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Definitely in the mood…

…for some more  sports climbing.

Yesterday we went to Sokoliki, a climbing crag in the Sokole Gory (part of Sudety Mountains), near where Monika’s from.

We had a pleasure to meet up with Grzegorz and Patrycja, who drove from Katowice region to climb with us. There were also some none climbers with us – Monika’s sister’s family, as well as Aleksander and Justyna from Zgorzelec. Good group to have plenty of fun with!

 

The region itself is pretty amazing, a granite heaven, known as a proving grounds for many generations of mountaineers. It’s here where most of the Polish famous climbers would train before embarking on their trips into High Tatras and beyond.

From sokoliki2016

There is actually couple of crags next to each other offering couple hundred routes (both bolted and trad) in range from 4 up to mid 7s (French sports scale).

 

From sokoliki2016

The place was very crowded yesterday (since it was a weekend in the middle of the season) with all easier routes heavily queued up. We did couple of random V graded routes , we settled on part of the crag called Zipserowa Czuba.

We ended up leading 4 or 5 routes ranging V+ to VI+) (French 5 to 6a+). As described in the book – the rock is amazing, not polished at all (pun not intended 😉 – and routes were just nice and long.

From sokoliki2016

After we were done, we all met up back home in the  back garden barbecue for a well earned beers and grilled sausages.

From sokoliki2016

During that day I’ve learned that I still have loads to learn to actually climb well. Definitely a lot of training in front of me, if i want to make an impact on this years October sports climbing trip.

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The Land of Extinct Volcanoes

is the ‘nickname’ of the area we visited today. Millions of years ago the extracting from underground magma froze and created many interesting shapes. You can find more information about the greater region here and here.

We had a half a day to spare, and set our heads towards mysterious, and relatively new (in bolted climbing terms) Diablak, a relatively small hill in the Kaczawskie Foothills region.

It’s climbable part, 25m basalt crag has been first explored in 2012. 9 fully bolted routes were set there  in 5 to 6c+ range (french sports) (although in Poland routes are graded in Kurtyka scale [so technically  they are graded V to VI.2+) [conversion tables].

Monika, Piotr (her brother in law) and i left Jelenia Gora around 10.30, and after 30 mins drive we were walking in the woods looking for the crag.

From diablak

It’s a really short walk, albeit it’s easy to get lost, so having good map is rather recommended. You don’t really see the wall right up until you are there.

From diablak

After we got there we geared up and I’ve put on the sharp end of the rope, opening with Heksagon (V+). It was rather interesting experience – I’ve never climbed on basalt, and since the crag is fairly new, there were some loose holds (and a lot of sticky spiderwebs!)

 

From diablak

It’s funny that when you go on sight, without knowing what the next hold brings, everything seems so much more… challenging. I actually overshot the chains, and topped out on a massive ledge above them. Luckily there were another 2 bolts, from which I belayed Monika and Piotr (as it was impossible to setup TR there).

Next, we moved left to the route number 6 – Poligon (V). Monika wanted to give it a go, but the start was just a little to steep (they all start from the based of big cave, making it rather tricky to start).

I went at it, and not without a little trouble moved up, to much easier terrain above.

From diablak

I’ve setup a TR, and the guys swiftly completed the route as well.

From diablak
From diablak

We moved further left to check out the NW facing wall that offered 2 interesting looking, albeit shorter routes – ‘Lewe rzebro Adama’ (VI) and ‘Prawe rzebro Adama’ (V+). (Translated as Left and Right Adam’s rib).

Both are a series of little roofs on very steep wall, with amazing holds everywhere. The right hand side is quite exposed and I’ve decided I wanted to start with it.

From diablak
From diablak

We don’t actually have any photos from these left hand side variant, but it was also very enjoyable. A bit more steeper, but good holds.

Overall all routes are well protected, although there isn’t too many of them. If you want to try basalt rock and half 1/2 day then maybe it’s worth the trip.

But with surplus of climbing in nearby Sudety and its Sokolik crag in particular (where we will be going tomorrow), it’d be hard to justify going back to Diablak.