040814 Birchen

Overview: My goodness... A campsite, a crag, and a pub all within walking distance! You would think this is a perfect combination; However, this is not true due to the campsite being a slight trek, and the pub hating climbers. The rock, amusingly, is simply hard. Very boulder-y starts with perplexing moves leading to easy run outs...

Wooden Leg Wall (1* HVS 5c):

Failed - Paul tried this one first, then I tried... and failed miserably. Gaining the upper section was simply impossible. Makes you think that the line wasn't correctly described. My failed attempt also failed to get up the escape route next door - Old Codger (VS 4c). First placement of the 4 Camalot!

Seasick Arete (1* HS 5a):

Bouldered - Nice mdeium difficulty arete. After the failings of the first routes, this was done simply to regain confidence. Top moved needed re-thinking about having made it there the first time. Almost silly leading it, as Dave found out later, as threading the obvious placement means having a harder top move! Good easy slab top section. Paul followed.

Wonderful Copenhagen (1* VS 5a):

Bouldered - Good balancy start, get off the first holds, then realise why the horizontal ledges get the "sloper" symbol in the guide. Fairly easy and, as usual for the crag, run out. Paul followed

Copenhagen Wall (1* VS 5a):

Bouldered - Just believe it will work. Left foot out, use those pec's to grip the two side-pulls and heave. Again, nice easy long run out. Paul got there first.

Dane's Disgust (HS 5b):

Bouldered - This is where the grades really start getting screwy. This one requires height to reach the first decent hold, but don't believe that gets you out of all trouble. Once on the face, realise that the next break up is horrible, but also realise that you can stand up without it (though how low the first hand has to go is quite worrying!) Paul followed.

Dane's Delight (HS 5b):

Bouldered - Excellent. Almost a pure campus. Reach the first good break, pull up, lock of with the left (no, there aren't any decent feet), and reach growingly desperately for the break out, a long way up, and right. Paul dyno-ed this move. Absolute nutter, but he would have never made the reach, and all credit to him for attempting it, and more for landing it...

Scandiarete (VS 5c):

Bouldered - Tee hee... Get the arete nice and fixed, then dead-point carefully to the ledge (there aren't any features on it!). Not sure if that's 5c, but the next move (foot around the corner and really force the rock-over back on to the hand you've just had to move) definitely is. Walk off from there.

Copenhagen Corner (S 4b):

Soloed - Done simply to finish off the entire wall before lunch (4pm, um...). Don't finish straight - do the rock-over up and left. Paul followed.

Midway (E1 6a):

Failed - almost a mini Flying Buttress Direct. Get up the slab easily, bomber gear either side to create a cradle (though that might actually make the next move harder), and then tackle the overhang. Well, not really overhang at ~2ft, but enough to make gripping the upper slab truly difficult. Throw the foot up left, reach for the upper hold, then... Um, that's as far as I got. I believe it's just a case of fixing that position, then either manteling off the right (incredibly strength requirement) or reaching the rugosity further up in order to raise the right hand to the better, higher hold - however, this really doesn't feel a safe prospect! Rockfax gets it right - "This narrow bulging wall is a well-known battle site! Pass the overhang if you can."

Seasick Slab (VDiff 4b):

Solo - Your basic mantelshelf. Good fun. 'nuf said.

The Chain (1* S 5b):

Soloed - Do the 5b start. This involved (ignore the guide) starting on the right-hand side of the arete and rocking on to it about 2 moves up. Then pad carefully until the 4b moves start and run up the rest. Paul followed.

Promenade Direct (1* VD):

Soloed - No way is this VDiff... The starting slab is quite technical for beginners (4b?), and it's unprotected up until the top of that slab (rather bold for a VDiff). From there, simply run for the top again! Paul followed.