Martinswand – March 2012

In the end of March I had another of these short weekend trips with Teppo. This time we went for the climbing near Munich.

We hoped that the conditions would have been good in Wetterstein (plan A) or Rätikon (plan B) but there was loads of snow making the approaches long and heavy. In stead, we took the plan C and went for the climbing on Martinswand near Innsbruck. Martinswand is situated in an altitude of 1000 meters and has an approach of 10 minutes. The altitude was 1000 meters less and the approach 1 hour less than the other alternatives which was rather nice.

Martinswand: Botanik Grand Prix (6+/A0, 600m)

For the first day the weather forecast was so-so. The forecast said some rain was likely in the afternoon. Judging the conditions we decided on climbing something easier but with good mileage to get tuned in. An alpine start at sunrise was supposed to get us to the top before the rain.

Botanik Grand Prix was just like it was said in the guide book. It was easy and straight forward and the bolts were plenty. At times you could clip three bolts within the same reach. The only thing the guide book didn’t say was that there was an extension of six new pitches with over 200 meters new climbing to it.

Although the guide book says there is some A0 on this route we managed everything free.  I recon the hardest moves would be around UIAA 7-. All in all we both liked this route quite a lot. The climbing was sometimes loose and sometimes there were too many bolts but in the end we both had happy faces. You can’t really complain if you get to climb a 600 meter route in less than a day after leaving the work office in Finland.

Martinswand: Beam Me Up Scotty (7, 150m)

The second day we felt slightly knackered. Not the maximum power type knackered but more like the overall exhaustion type knackered. Thus, we browsed through the pile of guide books and wanted someting shorter with some harder pitches in it.

Compared to the Botanik Grand Prix the rock on Beam Me Up Scotty was more solid. But rock was also more polished.

I really don’t know why but for some reason I didn’t get the good feeling about this route. It was a nice route but still it was missing something. Maybe it was missing the occasional runout on loose terrain like the Botanik had…

Martinswand: Maxl’s Gamsrevier (7-, 175m) to Maxl’s Krone (7-, 160m)

On our third day we went for something bigger again. We had read a lot of good about the Maxl’s link-up. It seemed like the best route on our skill level on this wall. Some locals also said the link-up would much better quality than the “beginner routes” on the right hand side of the wall.

The locals knew what they were talking about. The first part, Maxl’s Gamsrevier, was as good as slab climbing can get. Rock was solid and on the easy sections the protection was runout enough to spice it up.  Most of the climbing was sustained at UIAA 6 and the route followed slabs with good holds.

The second part of the climb was steeper climbing on good holds. Teppo was really psyched to lead it once I had led the lower part. The route was stellar! Once we started the walking descent we really felt the meters done in our muscles and decided invest in some luxury. We booked a room in a nice hostel in the center of Innsbruck.

Martinswand: Kaiser Max Spätlese (6+, 200m)

Sleeping indoors really does miracles. In the morning we both woke up totally refreshed. The only bad thing about the hostel was the the late breakfast buffet which delayed our start. We reached the bottom of the route at 10 AM which was already rather late since we reasoned we should back at the car at around 1 PM not to miss the plane in Munich. It was time to speed up the climbing pace!

Kaiser Max Spätlese was very similar to the route we had done the previous day. It was mostly on solid slabs with a couple of more broken sections. Although we thought we did pretty fast time on this route some locals did it even faster. A two men party aged 45 and 65 ran over us at the last belay. We chatted for a while with the other guy while he was belaying his second at the anchors. Once the second was up I saw the fastest transover I’ve ever seen. The second guy didn’t even stop at the belay before he started leading! We said goodbyes and started rapping down. Inspired by their fast action we had done seven raps and walked back to the car only 35 minutes later!

It was time to speed up back to the airport.  For the record, Seat Leon 1.6 TDI can do 200 km/h only barely. The tyres will start squeking and you’ll have to pedal down to 160 km/h…

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