Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Bouldering in a Winter Wonderland

So now the rain has turned to snow but the conditions are minty on dry days! With temperatures around and below freezing, it's been all about multiple layers and high psyche levels in order to get things done. On Monday, Dave and I drove into the winter wonderland that is Brione. It is VERY snowy there now and we had to take wellies, hot water to melt ice and brushes to remove snow from the top outs (very committed – or mad - I hear you say). The plan for the day was Marylin Monroe (8A) for me and General Dissarray (8B) for Dave (which are on the same boulder) and then a little play on Ganymede Takeover (8A+). So we started with a fair bit of brushing to enable a top out to be done. Marylin is easy to top out, with the hard climbing lower down so a bit of ice and snow was no problem and we had soon made it possible. Warming up was hard! A bit of painful dry firing here and there to wake up the skin...

Dave had had one previous session on General where he was really solid on the moves and did some good links so I was optimistic he would do well. The only problem he had was splits behind his nails which meant he had a limited number of tries before they reopened. I had had a fair few sessions on Marylin and was at a very frustrating stage having fallen off the last hard move lots of times. I first tried this problem two years ago with Dorothea Karalaus and I could barely do a move. I was so inspired watching her try it and since then it has always been on my wish list. I was optimistic but also knew I may just repeat my previous two sessions and mess up the end. Luckily, after a few goes (and a bit of frustrated rage) I managed to hold the last hard move and finish the problem. A few goes after I had finished Dave also pulled it out of the bag and did General Dissarray – really impressive in two sessions! Very pleased with ourselves we then headed up for a play on Ganymede to finish off a good day. Here are some pictures:

The next day I headed up to Cresciano with Kook. He headed off to his project for the day and I went to warm up and try Frank's Wild Years (8A). I had had two previous sessions on this block and I enjoyed trying it. It is fairly kind on the skin and is really burly. This type of climbing isn't my forte but I really like it, and I enjoy feeling totally destroyed after trying it! I had tried it a few days before with a guy called Andrea who lives in Cresciano and he was psyched again so we warmed up and set to work. The problem requires a lot of body tension and power but I think the key is to get as much weight through the feet as possible. I felt really good, despite the trip to Brione the day before and after some tries I managed to finish the problem. Very psyched. Later that day I went on to do some filming and spotting and Dave Jones did a really quick ascent of La Prou (8B). He had done Boogalagga (8B), his first 8B, the day before. Really good effort.

La Prou 8b Cresciano from David Jones on Vimeo.

Another thing worth mentioning is Mickey Paige's ascent of From Dirt Grows Flowers (8C) at Schattental. Though not as well known as some, Mick is ridiculously strong which this ascent obviously this space for more in the next month I think.


  1. The snow shots are just beautiful. Vienna is now blanketed too. You're ticking of such amazing climbs - very impressed! DX

  2. Wow Mina - very impressive! Just read the article about your recent successes on - great stuff! xxx