Mon 03 Aug 1992
Mark McLean

Got up ridiculously early (7 AM !) to beautiful blue skies, sunshine etc. Drove to Sattel & immediately set off on the wrong path. Having realised our error, we turned back and tried again (the correct path is the left one which is signposted Trisselwand - as opposed to the one on the right signposted Trisselwand !) We then walked along the 233 for a short distance & turned left at the first thing that could just about pass for a path - this again was wrong of course (stay on the 233 until a reasonably sized path on the left - probably the second turning). After about an hour of walking through forests, christmas trees, etc. we turned right into the bunde (again wrong - you should keep on the path which goes down). Eventually, we arrived at the base of the lower left of the two large gulleys in the face - below an obvious pine tree (Wookey). Started climbing at ~11 am by which time the sun was just getting into the gulley. Start at obvious ring around corner from tree - many of these throughout the climb are next to brown/orange splodges of paint. 1st 2 pitches were easy & scrambly but with few places for protection - following the easiest line up. 3rd pitch - walk across to left wall & climb the crack - it would probably be a good idea to belay at the bottom of this (piton) instead of from the top of the second. Protection for this consists of pitons of varying quality. 4th & 5th & 6th straightforward but can't really remember (NB 50m rope recommended/needed for several of thse pitches). Some sections can be done moving together. Eventually arrived below a huge headwall with a large section of loose scree/boulders etc. to the left. Spent a long time faffing around here by going too high - it looks as if you can avoid the scree by doing this but a sheer gulley stops you halfway across. Correct way is to go across to the left & slightly upwards across the scree. This is quite exposed but otherwise not too bad. The point to aim for is a downward sloping slab on the corner of the left wall. There are pitons towards the left wall, honest !

At this point (5pm) Jeremy decided he was suffereing from sunstroke & he wanted to go down. NB there is almost no shade or breeze on the climb so take lots (2 lt per person) of water. Abseiled down as far as second pitch without any problem. I abseiled down to the 2nd and spent ages looking for the belay (someone had moved it around a corner on the right) which Christine then had a minor epic trying to reach. The stance at the top of this is quite small. It was starting to get dark & the first drops of rain from an obvious thunderstorm were starting to fall - all these together resulted in the rope getting horrendously tangled halfway down the pitch. After spending ~5 min attempting to untangle this - hanging at the base of a small gulley - the storm broke. The nice gulley was quickly transformed into a cascade of water, rocks were hitting me on the head. At this point I wasn't very happy. After resigning myself to the fact that I was obviously going to die, managed to move out of the worst of the shit on to a face & spent the next half hour untangling rope and cowering.

Back at the top, everyone else was having a similarly shit time getting pelted with ice and rocks - Christine ending up with a really pretty bruised shoulder. Eventually we all reached the bottom in various states of coldness, wetness, sanity etc. Walked back (right way this time) only to meet the Austrian Mountain Rescue on their way to us - someone had seen lights on the face in a thunderstorm and called them out. They didn't seem too pissed off but they were amazed that we had managed to spend 9 hrs on the face. Arrived back at Hilde's ~ 00.30 to meet the CUCC rescuers (thanks to all involved) who's been driving arpund looking for us before going to call out the rescue.

Good trip - definitely worth doing (quickly though).

Mark T/E (Time epic) 9hrs

Edit this entry.

Survex files on this date:
No wallets files found for this date.
Logbook trips on this date:
    161 - France - push, survey, derig