Me and my boyfriend can not spend weekends in the city, always looking for some place where we can go hiking or climbing. Weather forecast for Alps for upcoming weekend is not good, we decided to go climbing. We have couple of options – Postalklamm close to Salzburg, via ferrata playground Mammut Klettersteig – Beisteinmauer or HTL via ferrata in Hohe Wand. All of them are good looking and on Friday evening I did not know, where we will go. Decision will be made on Saturday morning. We will see how quick we get up. Both of us were lazy at this morning, so decision was easy. We are going to the closes one – HTL via ferrata.
This via ferrata is described so many times. For someone it is hard one, others says it is easy. Don`t trust to people who says it is easy. Why? Continue reading.
Shortly before lunch we reached Maiersdorf village. Before we enter the par we have to pay toll 2 € and for entrance 1,8 € pro person. After that we can continue to the parking place, from which it takes 5 to 10 minutes to via ferrata. While we are ascending we are watching para-gliders, who are flying around. I like it and I want to try it once for sure. However lets continue to the wall, where via ferrata starts. One guy is already few meters above the ground and stuck. His carabiner from via ferrata set got stuck. Two other climbers are putting on climbing shoes and starts climbing.
I am thinking if I should go up with hiking shoes or should I take climbing shoes. I am sure in climbing shoes it will be much easier, but it will hurt for about 2 hours. My fingers will be in pain all the time. As I was thinking, two other climbers reach the wall and immediately their change to climbing shoes. Decision made. I will climb in climbing shoes as well. But i need to hurry up a bit. It is 11:45 already.
My boyfriend is not decided, if he is going to climb HTL via ferrata or not. He already did it and he knew what to expect. He climbed couple of meters, but decided to descent and wait for me on the other end. I did not like the idea he let me climb without him. Combination of not knowing what to expect and I am going alone terrifies me. On one side I really want to try HTL via ferrata on other side I am scared to go “alone”. Can I be able to climb the first hardest part? Yes, you read it right. First part is the hardest. It is classified as difficulty “D”, however it is a bit overhanging in one part “D/E”. This part is really hard one and requires a lot of strength. Almost whole part you need to pull yourself by your arms. Rock is smooth, slippery as ice. All the places you touch, you step are slippery. To make it even harder, I have forget to switch my carabiner. Therefore I have to climb down a bit to correct my mistake. This is the point where I lost all my energy. I had to use all my power to climb this overhanging part. At the top of it I have to relax for a while.
Should I continue or should I go back? Do I have enough energy to climb whole HTL via ferrata or do I get stuck somewhere? What I will do then? Via ferrata is only one way. Route goes only up. For a while I am standing on small spot and letting my boyfriend know I going to do it. I already have camera in my hands and going to take few pictures. I am OK now. Will take few pictures and continue. There is plenty of holds, I do not need to be stuck to the rope. Also there are places where I can put my feets.
After couple of minutes I realize that 4 of my fingers are without skin, despite the fact I am wearing gloves. It pinch a bit, wounds are not covered at all. I can not take off my back pack, to put tape it. For the first time I sit back and think for a while. I have to convince my self, that it is OK. My fingers will be OK. On top of that It is hot. Sun is burning the rock. Currently I have no other choice, I have to climb up. While I was relaxing one girl catch me up. I let her pass me after a small talk. Still there are parts where I need to pull my self, instead of climbing. However it is nothing really bad. At about 12:30 I reach place with “Wandbuch” – book where you can leave your name. It is nice place where you can sit and relax.
Near me under the tree is girl, who passed me, so I joined her. We start talking. I have find out she is living close to HTL via ferrata and climb it very often. Today it is also for her a pain, because of hot weather. When I asked what she thinks about this route, she does not recommend this path for people who do not have enough strength in arm. Every weekend she reads how someone had to be rescued from the wall. Either by the helicopter or by abseiling. Issue is that people lose most of the energy in the first part and they are not able to finish it.
It is time to get up and continue. In that second huge rock fell about half of the meter from my “new buddy”. She is very lucky not to be hit. My heart rate goes up immediately. Both of us are silently watching on each other. After a while both of us calm down, sign the book and continue climbing.
Second part is more technical. Difficulty B, C, D, which means nice climbing. I did not realize how fast I went thru it. It was maybe less than 10 minutes. On the place called Hofrat Schwarzer-Rast my boyfriend was waiting for me. I was so happy when I noticed his smiling face. We chat a bit, when I have noticed I do not have gloves. I have forgot them somewhere, probably close to the book. My boyfriend was so kind, he climbed down to take a look. He did not find them. Anyway I wanted to buy new one, which better cover my fingers. Last part of HTL via ferrata I climbed in my boyfriends gloves.
During the break I am thinking how I will finish this route. I have already climbed Blutspur in the past, secured by the rope. Today I am happy not to climb it. So I will continue to the HTL via ferrata, which start with horizontal part. It was not bad as I expected. From Skywalk is my boyfriend watching me. I am totally calm and I feel that he is taking care of me. Last vertical part. This is place where I sit for second time to check the path. Last part is peace of a cake. I climb it fast. It is about 14:10 when I can sit and relax. HTL via ferrata climbed!
I sit into the grass, taking off my climbing shoes. Now I realize, that fingers on my feet hurt. Much worse are my fingers on my hands. My boyfriend is coming smiling. His praise is the most valuable thing what I can get from this route. He is funny guy so he decided to have interview with me. I am so excited that I can not give him proper answers. Anyway I am glad that I tried HTL via ferrata and I did it. I understood, that did not enjoy the climb, and for me it was more about checking if I can do it. My next via ferrata will be much more about climbing skill and not about strength. However HTL via ferrata is something I will keep in my memory for long time.