Well, sort of ice.
We arrived in Kandersteg (CH) after an 'interesting' trip with a beautiful van that sometimes has 'issues'.
We joined the Festival (no ice although it's called the "Ice Festival") and today we finally climbed some real ice in Ueschinen.
As we did so much last week here a little summaray:
- January 2nd: from Bergschenhoek to Heerjansdam and a stop in Land van Altena to get some help to fix Dennis' VW T3 Syncro (our home for the next 2 months). We drove on to Venlo and parked the car for a good night sleep.
- January 3rd: from Venlo to Germany, somewhere during the evening the van just quit out of nothing, a Dutch truck driver dragged us with his double truck to a safer place where we got a pick-up by the ADAC (German car insurance)
- January 4th: Thanks to the ANWB/ADAC we stood in Bergweiler at the local Lada dealer to fix the van. Around midday we were ready to go on, around 8-ish we finally arrived in Kandersteg
- January 5th: half a climbing day: drytooling in Blausee. It was raining and wet everywhere, too hot to climb any proper ice. Though the drytooling was good, where we had trouble getting up last year was just a good training session now: we are strong :)
- January 6th: ski-trip up to Oeschinensee and the mixed/ice routes Kraftort and Kraftwerk. My first second time outdoors on ski's, first time real snow. Quite interesting...We noticed all the fallen trees and stuff and realised only that evening that the fohn had it's impact last night: Zermatt closed, the train in Kandersteg closed, ski pistes all closed... Even the electricity went out that night for a while, when we were asleep... :)
- January 7th: Kandersteg Ice Festival: for Dennis (speed specialist) it was a good comp, he ended up being 7th, standing on stage in between his youth heroes. I was quite unlucky. Being first to climb in the flash competition (so for me it was an onsight) got my axe stuck in the holds twice, after me the holds were big enough not to get your axe stuck and not being a speed specialist made me end up 9th... (Out of 20) just after Anna (who won the 2011 worldcup series) Though it was good to meet all those nice people again (Rolf, Urs, Erwan, Stephanie, Felicitas...) Here all the results.
- January 8th: restday (boring!) it was dumping (snow) all day, so I made a walk to the city centre, realising everything was closed (it's Sunday) and walked back again, happy not being able to spent money in Swiss. That evening Dennis and I realised we're together for 2 years now. So we celebrated it with a good bit of Jameson and a walk in the snow.
- January 9th: Ueschinen. We wanted to do some real mixed/drytooling so we skied up to Ueschinen. Realising again how much it hurts when your hands stay cold (hot eggs/screaming barfeys) Dennis had it...really bad. I was lucky to be in a better 'hand shape'. After a good warm-up in some M8's we climbed Power Bat both 2nd go. Getting used to finding holds in natural rock. On the way up I had some trouble with 'air', being on tension over my whole body I couldn't help it letting out some 'fresh' air. In the end fell off, landing upside down in the air Dennis belayed me down avoiding the hanging ice pillars to fall on me... We were wondering who the guy was who was racing up all the M10's and M11's, he turned out to be the speed record holder for the Eiger NF. Ah, I knew I recognised him from somewhere... On the way down I skied my first real powder and actually liked it (getting better).
- January 10th: that is tomorrow, we'll drive to Geneva to fly to Korea on the 11th. Exciting!