For those not using RSS, I’ll be slowing redesigning the site, moving to a static front page and having the blog in its own section. It won’t be all done at once but if you’re mainly interested in the blog for crag info, it won’t affect you. So forgive the untidy appearance.
I’m off soon to Hausen im Tal in the Upper Danube Valley for a short weekend of camping.
In the meantime, it looks there’s now a good reason for me to visit London, aside from the Imperial War Museum:
London’s first “climbing window” will sit 400 feet above the ground. Entrants will be able to climb routes fixed on clear glass planes overlooking the city and expansive drop.
[…] Convenience for the active lifestyle is center stage at the newly announced 22 Bishopsgate development in downtown London. Bike to the office, enjoy modern collaborative, productive work spaces, climb after work, and pick up groceries for the week—all in the same building.
Pretty neat idea.
This past Thursday was a holiday, one of the many Christian holidays that are also federal holidays in Germany (and would be illegal in the US). While I didn’t get to climb, I took the kids to the Swabian Alb to vistit Schloss Lichtenstein and Nebelhoehle, a castle and cave respectively. Lichtenstein is also located just across from Traifelberg, a long series of crags overlooking the village of Lichtenstein with plenty of moderate to hard routes.
Schloss Lichtenstein (castle)
Schloss Lichtenstein is not famous outside of Germany, in fact not realy outside of Baden-Wuerttemberg, but here it’s known as the “Fairy Tale Castle.” My daughter changed that into “Fairy Castle”.| Luckily, she didn’t notice when we didn’t actually find fairies there. Despite being a castle and looking the part, it’s not actually that old, build in the gothic revival style in the mid 1800s. It is still privately owned, but open to tourists near daily. While possibly disappointing to some, for families the fact that it is actually rather small is fantastic. You can view the castle grounds for 1 EUR per child and 2 EUR for adults. The tour is a few euros more but only 30 minutes.
Compared to the Disney like lines and hordes of Neuschwanstein, Lichtenstein is fairly quiet. Located southest of Reutlingen, it’s also right across from Traifelberg, a crag full of moderate to hard climbs. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough patience left after the castle visit to convince the rugrats to hike up and check it out. We settled for pictures from across the valley.
Nebelhoehle (Fog Cave)
Just 5 km from Lichtenstein in the Swabian Jura (Schwaebische Alb) is a famous cave, featured in many local fairy tales including those associated with the castle Lichstenstein. Important to know, they take cash only and the nearest bank is nearby in a tiny village. So bring cash (I learned the hard way). In addition to the cave, they have a pleasant little restaurant, great playground and some nice hiking in the area. If you’re in the area, it’s worth spending an afternoon in the area and finishing off at the cave followed up by watching the kids play while drinking a beer or radler. Good times were had by all.
Schloss Lichtenstein + Traifelberg Pictures
Just got back from a daytrip to France and packed for tomorrow. Gorgeous weather and hoping it stays that way for my trip to nearby Calw. Aside from being the home of Hermann Hesse, it also has some good sandstone climbing so I’m headed to Kentheim with a friend and maybe Oelaenderle if time allows. Pics, crag info and more to come.
Was out in Bad Boll today doing a “Sinneswandel” hike through the woods. Super fun with young kids. I’d hoped to hit a few areas around Geislingen (see the Ostalb book) but alas we were tuckered out and decided to leave it for another day. There’s a couple neat looking areas big enough for multipitch but they’ll have to stay on the list for now.
I recently contacted Metolius with a few questions about reslinging.
- Do they resling in Europe?
- Does shipping from here to the US make any sense?
- If not, how long is the normal time because I’d have to do it while visiting
- Could they give me longer extendable slings (like dmm’s etc)?
- How about some free stickers?
Their answers were: 1. No reslinging in Europe 2. Shipping is a bad idea cost wise 3. 2 weeks or so but they could expedite under the circumstances. 4. Sadly no, because as they dont offer that option as a product, they aren’t certified to do the work 5. well, the image speaks for itself.
Here’s hoping they start selling cams over here and reslinging them as well. Just hope they don’t do it in Switzerland (like Arc’teryx does for all repair work).
Living im Schwabenland or im Ländle, and having taken numerous linguistics classes in college, I always enjoy a good history/language related story. From The Language Log, here’s a story about Swabian in the US in the early 1900s. In short, Swabian was apparently common enough for non-Germans to have picked up on the street. The gentlemen in the anecdote below was able to use it while stationed in Germany after the war.
However, getting down to the garage there was only one car left and an American Colonel ahead of me. Being a very considerate gentleman he inquired about my need of a car and said, since he was not having far to go, we should share it. In exchange I was trying to be helpful by translating to the German driver where he needed to go. Instead of responding to my attempt, the man began rattling off where he needed to go and which route to follow — in the thickest Schwaebisch dialect!
I was absolutely astounded because up until then I had always found Americans bewildered in dealing with the German language, and this chap did not appear to have been German-born. In response to my surprise he quipped:
“ha no, da muss ma halt ma a bis-cha schwaetza kenna”
Read the whole thing.
I’m typically not someone to avoid going to the doctor, but for the first time in my life, I’ve been kind of avoiding it. The reason is well-known to all climbers: because I don’t want to hear that I should lay off climbing.
The dreaded tendon/pulley injury?
For the past 4 or 5 months at least, I’ve had occasional pain in the C4 and A3 pulleys. It’s usually my middle 3 fingers (though rarely at the same time), most commonly the ring finger on either hand. I can usually climb ok but bouldering almost always triggers it. The pain only comes while using my fingers on crimps and slopers but immediately stops afterwards. Luckily there has been no swelling and no lingering pain.
I took a 6 week or so break in Nov/Dec/Jan, barely climbing at all hoping it’d go away. I even started taping up my fingers every time. In addition to making me feel like a true crusher, it seems to have helped in general.
But Wednesday I was at the gym on my usual night and had already tweaked my right ringer finger halfway through my second climb. Thereafter I had to avoid using it the rest of the night. Enough is enough. This has finally led me to make an appointment with the orthopedist.
Here’s crossing my fingers I don’t have to take a break from climbing right as the weather gets good! That or I’m stuck top roping 5.6s but I could live with that at least.