Saturday, 27 February 2010

Wilder Kaiser, Band 1 and Band 2

Topo-based guides to climbs in the Wilder Kaiser. Minimal text in German describes approach, how many bolts and pegs a climb has, and descent. Seriousness rating given on a scale of E1 - E6. This has nothing to do with British E-grades, and is better compared with the P-rating in the Yorkshire gritstone guide. Climbs in the lower grades are described in Band 1 and those in the upper grades in Band 2. As with all Panico guides in this series the topos are also reproduced on pocket-sized pull-out cards. Topos are clear and accurate.

Author: Markus Stadler
Publisher: Panico (2004)
ISBN: 978-3-936740-06-6 and 978-3-936740-13-4

Friday, 26 February 2010

Best of Genuss, Band 1

Selected climbs guide covering the Salzburger and Berchtesgadener Alps. The guide covers climbs in the range from IV to VII, although the emphasis is more on climbs at the upper end of this range. Furthermore the guide concentrates on the many new bolted climbs which have been established in this area in the last two decades. For example, the Hinterstoisser/Kurz and the Barth Chimney, two well-known classics on the Berchtesgadener Hochthron from the start of the 20th century, are ignored in favour of newer but less well-known climbs. On the other hand, the guide contains many routes currently (2010) not described anywhere else. The authors are prolific new-routers in this region and include many of their own climbs.

The guidebook has many colour photographs for inspiration as well as colour crag photos with the lines of the routes. Each climb recieves a well-drawn topo as well as notes on approach and descent in German. Some climbs also receive a pitch by pitch description.

Of greatest interest to visiting climbers is likely to be the Hochkönig massif. A great number of the climbs in this massif are equipped with the controversial home-made Sigi-bolts. These have been linked to at least one fatal accident and subsequently shown in tests by the German Alpine Club (DAV) to show a large spread in failure loads. The authors have consequently decided not to describe any of the routes protected by Sigi-bolts, but still manage to include a large selection of other routes in the Hochkönig.(The DAV has also issue a warning concerning the use of these bolts.)

Authors: Rudolf Kühberger, Gerald Forchthammer
Published: Panico (2008)
ISBN: 978-3-936740-37-0