Here is a little video:

Benoit and I had been planning to go on a climb for quite a while, finally the opportunity arose on the first decent weekend in quite a while. We had Sunday free, and soon were hiking up into the Tannheimer Mountains to climb “Wirklich Oben Bist Du Nie,” a great VI+ climb that I’d done once before with Sebastien.

We swapped leads all the way up. I got pitch one, with a nice bit of sustained VI+ climbing at mid-height. Benoit took the shallow dihedral on pitch 2 (VI+), and then I led the easier-than-it-looks roof of pitch 3 (VI+) that leads to an easier but highly enjoyable bit of chimney climbing.

Michael on pitch 3

I envied Benoit for pitch 4, a great bit of slab climbing with a tricky move getting your whole body onto the slab (VI+). But that’s okay, pitch 5 is incredible…making a long and sustained journey up a vertical face on small holds (VI+). I enjoyed that so much!

The last pitch finally relented in the grade, but was still good (VI). Benoit brought me to the summit and we admired how the world was looking from up there.

Benoit on pitch 6. A beautiful valley to the south… Looking over to the Gimpel, crowded today! Happy climbers!

We rappeled. I had some excitement on the second rappel, a full free hanging 50 meter job. The rope was caught far to the side of me and slightly above. I had to do considerable work to free it, and then I ended up below the anchor. I had to climb up, making backup knots in the rope as I went. Whew.

Once down, we went over to climb Paradies (VI+), which I’d climbed years ago with Uli. I enjoyed it so much then, it was also worth repeating. It was getting cold, and it looked like it might rain, too. Let’s hurry!

I combined P1 and P2 for an amazing sustained VI+ 50 meter pitch. Here it is:

Wow…what a pitch!

This was balm for the soul after a rainy winter with no climbing outside!

Benoit continued for pitch 3 (V+), and then I made the short traverse around the corner (VI- or VI, but just a one-move-wonder). Now we got confused, because I remembered continuing around to the left, but the bolts led up and right. Benoit gave it a go, but the moves were quite uncertain and we’d climbed a lot! So I gave it a run, and based on what he’d already figured out, I was able to get around the corner to easier ground. I continued up to a belay, and after Benoit came up we wondered how to get down. The book described a rappel route, but we couldn’t find it. So, sadly, in our rock shoes we traversed left to the Gimpel descent trail. And we even felt uncomfortable on that traverse so we hiked up to the ridge crest, and then down on the descent trail. Whew! A full day. It felt great to get back to our rock shoes.

Later, on the internet, I discovered that the rappel route had been dismantled due to a tragic accident. A hiker was killed when a climber dislodged a rock on rappel. It was decided that the rappel line was too loose and dangerous. Also, the last pitch of Paradies was re-routed, explaining my confusion where the route went a different way than I expected.

We got a beer with a couple of other guys who had climbed the Gimpel that day, enduring a long line of novice climbers. Then we hiked down, discovering Benoit’s car was the last in the parking lot.

Thanks for a fun time Benoit!