Sunday, 18 October 2015
Sandstone, rain, and fear. by Stevie Haston.
The continuing journey to sample Czech beer and Sandstone, is a bit damp at the moment. On a tip, we went to see a place where you can actually use chalk, and promptly forgot our chalk bags. The bolts were also reportedly closer together, they were, by about 6 cms on the meter!
Anyway it was brill. Czech place names are very hard to get your tongue around, so getting places, especially when you don't know where they are, can be hard. It was a filler in kindda day, and in truth you could easily spend two weeks in this gorge. Routes from reasonable to 9a (french grade), some with normal run outs, not Teutonic, or Bohemian in nature.
There was hope that the mist and drizzle was going to stop and clear, but it didn't. The warm up nearly killed me, I had to use ninja footwork, and try really hard. There were aretes that would be famous else where, and overhanging walls to die of a pump for.
Dolni Zleb is the cliffs name, just past Decin, and just short of the border with East Germany, and Elbstandstein. The cliffs are climbed under a more relaxed book of rules than the Elbsandstein, so routes can be foud which fit the more normal profile of not taking 50 foot falls. More on rules and styles and history, when I go back to see Bernd Arnold. Hopefully there will be a couple of pages in the Uks best climbing magazine, hint, hint.
There where in the forest, boulders bigger than gritstone cliffs, of such extraordinary beauty that I simply can't describe them-a Boulderers dream. Why arnt you there lads? At times I was taken back years to moorland escapades in the peak district, but I know some of you will hate me for saying it, but this place is just bigger. There you go, it's not about bashing Grit, it's the plain awkward truth, don't kill the messenger. Come drink some Pivo (Czech for beer), and do excellent routes. The only thing that is a bit of an "if", is the northern weather. Gozo I love you and your reliable sunshine, and will never take your name in vain again. Please Czech sun come out, and smile.