Naranjo has been in my sights since some pals did the first Brit. ascent of the R-N in 1978.  Tentatively next summer...  Any idea how much aid the the Murciana needs at 7a?

Pat Littlejohn's original E4 route on Kjerrag,
Good idea, it's an amazing place, but I had a very bad experience with a BASE jumper wiping-out at Kjerrag and it would probably be too painful to go back there.  Other Norway suggestions are emphatically encouraged. 
<edit> Storpillaren added to the list!

and Rainbow Bridge.
I was interested to read your blog on DWS.  I've never partaken and I'm pretty confident I'd be terrified.  I  really should address this.

andy popp

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 3889
  • Karma: +254/-4
Can't recommend Naranjo highly enough, it fits the bill perfectly - not only Rabada-Navarro but also Murciana (7a/A0 or 7c+/8a).

Andy,  I was hoping you'd reply.  Naranjo has been in my sights since some pals did the first Brit. ascent of the R-N in 1978.  Tentatively next summer...  Any idea how much aid the the Murciana needs at 7a?

It really is a remarkable piece of stone. Its a along time ago but perhaps 40ft of bolt ladder (actually a slightly spooky golo ladder when Nick and I did it, hopefully its been beefed up now). The 7a is a complete guess to be honest. Didn't do the R-N, but did do the excellent Amistad Con El Diable (about E2 I think) on the superb East Face, everything here looks brill but not quite give you the length you're looking for.

Tom de Gay

Offline
  • **
  • menacing presence
  • Posts: 184
  • Karma: +24/-0
A Croatian friend left me a guidebook to Paklenica; at around 350m the routes on Anica Kuk might fit the bill.

duncan

Offline
  • *****
  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 1957
  • Karma: +233/-2
If sport routes can qualify, Wassersymphonie in the Berchtesgaden Alps is supposed to be a classic, little known outside the German speaking world. 15 ptiches total, crux 6c+, half a dozen pitches around 6b. (Disclaimer: my experience of this route consists of having read the guidebook and looked at it from the road. It is firmly on my "some day but not yet" list. Along with the V-M)
Sport-routes are definitely 'in', this looks very good, and not one of the usual suspects.



Would something like Oceano Irrazionale on the Asteroidi, Mello fit the bill?

http://www.planetfear.com/articles/Oceano_Irrazionale_510.html
It would fit the bill very well indeed.  I know nothing about the Mello, any other suggestions?  It sounds like it could be a (non-climbing) family-friendly venue which would be a bonus.

shark

Offline
  • *****
  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 6752
  • Karma: +448/-13
  • insect overlord #1
Reading this is even more exciting than updating my 8a nu scorecard  :bounce:

If you need a partner Duncan...

Paul B

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 8173
  • Karma: +199/-4
If sport routes can qualify, Wassersymphonie in the Berchtesgaden Alps

Wow (the thread name is genius too).

metal arms

Offline
  • **
  • menacing presence
  • Posts: 208
  • Karma: +33/-1
I know nothing about the Mello, any other suggestions?  It sounds like it could be a (non-climbing) family-friendly venue which would be a bonus.

Lots of good stuff there.  I've only been the once and mainly done stuff a bit easier than that such as Luna Nascente (about E2 and great fun) and the West Face of Pico Luigi Amadeus (which is a big old walk in but great fun at E2ish/14ish pitches).  This had some harder stuff on it as well.  Well worth taking a look at  Solo Granito (http://www.cordee.co.uk/CCE334.php) if you're passing a shop that stocks it...  It seems to be pretty comprehensive for the area.

The stuff in the Mello valley itself are pretty accessible and would suit a family holiday (N.B. I have no kids!) but some of the bigger things in the valleys off it may require a bit of logistics.

P.S. Brilliant thread!

Paul B

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 8173
  • Karma: +199/-4
The stuff in the Mello valley itself are pretty accessible and would suit a family holiday (N.B. I have no kids!) but some of the bigger things in the valleys off it may require a bit of logistics.

I'd agree on the accessibility but not on the rest, its a beautiful place but there's not a lot to keep a family and kids entertained (ps I also have no kids either) unless they just want to wander about.  I thought Solo Granito was great until I had to use it. I found much more comprehensive hand drawn topos online via google which actually showed when pitches downclimb.

metal arms

Offline
  • **
  • menacing presence
  • Posts: 208
  • Karma: +33/-1
Kids schmids... I thought they entertained themselves!

True about the usability of the guide, but I thought it was great for building the psyche!

ghisino

Offline
  • ****
  • forum abuser
  • Posts: 660
  • Karma: +36/-0
interested in sport routes too?

if so i'd seriously consider wendenstocke.

amazing destination, vertical céuse-like climbing on bombproof limestone in an alpine setting.

it has a reputation of a tough place for a few reasons that i'd state below but if you are sensible enough to keep a reasonable margin grade-wise, pick the right routes and know when to retreat instead of going for the top at all costs, it is not overly dangerous.

and there's shitloads of quality stuff close by.

what to be careful about :
-runouts. Guidebooks usually give you a mandatory grade. Well let's say you pick a 6c mandatory grade in the wenden...it means that falling on a 6b pitch is very likely to cause you an injury, How serious depends on the route. And don't hope to be able to put in lots of additional protections, the nature of the rock makes for very few placements and most of them are poor (flared pockets)

-walk-down. It can be dangerous if you are very tired, it is mostly a steep hike but in some points it is very exposed and in case of a fall you won't stop.

-weather. All the lose rock is concentrated on ledges at the top of the cliffs. If it rains hard (and it does, often in the late afternoon after a sunny day...) and on the wrong spot in the wall, those cobbles might try to hit you. It also makes the walk-down too slippery and unsecure, which means that in case of weather turning bad you need to make a quick decision, abseil as fast as you can, and get shelter under some overhanging section at the base of the wall.

-grades. believe the hard pitches of your route, not the easier ones. sandbags...

-rescue access. Hard, sometimes virtually impossible. In case of shit, you'd better be able to handle the situation by yourself.


virtually all routes are supposed to be five stars, i've only been on voie du frère and nachtexpress and was very impressed, especially by the second.
A few routes are said to be more forgiving than the rest : patent ochsner, millenium, sonnenkonig, voie du frere (which only has a tricky 1st pitch requiring the ability to find the exact spot where a #3 camalot will fit securely)

kingholmesy

Offline
  • ***
  • obsessive maniac
  • Posts: 364
  • Karma: +18/-0
Good thread.

I've heard good reports about the Naranjo.  Verdon is an excellent option if you want somewhere easy to get to, zero walk-ins and the option of doing a mix of long multi-pitch routes and short sports routes.

lagerstarfish

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Weapon Of Mass
  • Posts: 8125
  • Karma: +682/-10
  • "There's no cure for being a c#nt"
how about West Face of the Blatiere? Brown/Whillans is one of the best routes I've ever done: period. Of the harder stuff Fidel Fiasco was class.

West Face of the Blattiere is a good bit of rock - no crevasses to cross, just a snow slope

there's a few routes with crux pitches in the e2/3/4 range plus some easier ones

the longer ones are 12 pitches or so - decent by abseil, so no carrying big shoes

it's a good place to learn to get fast on bigger routes - if you get your first route done quickly, then you can jump on the next one

duncan

Offline
  • *****
  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 1957
  • Karma: +233/-2
Grand Wall and Freeway in Squamish. Storpillaren, Lofoten, Norway.

Have done the first - amazing but maybe a bit easy for you. Have done the "lite" version of the second - the full fat version would be right up your street! E5 (ish) and AWESOME!

Would love to do the last!
I probably should have said at the outset that North America is my specialist climbing subject.  I was a refugee from Thatcherism there for a while and have done many of the obvious classics.  I've done far less in Europe, trips to the Verdon in distant times and one to the Dolomites, so the non-mainstream suggestions like Anića Kuk are great




(I am slightly concerned that it seems to be the place where legendary Slovenian hard-men / nutters like Franc Knez sharpened their teeth!)


interested in sport routes too?

if so i'd seriously consider wendenstocke.

amazing destination, vertical céuse-like climbing on bombproof limestone in an alpine setting.

it has a reputation of a tough place <...>

virtually all routes are supposed to be five stars, i've only been on voie du frère and nachtexpress and was very impressed, especially by the second.
A few routes are said to be more forgiving than the rest : patent ochsner, millenium, sonnenkonig, voie du frere (which only has a tricky 1st pitch requiring the ability to find the exact spot where a #3 camalot will fit securely)

Looks fabulous
 


Points taken about having to contend with more than just technical difficulty.  What are the approaches/descents like? 


It really is a remarkable piece of stone. Its a along time ago but perhaps 40ft of bolt ladder (actually a slightly spooky golo ladder when Nick and I did it, hopefully its been beefed up now). The 7a is a complete guess to be honest. Didn't do the R-N, but did do the excellent Amistad Con El Diable (about E2 I think) on the superb East Face, everything here looks brill but not quite give you the length you're looking for.
The Murciana gets 7a/A0 elsewhere, so what you say sounds about right.  It’s good to have some shorter and less committing targets for warm-ups and slightly dodgy weather days.


duncan

Offline
  • *****
  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 1957
  • Karma: +233/-2
If not the Capucin then how about West Face of the Blatiere? Brown/Whillans is one of the best routes I've ever done: period. Of the harder stuff Fidel Fiasco was class. The front slab on the Peigne is also very good, though obvious and probably too popular.
I’ve never been to Cham.  Partially on ideological grounds and partially because quite a number of friends all died mountaineering as I was just starting.  In particular, a couple of mates bivied at the base of the S Face of the Fou, the kind of rock route I would be tempted by, and were wiped out by a rockfall.  So whilst I know there is no real line between rock-climbing in an Alpine environment and proper mountaineering, I’ve tried to draw a line with that slightly flippant reference to crevasses and insurance.  More pragmatically, I have limited holiday time and there seems a high chance of spending your precious 10 days watching the rain in the western Alps. 


The stuff in the Mello valley itself are pretty accessible and would suit a family holiday (N.B. I have no kids!) but some of the bigger things in the valleys off it may require a bit of logistics.
I’m a beginner with this offspring stuff.  The mixed family-plus-climbing-holiday is an idealised concept and may remain so unless the lad shows any interest himself.  For another thread perhaps.

ghisino

Offline
  • ****
  • forum abuser
  • Posts: 660
  • Karma: +36/-0
Points taken about having to contend with more than just technical difficulty.  What are the approaches/descents like?


short version : in most cases 2hrs to 2hrs 30', but it can be shorter or longer.
overall, if you are fit and have enough mountain experience (it sounds as you have it) usual low-top shoes, walking poles and constant attention will be enough to get to your route safe and with enough energy in the tank to actually climb.
People have made the approach in teva sandals but we are talking of high-end mountaineers and they didn't choose to, they had forgotten their walking shoes at home!

uh i have 3 more route names. (not been on them, they are said to be the best of the best in their grades)
spasspartout. the easiest route (6a max), easiest walk in, still really good they say. The name means "fun for everyone"
excalibur. one of the oldest ones. Semi-trad, very steep (vertical/overhanging), runout/dodgy protection at times, 6c max 6a+ mandatory i think.
caminando. long route (500 meters). 7a max 6c obbl. mostly steep slabs. Supposed to be the best overall route in wenden unless you can affors the really extreme ones.







long version

for most walls the approach involves a "warmup" of about 1 hour on a steep but comfortable trail : this part is the same for every wall and is just a lovely hike.

at this point you have several bifurcations and things get more interesting. You will have to cross one or two small (but steep) snowfields, follow a smaller and less comfortable trail, and finally get on a final section that is a mix of steep grass and smaller rock buttresses where you alternate a few easy climbing moves and bits of walking.

over this last section the good path is usually marked with kairns but you might have to improvise a bit.
This is also where the approaches really differ between a wall and another : in some cases (pfaffenhut) it's just the last 10' and it's a piss easy scramble, in others (reissend nollen) it is 200 meters (in elevation) of welzenbach II/III climbing with minimal walking and tons of exposure. (and of course no fixed ropes)

total times vary between 2hrs and 2h45' depeding largely on the nature of the last bit. (for a climber who would hike to céuse in 1hr and has the required mountain experience. These times do not apply to Chamonix guides nor to Bas Cuvier boulderers)

exceptions to this description are vorbau (a condensated less steep version, only 1h30' but you still have to scramble at the end. locals think of it as a lesser wall, but it still has world-class stuff, it's just in a less exposed position than the rest) and Mahren (3h or more with no real trail, improvising your way up the grassy slope)

At the cost of being repetitive i'll add that even the easier approaches have to be taken seriously as the second half has several exposed spots, where in case of a fall you have relevant chances of starting to slide on the steep grass, gain speed, and finally hitting something (lucky case) or flipping over one of several 10-15 meters walls that the walk in gets around.
In case of wet grass, of course, the odds against you (easier to slide, possible to be hit by a rock flipping down the slope) get so serious that you might want to wait in some cave as i said in the other post.
People have killed themselves on the walk, mostly on the way down for a combination of tiredness, rain and bad luck


on the good side, this approach adds the sense of exposure. walls "feel" quite alot higher and steeper than they really are.

look at this pic series from a friend of mine, some of them give you a feel of what the last bit of the hike looks like (you can see their stuff at the base of the wall). They are from a route on pfaffenhut, the one with the reasonable approach.
http://www.dademaz1.altervista.org/Roccia1/Wenden-Passion/index.html





(the first time i went, i was rather unfit and didn't take enough water. As a result i've climbed the whole route with leg cramps and the walk down was a true agony. I ended up throwing up 40 minutes after getting to the car and filling my stomach with frozen water from a fountain)


ghisino

Offline
  • ****
  • forum abuser
  • Posts: 660
  • Karma: +36/-0