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Servus, whoever you are. This blog offers you some tips for trips, links and my experiences with given tour. There could be also some interwievs or philosophical thoughs hidden here and there. But don't take them to seriously.
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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Iceclimbing Lac Blanc

altitude: ~1200
attitude: stay alive
season: January 2016
reason: be alive

Vogesen, Vosges, Vogézy. They are full of contrasts. They were already glorified in this blog, see Martinswand or Spitzkoepf. This time, we decided that we are old enough to try something for big guys. The ice above Lac Blanc is comparable with what I have seen in much higher mountains. The only issue is, that really good conditions for ice-climbing at this rock appears only for few weeks in January. That means, that when the ice is there, it is surely occupied by other big guys, no matter what the weather is.

Firstly, please check this page: camptocamp
It is showing the position, access routes (yes, you need to go up to that rock with a statue and further up to the mountain to access the icy face). But more importantly, there are two pictures with the labels of possible routes, and not only fashion collection of  pictures of stylish climbers in stylish positions two meters above the ground, like in this blog actually. We climbed the routes 8, 10 and 11, since the 1-6 were occupied for the whole day.

The routes 1-6, always occupied.
The access to the other routes than 1-6 is however little bit complicated. We used some more or less natural path, but it was already walking at II UIAA grade, see picture below.

When we approached the icy wall, we were surprised by the extent of the ice. It is actually as large as the bottom one with the routes 1-6. The first route 10 has approx. 45 m, so we did it in two pitches. The other two are shorter, but steeper. Nevertheless, I can recommend all of them. Also the exposure is great there, since the routes take place in the upper part of the face. More info one does not need. Just go there.

the advertisement of the Singing Rock
mrqa and his shot, route 8

a big guy collection: me in the action, route 10

Saturday, January 2, 2016


difficulty: PD-
altitude: 2388 m
month: December 2015 

We walked along the piste heading to the ski resort Wurzeralm with the headlamps on our heads and skies on our rucksacks. Snow conditions, or rather grassy conditions, were very poor (grassy conditions great). The chalet Linzerhaus offers a great place to stay overnight and the cuisine is comparable with all of the Bavarian or Tyrolean restaurants: you order a small light dish but you get a huge portion of fat unhealthy meal which you must finish otherwise you will be killed and buried deep in the Tyrolean forests. At least it is tasteful.

We followed the long piste (not yet in operation) up to the valley named Frauenkar and then we continued off-piste in the valley on its right side (left side on the picture above). Actually, the other side was correct choice. The avalanches can fall any time in that valley when the conditions are bad. But there wasn't enough snow those days.

The view into the Frauenkar

One follows the valley until one reaches the pass between an unnamed sharp peak and the Warscheneck main summit. Then, the trail follows the slopes on the left looking from the pass. Rocky and technical part is visible already from here, see picture bellow. Fortunately, there is a fixed rope on that roughly 30 metres long climb and it can be passed almost without belaying. Above this part there is however nothing too difficult, it is just 30 minutes to the summit.

The technical part of the trip.

The view from the technical part back to the pass.

The summit was occupied by many people of several kind. I guess the ascent from the north side is way more easy. The summit offers a view of the Dachstein, and several lower mountain ranges. Despite a low altitude of this mountain, the feeling of high altitude is there, because all the surrounding mountains are lower. In a day of clear weather, I can promise you a similar impression as on the top of some 4000 peak. But you need to look down into the valley, like it is caught on the picture bellow. Nevertheless, try to be careful with these snowy edges. This mountain could very quickly prove you its dangerousness.

Close to the summit, really only 2388?