Zams climbing

Barbara and I looked at the weather and Zams was our best bet. We drove down Wednesday night, and hiked over for a look at the Burschlwand. She was very excited, and started climbing the wall in her boots! She slipped, thinking I’d catch her in an awesome way, but we both tumbled to the ground. Her ankle was a little bit injured, and the rest of the trip she chided herself for not taking the mountains seriously!

We had a nice dinner at our hotel, then a fantastic breakfast where you make your own eggs. Barbara advertised my omelette making skills to a random woman, and she asked me to make one. Thanks Barbara, jeesh! Later, this woman’s husband came and looked at me skeptically. Heh!

We hiked over to the kletter-garten, and first we climbed Plattfuss (3a, 18 meters). Then Doppeldecker (3c, 18 meters). We did lots of combinations of top ropes, then we both led Gamsbock (4b, 22 meters). Barbara did an amazing job!

Next, we went to the left side cliff and I led Talblick (5a, 15 m), and Barbara top roped it two times. The second time she got all the moves! Even though it is a vertical wall with some interesting moves! Wow.

Then I led “S’Dachl links” (5b+, 12 m) and “S’Dachl rechts” (5c, 12 m), Lechtalschreck (5b, 15 m), and finally Abschlusspruefung (6a, 8 m). Nice!

We finished on “Streck di” (5b+, 8 m), which I led and Barbara top-roped.

Now it was time for the first two pitches of “Via Theresa” over on the Burschlwand. Barbara didn’t think she could do this, but the night before we’d been to the base of the route and I thought the first two pitches would be perfect for us. She gamely agreed, but was a bit nervous.

I climbed up to the first belay, and brought her up. She suddenly had the feeling of being on a big and serious wall. The belay is quite nice. It sits in a little niche but at a serious air about it. I said goodbye as she looked at me apprehensively.

She came up the second pitch, cursing at how hard it was to get the rope free of the quickdraws. I’d given her some advice about how to get it out which she followed exactly to the letter. She thought she always had to remove the rope side of the quickdraw before the side which connects the draw to the mountain. Doh…that made for some tough unclips! Now she knows better.

It’s a particular problem with climbing…you are learning all these rules and you don’t know which ones are deadly serious and which ones are only guidelines!

At the top she felt pretty good. I rigged her rappel, then did my own. She came sliding down the rope a few minutes after me. We did one more rappel and then were safely down on the ground.

I was super, super impressed. She really did great. And she was full of love for the whole process.

We gave ourselves just enough time off to go into town and get a coffee. Barbara was so proud of her jingling, jangling quickdraws…she kept her harness on as we entered the coffee shop (so did I), we got some stares! Who cares!

Now we headed to the Galug Klettersteig across the river. I’d originally thought to bring the rope and offer Barbara a belay at some key points on the klettersteig, but having been so impressed by her performance on the walls, and feeling that time was getting late (I think it was about 5 pm), I left the rope and thought we’d be up and off this klettersteig pretty soon.

Barbara had just bought the gear and was excited to try it out. We hiked up and soon were clipping along behind some other people. I talked about passing people, but we never got the chance because it really did get pretty hard at some point (grade “C” I think). Now we were traversing a big vertical wall pretty high up, and Barbara really felt the space beneath her. There is a picture of her in this section which absolutely defines the meaning of the word “concentration!”

Somewhere in here I felt like it was getting pretty hard for her. I thought about how many new things she’d learned in just one day, on top of an accelerated learning program. And here we were on a big wall now! Argh. The route comes to a point where it’s pretty difficult to clip the klettersteig-set forward…the footholds are pretty terrible. Barbara said “ugh, I’m going to fall, okay?” I didn’t want that…unlike doing a sport climb with a rope, you simply don’t want to fall on a klettersteig as the forces are rather too great for comfort. I said, “don’t do that!” and immediately felt like a jerk! Ugh, I wish I’d brought the rope.

And that stressed her out too. But I got to her, then helped her clip the next stempel. Now we entered a phase of being really careful and I remained right next to Barbara to help her out if she needed. At this moment we noticed there were two teenage boys and a teenage girl above us. She was pretty worn out, and they were helping her the way I was ready to help Barbara. “Stupid klettersteigs,” I thought to myself.

So, with just moral support from me, Barbara really had to find it within herself to continue. And she really did. She was happy to have me close, but once she knew I was, she also wanted to power herself up and off the wall.

And within 20 minutes, we were done, both very relieved. Then Barbara hit me, like four times! Pretty hard too! LOL. She’s fantastic :).

We talked about it. She was okay with the Klettersteig, but I was bummed that I didn’t bring a rope for us…that would have made it a no stress thing.

We finally got our harnesses off, and Barbara, to my amazement, wanted to go hiking!

Wow…that’s awesome.

We drove partway home, and in Ehrwald I found a hike to a hut halfway up Daniel, a place called the Tuftlalm. She set off very fast, and I struggled to keep up. We had to climb over a few trees, as I insisted on going up a trail that was closed for logging. After a good hour, we arrived at the hut. Within a few minutes, we were inside, drinking and singing at the Stammtisch. Barbara can yodel! And she can play the spoons too, but I’ll have to wait until later to see that.

We ended up dancing a while, then went outside and she taught me the waltz.

What a fantastic day. We had such a great time. We were back in Munich around 10.