Limestone is widely varied in it's formations, texture, color and quality. The one constant is that when it is hot, limestone is a slippery frustrating mess. We needed some elevation, shade from the sun and rock with a bit more friction. Enter the Magic Wood, Ausserferrera, Switzerland. Six weeks of route climbing had been great for our endurance and route reading, bad for my power and worse for my elbows. It was time to wrestle some pebbles and what better than gritty, overhanging, powerful granite crimping and slapping. We arrived in Ausserferrera late in the evening, greeted by cool air, thick lush forest and the familiar sight of climbers huddled around a roaring bonfire at camp Bodhi. Mischa welcomed us to the camp and informed us of the less crowded clearing across the street where he himself kept his own camper. Exhausted from the drive we setup the Goose and called it a night.
Come morning, we thought it best to explore the forest and find problems to climb in the cooler afternoon temps. The blocks in the forest are extremely condensed meaning you don't have to walk far to reach new problems, but it they also tend to practically layered on top of one another. This lends to lots of scrabbling, hiking up and down and worst of all it creates bad landings under the problems. Big crews and loads of crash pads is the name of the game in Magic Wood. A task our army of two and our wee sized Organic pads were not quite prepared for.
- Dropzone -
We managed to find lines with decent landings for Corinne and she performed musical crash pads while I tried some lines with less than optimal landings. Corinne had the chance to practice a little more with my 60D and I think she is starting to take some pretty nice shots. Shooting photos, moving crash pads and spotting me is tough for one person, but she mastered the skill in in these woods.
- Dino's don't dyno -
As the days passed we met more climbers to help share the spotting responsibilities, which freed me up to take some climbing shots of Corinne. MW is known for having problems on the harder end of the spectrum, so we were skeptical of how much she would be able to climb. As we explored the forest however, we found projects for her and after a few days of work she started sending.
- Beach Arete - Corinne topping out one of her projects.
- Fettes Schweinchen -
- Du cote de Seshuan -
- Slip Slap Slop - A new friend and fellow spotter : Eyþór from Iceland.
After a week of rain on and off we needed to make our way to Germany. The cooling system on the Goose was giving us problems again and we have a friend in Nürnberg who could help us out; not to mention show us around town and the monster climbing destination that is Frankenjura. We were sad to leave beautiful Switzerland with it's endless mountain peaks and pristine woodland. However it will be nice to pay normal prices for groceries again!