So, a quick catch up: Thursday evening involved a trip to 91.1 and backing off Flipper assis 7a+ for want of a spotter, a handful of easier problems ticked but again, nothing hard. Friday and i didn’t pack quickly enough, missed the office by 20 minutes and went to Gorge aux Chats and ticked off some more 4s, 5s and easy 6s to kill an hour and a half. After that was a slow and laborious drive to Bonn to collect Simon and a night on his couch, as it was getting a bit late to search for a campsite – once again, Ettringen would have to wait.
Saturday and we left at around midday, with poor Tess now spending more time than she would like in the car. We quickly realised that if we sat the needle of the speedometer at 60mph (which is actually 50mph) then the fuel economy went from 31mpg to nearly 40mpg. 11 hours and a meagre tank-and-a-bit of diesel later and we rocked up in Magic Wood, having driven through another beasty European storm.
But it meant that we were here: opening the tent door on Sunday morning to a beautiful mountain vista and stonking conditions. The campsite heaving and the crag equally so, we headed out to find that my estimation of Magic Wood last time was well off. Granted, i would still suggest that if you’re not climbing in the 7a area, this is not the place for you but if you are, this is heaven. On day one, Traversatta 7a+ fell to Simon and almost to me, Haze 7b did the opposite and we both arrived back at the site beaming smiles and making friends around the camp fire.
Yesterday wasn’t as successful but may yet prove crucial, as i was millimetres away from an unexpected 7c tick, Intermezzo. We hadn’t even gone to try that, and i was more psyched by Dinos Don’t Dyno 7b+ – a huge dyno i had looked at on my last trip – but Simon had become tempted by Intermezzo by the talk around the site. I’m very glad he was and the hope is to go finish it off this afternoon.
So today is my birthday; the sixth in the tradition of being in a different country every year. A year older than i arrived, i am thrilled to be back again, excorsizing the demons from that ill-advised tip in November 2012. Tomasz is as friendly as i remembered, the scene here is infinitely more appealing (we were the only idiots stupid enough to be here last time) and the climbing substantially better than i remembered. Success seems much more forgiving than either last week or last time, although the grades seem a little soft to me.
So an update to the Magic Wood is now due. After some climbing. Actually, after tea, then climbing.