Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Eiger in a weekend trip

Climbing the Eiger is a pretty challenging task. but attempting it in a weekend trip is pretty full on, There are lots of factors standing in the way of success such has the weather, delays and more importantly the fact that your body isn't acclimatised to the altitude.
Around two months ago I was asked if I wanted to do the Mittillegi ridge again, My Friend Matt and two of his freinds John and Neil wanted to give the route ago and asked if I would join them for my knowledge of the mountain, I happily agreed and this weekend we managed to somehow pull it off.
The forecast seemed to be looking good so off we went, the climb from the eisemeer to the hut wasn't to bad other than a small slip from me resulting in a bruised and cut hip, the altitude sickness seemed to be keeping steer of us and after three hours of climbing we managed to arrive safely at the mittillegi Hut.
Is wasn't long though before the altitude started to take its toll, we were all feeling the strain with nasty headaches and low appetites, I was pretty bad and struggled to get any sleep at all, I couldn't eat anything and everything i didn't manage to force down came straight back up again, this was the first time I had been this sick from altitude and it wasn't  very nice but being me I was determined  to get this route done.
The following morning we set off from the hut around 0600 with a plan of reaching the summit at around 10-1100, the climbing felt so much more tiring than it should have, the route was in perfect condition but our bodies were just so weak, we managed to dig deep though and after 5hrs of climbing we arrived at the summit, It was a great feeling to be here again and It made me quite emotional, this mountain has so much history behind it which I am fascinated by and I am privileged to have stood on its summit. after a short while of taking photos and congratulating each other we decided to start on down the long descent, this in my eyes is harder than climbing the route itself, the climbing isn't hard but it is a long way. we stocked up on the power monkeys ( Matt's haribo sweets) and set off down the route. It was just past eleven and we needed to be back at the Jungfrau by 1745to get the last train down, myself and Matt set off leaving John and Neil on the summit. the descent down the Eiger south ridge was a slope of loose scree that just collapsed every time you weighted it, Matt came close with a slide which also nearly pulled me off aswell but we luckily controlled the situation. The ridge is amazing with some really nice climbing sections, I enjoyed it as much has I could but by now we were all pretty broken, the altitude was winning, I just pushed on thinking to myself about life in general, I was trying to work out why I come to these mountains and do these things, I kept thinking that I have a beautiful wife and kids at home, i could be with them now all warm and having fun, i just couldn't come to an answer has to why I put myself through this, It wasnt until later when I arrived safely back at the jungfrau that i got the sense of achievement and the feeling of being something more than an ordinary person, I had just climbed the Eiger in a weekend.. wow, now I wanna go try something higher.
Anyway after 5hrs of climbing we all managed to arrive safely back at the Jungfrau hut, we had planned to stay here and attempt the Monch the following morning but we were all done for and decided it would be best to go down.
We spent most of Sunday chilling in grindlewald and looking around the Eiger museum, with bad weather coming in we decided to head to the airport that evening and look at getting an earlier flight home, there were not any so we decided to get the role mats out and set up camp in the departures lounge before our flight home early Monday morning.

This is the second of the big alpine three Ive managed to do in a weekend, I only have Mont blanc to do now and that's all three, I have already failed on MB in one attempt so I'm not sure yet if I can go to just under 5000m in a weekend trip... 

Matt enjoying a rest before our ascent

John and Neil exiting the Eisemeer

Neil climbing down to theglacier from the

John climbing through the 5.7 pitch on the south face

Matt stepping onto glacier from Eisemeer

Matt leading the crux pitch

A short abseil on the ascent to the hut

A tired looking matt with the magical power monkey

Me on summit day on mittillegi ridge

Me high on the ridge

wondering why i aint at home like a normal person

Matt on summit of Eiger

Me and Matt on the Summit

John and Neil on summit

Matt on one of the abseils down the south ridge from the summit

our bivi spot at basel airport

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Cheddar Gorge pump

A few of us headed to chedder for some fun bolt clipping, Ive only ever climbed here once before and wasnt long before I realised how diffrent it was to Swanage and Portland, We warmed on on a few easy 5's and 6's at the Arch rock area, Paul managed to get his intended route "The ripple" 6a ticked on his second attempt which he was pretty happy about, I really enjoyed the 6a along side this called "Big Bingel productions". We then moved on up the gorge to an area called the wave, this was called the wave for a reason, the face was very steep, intimadating and overhanging, the guys introduced me to a route called "psycho-babble" a classic tough 6b+, anyway I decided to give it a go, I didnt get to far before I had to rest on the clip, the route felt really strenuos and made me realise that I need to work on my strengh before I can get this route ticked, I managed to push on though and make it to the lower off, I was dissapointed that I wasnt strong enough but now I think about it I am quite happy because I now have a motivation for training hard and getting back on this route and getting the tick.
Phil managed to get a good 7a onsight on another steep route in the wave area called "raw Deal", the top section looked pretty hard but phil seems to be climbing really well lately and crushing most routes in the low 7's.

The steep pumpy "Psycho-Babble"

The steep pumpy "Psycho-Babble"

Phil on his Onsight of "Raw Deal" 7a
Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are
naught without prudence, and that a momentary negliance may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; Look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end