Magic Wood, like Zillertal, and as the name would suggest, is situated in a crozzly wood. While the trails are much better than my first visit in 2012, they are still rough, rugged and a bit trying. Through between 15-20kg on your back and trudge through this talus daily and it takes it’s toll. By the last day, the ligaments (i think) in my right knee are starting to complain and hyper extending the knee is causing major problems.
I think this is worth stressing for somewhere like here: a rest day is not simply a rest for your fingers or your skin, it’s a rest for your whole body. We didn’t really take a rest day, i had a day doing next to nothing but still walked in with my kit and in hindsight, this really took it’s toll. Everything about Magic Wood can be quite punishing (except Tomasz that is) and it’s worth bearing this in mind when you’re there for a while. I don’t normally take rest days on week long trips but next time, it’s going to be scheduled, definitely. [Incidentally, today i’m heading down to the local walk-in minor injuries hospital to get the knee checked out]
Nevertheless, by this time it was Friday and our last climbing day – not one we were going to take sitting down! Knee notwithstanding, we were both feeling pretty good and pretty strong so it was one last push for a tick or two. Typically, we started slowly, although in this case we had little choice; our schedule dictated by a 1:30 appointment with Tess at the vet. Formalities done with (by an excellent and friendly vet) and before we could hit the problems proper, there was a photo that i was super keen for. From the road, on the opposite side of the river, there’s a superb view of one of the boulders. The plan was to have me climbing a problem and Simon across the way catching snaps. While it wasn’t exactly what i had in mind, it did give a different and unusual perspective and once again, i’m indebted to Simon for the effort of doubling his walk in.
We’d agreed to meet Jaako and Raul, our two Finnish friends, and with AJ along as well, we already had a good amount of pads and spotters for the hard rising traverse of Schneebrett 7c but when we arrived, there were already some Brits from Yorkshire and another Finnish couple, giving us more pads than we could use. Even when the Brits left, they left us with their pads and four Germans arrived to give us an even softer landing. AJ succeeded, the rest persevered valiantly and i complained about my knee, now hurting quite substantially.
Eventually we succumbed to it’s difficulties and moved on, returning to Dropzone 7a but instead to try the traverse in, Hohenzone 7c. It exchanges the first tricksome moves of Dropzone with a techy and thuggy initial section, with a slightly dodgy landing in the middle thrown in. AJ and Simon battled away, Simon struggling with the initial dynamic thrutch. Meanwhile, i got onto a large adjacent block and clutched the camera.
The video of AJ came out beautifully, and is shown below, spliced together with my ascent of Dinos Don’t Dyno. It’s called Contrast at Magic Wood for various reasons: the two climbs, while similar in grade, at wildly different, one long and smooth and elegant, the other one massive move, flying through the air. Everything about these problems is different and hopefully the accompanying music supports this.
[Aside: editing the video has given me the impetus to crack on with a local showcase film on North Wales bouldering, I’ll come back to this in the next few posts]
By this point, i hadn’t actually climbed anything – a poor show for a last day, even if nursing a mild injury. Nearby, Bosna Genial 7a was mentioned at the very beginning of the guidebook section as a stand out line and i was keen to give it a bash. Two small crimps and, as it turns out, two toe hooks around a prow lead into a jug and a series of good slopers to top out. I looked at this from the floor, someone else having ticked to slopers and didn’t think the first move that far, or the starting holds too small. Pads down, sit on the floor, pull up and boom! First move campused and the rest fairly easy. A 7a flash to top off the best trip i’ve ever had.