I was looking forward to ice climbing for months and finally last weekend we made it to Austria. The plan was to climb two days some relaxed pitches at the frozen waterfalls of the Renkfälle in the Kaunertal. Somehow this trip got way more exhausting than expected …
The last year was dominated by hard sport climbing nearly the whole year. In the end, it got harder to keep the motivation. And so I was pleased to get the opportunity to focus on something else: ice climbing. At Friday afternoon, Mori, Oli, E and Dennis told me spontaneous they would take me to Austria. I was really happy about this opportunity, left my work and packed my stuff to get to Freudenstadt to my parents. Wasting too much time with talking, I got to bed way too late. After three hours of bad sleeping, I had to get up at 3:30 am to drive to Austria.
When we arrived in the Kaunertal in the morning, I already was pretty done. Then the next problem: the street up the valley was completely covered with blank ice. We had no chances to drive up the valley without some snow chains. This made the long approach to the waterfalls to a horrible long approach: we had to walk 10 km and 1000m altitude difference. It took us three hours with our snowshoes to get up to the icefalls. But once there the icefalls looked amazing: a massive shield around 250m high of vertical massive ice.
Oli, Dennis and I decided to climb a steep ice channel on the right side. The ice was quite compact and good to climb. The hole ice falls were in North direction and there was no sun the whole day even though the weather was amazing. The temperature was about -10° C, but it felt way colder. The cold hurt while our fingers were freezing. After climbing three pitches with about 150m, the sun disappeared behind the mountains and it got dark. We had to prepare all the Abalakov threads, so we rappelled very slowly. We arrived at the footage of the icefalls in complete darkness.
And then we had to walk again three hours and 10km back to the ground of the valley. Actually, the plan was to sleep a night in our tends and to climb another day. But we were quite done and none of us was motivated to hike again 20km again at the next day. So we decided to call it a day and drove back to Germany. So after 22 hours, we were back home. This was not the relaxed ice climbing day we had expected – but it was a super cool day for sure (and relaxed would have been boring) 🙂 .
Thanks a lot to Mori, Oli, E and Dennis who gave me this opportunity for some ice climbing. And here you can find some more information about the icefalls in the Kaunertal.