Looking up and Mixing it up

By Ramon Marin

Looking up and mixing it up, blending adventure with outdoor skills.

It took a while to recover from the 3 pitch lead “Rise and Shine”, and not being able to finish the route left a sour after-taste. Trying to find what to do next, that’s good, in condition and that we haven’t done before is quite tricky. We racked our brains and I suggested to have a look at “Buch Dich”, M7+ Wi6ish and 150mts. Being a Marcus Stofer route we knew it was gonna be no walk in the park, and in fact Rob has been on it before but didn’t take trad gear and had to come down. It looked very thin and the ice was dark, indicating possible de-lamination from the rock, but we went up nonetheless. Rob sent the first pitch of ice, which in fact was delaminated and made it quiet sketchy and not very well protected. Once at the belay, I set off for the first mixed pitch and soon I was faced with a leaning crack-line with very sketchy holds. I didn’t feel confident looking at the ice pick I have on one of my Nomics bending too much as I torqued in the crack with all my body weight. Nevermind, I swapped tool and used the one with the mixed pick and move up. I did a few moves but then I realised that the ice I was going for was way too thin and unconsolidated. That mixed with with burning forearms, I accepted failure once again. Not to waste the rest of day, we had an exploratory afternoon and found some interesting and exciting things which we’ll be reporting soon.

Rob on the first pitch of “Buch Dich”

Anyways, not letting the little “project management” mishap get in the way of motivation, today we chose something we knew was in condition and fitted the bill. A mixed line, aesthetic and on gear, called “Reise ins Reich” which is the mixed line connecting to the famous Wi6 free-standing “Reise Integral” pillar, a total of 175mts. It’s not that hard, at M6+ and the ice at the top somewhere in the easy Wi6, but the rock section was total choss and exposed. Rob demonstrated he is getting back on form by pulling a scary lead on the mixed section and I had my troubles seconding it! The ice at the top was super fun and it was a great feeling ticking the route “within comfort zone”, especially on a route that I always wanted to do. This year “Reise Integral” is not formed, so the only way up to the cool ice above is via this mixed route, I love it that mixed climbing opens up so many more options.

“Reise ins Reich” is the line furthest left linking some ice into the cave to belay. Then traverse right onto Reise Integral and belay behind the free-standing pillar. We finished up the parallel ramp up right.

Rob about to enter the chossy M6+ section on “Reise ins Reich”

Exposure! You can see the pick placements the way we came up

Coming down we spend another while looking for my Nomic that went walkabout and some angle peg that we lost. We found other stuff, but nothing that we were looking for. I will keep looking, but I think that’s a goner. We looked also at the other mixed lines, one put up by Ueli Steck, another by Robert Jasper and then the “Maikel doesn’t like flowers” again. I couldn’t really figure out where the lines go as the guidebook is actually quite crap once you start digging in. So I don’t think we’ll be trying these lines anytime soon.

Rob abseiling Reise Integral dagger.

It’s so nice to be that close to so many lines. The approach from our front door is about 30min.

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