due to a lack of WiFi while away, this is a retrospective series of blog posts from my back-to-back trips to Germany and Austria, written at the time to give a feeling on what was happening and my state of mind.
Monday 24th June, 11:00pm; Mayrhofen, Austria
The plan was to call this two, separate back-to-back trips, as my German week was such a disaster and to try and bring my run of bad luck to an end. After pulling the clutch pedal back up, it decided to play ball and i managed to get to Munich airport relatively easily and met up with Fredrik; now we have conversation so i’m up on last week already. Head back to the car, quick faff under the bonnet (clutch fluid is fine, phew) and after managing to negotiate our way out of the airport parking, we’re southbound, catching up like the old friends we have become.
Three hours later and we’re here: the campsite i stayed in 17 years ago and where my mum stayed 41 years ago (sorry mum). A fireworks display at midnight started my birthday off with one hell of a bang. The forecast come morning was entirely wrong and before you knew it, we’re heading into Zillertal to the crag Sundergrund, pads on backs, dog at my feet and huge beaming smiles on faces.
Fredrik left a little disappointed at the end of the day with Sundergrund, the quantity of quality mid-grade problems lacking a little with only a couple of truly inspiring lines on offer but neither of us could argue with it’s setting: the mountain vista and quaint old farm buildings more than making up for the half-hour slog up a forest track. If you’re ever here, it’s worth a shout, there’s enough for a good days worth of climbing at least and it is one of those spectacular bouldering venues worth seeing.
So back to the tent, quick shower in our luxury campsite, find some vaguely clean clothes and off to town for some authentic Austrian food. Well, a mixed grill would do, and did, and just as spirits were slowly coming down, a look out the window revealed a deluge falling from the sky. It was made slightly worse by the waiter trying to hurry us out the door…
It’s been steadily raining ever since, on and off, and the forecast didn’t look too promising either. Still, with our only real option being to return to Frankenjura, there was certainly some hesitation to pack up and leave. Within a stone’s throw of the tent and a hurried and soggy break down of camp, i suggested we took today to scout out some crags, see what’s around, find out some more info for next time. By the time we got back, it had become a good call: some possibilities lay in the Zillertal at least but most amazingly, the crag at Ginzling had dry climbs, covered in an abundance of chalk! Tomorrow, we’re heading back up there to actually get some bouldering done! All things being well that is…
And i’ve gotta be honest, i’m not holding my breath. To show my luck has not entirely turned quite yet, here’s an example: on the inside cover of the new guide we both bought is an advert for a shop in Zill am Ziller. We drove down, in search of some local info, only to find the door locked, with a note on the door: “Gone to a climbing festival from 16th to 29th June”. Starting to think someone up there doesn’t like me very much!