Eldorado - Septumania (6a+)

Pictures taken by Marcel and Kathrin,  June 27th, 2008

 

Our tour started in the fog at Grimsel Hospiz, but as expected, we found sunny skies soon later. We hiked to Eldorado and were very surprised that no one else was there. I guess that's hardly ever the case. Thus, since we could have it for ourselves, we decided to climb the big classic Septumania. The first 4 pitches are really cool: they follow a washed out groove - it is like climbing in a giant bathtub! This is pitch 3, graded 5a.

 

 

Septumania mostly offers slab climbing. The bolts are quite scarce. Every when and then, and at all cruxes, you'll find one, but in between, you need to confidence to deal with runouts of up to 10m. This is Kathrin following pitch 4, graded 5b.

 

Amazing is, that as soon as there's just a little structure, the climbing turns really easy. On the other hand, it just needs to be a little smooth and it's tough. The first test awaits you at the start of pitch 5, graded 6a, where the start is a little runout. Here, Kathrin climbs the pleasant upper part of that pitch.

 

After all, some laybacking! This is Kathrin following in pitch 9, graded 5c. A few words to the gear that is necessary: bring 8 quickdraws and a selection of 5 Camalots, i.e. all sizes of 0.3 up to 1. Note that there is only limited use for the cams. The worst runouts are found on slabs, where you can't place them. And in the sections where they could be placed, the climbing is mostly easy, so you could even do without them.

 

Kathrin exiting the crux in pitch 10, graded 6a+. A few delicate friction moves need to be done, about 2m above the last bolt. After that's mastered, the next bolt can be clipped - but note, not before. Aiding isn't an option...

 

Delicate equilibrium in pitch 11, graded 5a. It's 50m long and there are 3 bolts only. The difficulties are moderate but sustained, it's pure friction low angle friction on smooth rock.

 

Pitch 12 is graded 4a and an easy intermezzo. Noteworthy are the pools to the left of Kathrin. They look very tempting for a swim and some chilling at the shore. If just the water weren't so bloody cold: the tip of the glacier (above Kathrin) is just a few 100m away...

 

That's me leading pitch 13, graded 5c. These flakes need to be managed by laybacking.

 

Almost at the top: Kathrin following pitch 15, graded 5c. Since we were alone, we decided to rappel. This is best done following Hirnriss (6c). It's 11 rappels and takes about 1 hour - the first station is right at the top of Septumania.

 


Picture Galleries/Home Marcel Dettling, 30.6.2008