Saturday, February 09, 2008

Kamnolom M5+R, UIAA 5+, A1, 80 degree crux on Begunjska Vrtaca

What a super day on Kamnolom - by the way the name translates to the Crap Red Rock Chimney. It's name did not disappoint, but still it was great, real heady climbing, with not very much gear, very much like Birdbrain in Ouray. I am still amazed after many routes now on limestone just how technical it is, you think a pitch is going to be a cruise and then you are fully engaged in a M5+ struggle, very balancey, with 20 gear-less meters below you. I have introduced the idea of bringing cams and nuts on routes instead of just a few pins, Martin my usual partner of late, seems amused, but is seeing the benefits of the BD C3s, we are getting alot of pretty good placements with them - if you are coming winter mixed climbing here, bring a full set of cams you will be surprised when big and small cracks pop up.

Martin Lead the first pitch, which was pretty dry and he ended up just taking his gloves off and alternate between swinging tools and rock climbing, I managed to save my hands by drytooling it, but everything is fun on a top rope. The second pitch, which I lead, was a full 45m of delicate and balancey climbing, before heading up Martin said" be delicate", I guess he is getting used to me bashing everything into submission, not possible with this pitch, and an hour later I managed to pull through the roof and set up a belay. Pitch 3, Martin's again, was a simple - however very dry and brittle ice- pitch. Then Pitch 4, mine again, was the A1 pitch, I managed to come within a meter of freeing it, but a foothold broke - luckily with a fixed pin at my waist - and since I had taken on the rope already just pulled up on it and committed to the mixed climbing above, very fun. We then unroped and climbed the rest of the gully, on snow and one interesting ice step. Super fun day, after sitting around for the past few days waiting for conditions to clear up.

All photos are of Martin starting P1, more to come.