Leaving the Dam at 8, Rianne, Jacco, Richard and I headed south and east for the first Ambers trip to Pfalz in Germany.
Last year the intrepid Jen and Mark did the recon and with their guidebook (the Pfalz bible) off we went.
Whilst it might have been my event, being a lazy bugger I let Rianne do ALL the organising and planning and what a brilliant job she did.
Fri night we checked-in :) at a great hostel with Wifi somewhere in Belgium (only TomTom And Rianne know the exact location) - after a few beers we hit the sack.
Sat was an early start, we arrived in Pfalz before lunch.
It's an amazing landscape, thick forrests cover small hills with the occasional sandstone tower poking through the trees - brilliant.
This was a Trad climbing trip - where nuts and friends are used as protection - most of the routes had at least 1 bolt which was always greated like an old friend. It was Rianna, Jacco and Richard's first ever venture into the world of trad so after a 20min crash course where Richard finally got to play with his nuts we did some routes for real.
We started off gradually to show the ropes which everyone picked up pretty quickly. For those who don't know, there is a steep learning curve for trad, from placing gear to building a belay to protecting the second, and 20mins really does not do it justice.
At the end of the day Rianne navigated us to our campsite with ease, not having the turn the map once :-) The campsite was brilliant. We all pitched out tents.
At the head of a valley it came with it's own childrens playground, climbing shop, brilliant pub (with disgusting schnapps - but more of that later)
Sunday was the day Richard got his nuts properly scratched. We climbed some lovely slabs with an enormous overhang which we both managed to get over.
That evening after a meal fit for a king and due to a general lack of alcohol in the food bag we hit the pub. Suffice to say the schnapps came out, Richard decided to solo the childrens climbing wall and I smooth talked my way into purchasing more schnapps whilst Richard tried to see if anything moved and if he could get it out the door :-)
Having failed to reposition the glass cabinet outside someone decided to give the children a suprise in the morning :-)
Monday morning... ouch, hangover city (least for me and Rich)
The youngens looked annoyingly fresh faced grrrrr
We packed up and headed out again finding an awesome tower, Rianne and myself climbing the 3* classic which was the best route we'd found so far. Soon the hangover was forgotten and we were happy? campers.
By the afternoon we abseiled off,
Rianne then insisted on prussiking back up the rope...
...so she could Ab off again (ok ok the rope WAS stuck) which she did with ease.
Back in the car we fought the jams out of Germany and headed home.
At Maastricht we were less than an hour in front of Dave and Andreea who spent the weekend enjoying the comparably civilised world of sport climbing in Berdorf, though I believe they had their own epics by the bucket full. At the very least, I recon they had much better sandwiches than I.
All in all a magnificent trip... definitely worth a return.
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