We sleep late today, as the weather seems to be nice for the following week and as we don’t plan any epic routes for today. And so we spent a pleasant lazy morning in the bunk beds from Stripsenjochhaus, before we finally set out around 9 for today’s route, the Fiechtl route, a 5+ 11 pitch route from the Totenkirchl Sockel.
I should say that during the 3 days spent at the Stripsenjochhaus hut we felt really at home, even though we were probably the only ones eating out our own bags. The hut is in a brilliant spot, and it’s one of the only huts which isn’t on a peak, but which still allows to watch both the sunrise and the sunset.
The Sockel has the advantage that it starts a bit lower and the routes end somewhere half-way up the Totenkirchl, so that the descent is a lot quicker. Also on the other hand the route has quite a few V, and V+ pitches so I’m sure there will be plenty of climbing.
After reaching the entry to the route, we start discovering the pitches of the route. And so we climb on an exposed traverse with good holds, followed by a small overhang and by some not so interesting pitches up to the middle of the wall. However the most adventurous part of route came just at the end, with an epic 60m chimney which didn’t seem quite that easy.
Even though my chimney technique isn’t the best, I think that the Wilder Kaiser pioneers were really good at it, and usually all the pitches which contained chimneys seemed harder than their rating. And I really had to fight a bit on the chimney, because it was relatively holdless, and a bit wet, and a bit overhanging,and with bolts each 10 meters. All these were more than enough to convince me to remain squeezed inside the chimney and to avoid climbing it on the outside. There is a certain safety given by the fact that you know that if you expand yourself a bit you’re not going to fall from the chimney. Near the end the chimney ended with a serious overhang, but the route avoided it just in the last moment.
After the 60 meters my skin was completely scratched, and reached the conclusion that climbing chimneys in shorts and a t-shirt might not be the best idea. Either way, I really recommend the route, which has as an added bonus a quick and pleasant descent.
After we got back to the hut, with the energy which I had left I dash to the car to fetch my DSLR hoping for a spectacular sunset. After a short evening run and a fast climb, we reach the 1800 meter peak behind Stripsenjochhaus just in time for some nice pics. We have the small shelter on the top all to ourselves, and we watch a weather front coming in from the west. Tomorrow we’re finally going to take a break after 3 climbing days.