Black Diamond invited Markus and me to the Ice Climbing Festival in Kandersteg! I had just finished my Spain trip and drove with some friends to Germany. After a short night in Freiburg Markus picked me up and we reached the festival just in time. I was so excited to climb with ice axes for the first time! We directly got some starting numbers for the dry tooling competition. Luckily there was a possibility to warm up and to check how to use the crampons and axes on a short rock. Everybody said that it's easy, like climbing on big jugs. But phh...after 3m I was already too pumped!
Daniel Jung Attends the ICE CLIMBING FESTIVAL in Kandersteg
Finally it was ok, after getting a feeling for how the metal sticks on the rock. I didnt`t expacted anything, even more after I had seen that I had to use the axe like an undercling in the qualification route... Very unexpectedly everything went well and I was very excited when I reached the Top point! But sadly my axes glided off, so it was top minus and so out of the game. Normally it could be sad to miss the semifinal only because of one second, but I was still very happy about all the way I climbed!
Markus and me were very psyched to check out how it workes to climb on ice!! Luckily there was a toperope on nice ice. It was fun and not that compicated as expected.
I didn't try drytooling or mixed on natural rock, so I'm sure that it is very technical and that you need a lot of precison to snatch litle structures.. I will have to try this out too :-)
Before the final we watched the impressive "Big wall jamming" show of the Favresse brothers.
After having a really funny party in the night, we were very motivated to climb an iced waterfall! Sadly the ice quality wasn't good enough to go all the way up. But it was fun enough to check out how leading works with the icescrews on the first 20 m. I just wanted to start climbing again when we heard breaking ice above us. I directly started running downhill. Markus was lucky to be safe fast, but I got a painful impact on my side. I was very lucky not to get it on my helmet. So two weeks later I still have a little blue and green blain on my side :-) Also there was a workshop with some people next to us, but they luckily finished climbing to the right time. Only one girl got struck on her head, her helmet broke but she luckily wasn't hurt.
It was 6°C and a bit too warm for ice climbing, but the main problem was the sun on the upper part. From our point of view we couldn't see it.
So, ice climbing can be dangerous. But I'm still motivated to go again under colder and safer conditions.
For sure we will go to Kandersteg again next year! It was a very nice weekend with a lot of fun!