BD athlete Chris Webb Parsons makes a V15 first ascent in Switzerland's Magic Wood during his European bouldering tour
Black Diamond athlete Chris Webb Parsons had an amazing bouldering trip to Europe this fall, especially on the famed boulders of Switzerland’s Magic Wood. Below is the email and photos CWP recently sent us after leaving Europe for the U.S., as he continues his global bouldering tour.
I'm now in the US after a great 3-month trip to Europe. I’ll be in the US for 3 months then the plan is to head back to Europe in March for the World Cups. Once again I had a great time in Europe and I met some great people. Every time I go to Europe I always seem to do so much traveling around… I just never seem to stay in one place for long. The constant traveling around might have something to do with trying to dodge all the bad weather.
There was so much snow in Switzerland, Germany and Austria and being from Australia snow is somewhat of a treat for me to see, although to be honest I have now had enough of the snow and I'm ready to get back out on the rock.
I spent most of my time in Switzerland climbing in Magic Wood. I have spent a fair amount of time climbing in Magic Wood on previous trips to Europe but I never seem to get bored of it. One of the highlights of my trip and one of the highlights for my climbing career to date was a first ascent I did of a long-standing project in Magic Wood. I called the line Believe In Two and I graded it V15. Believe In Two is such a great boulder and the moves are perfect—it has to be one of the coolest problems I have done. The moves are so fun and from the moment you pull onto the first holds till your standing on top you’re fighting to stay on the rock.
After Switzerland, Alex and myself made the long drive from Switzerland to England to visit my family. It was nice to see all my family and it was hard to leave knowing that it will be a while before I see them again. We left England and headed to Fontainebleau to sample some of the best bouldering in the world. We arrived in Font to snow, snow, snow. We gave our best attempt to climb but the snow would not let up, so we bailed to the Germany to climb in the Frankenjura.
After another long drive we arrived in the Frankenjura to… more snow. We did a quick run around of the boulders to see what was dry. Unfortunately almost everything we found was wet or damp, so we made some dinner and played some cards until we fell asleep. After a terrible night sleep due to the combination of the -5 temperatures and sleeping in a car, we awoke to more snow and ice. Just getting out of the car to have a wee was hard as it was so cold there was not much to hold onto while peeing (there is usually something to hold onto, honest).
After some breaky we did the drive around and could not find many boulders that were dry. We made the choice to check out one big cave that we had climbed in previously. We arrived at the cave and it turned out that lots of other people had the same idea as we did—the cave was packed but there were things to climb on that were dry. The big cave was not in the best conditions and it was absolutely freezing, so it was hard to get going. I did manage to climb a great V12 called New School Rocks. The top out of New School is high off the ground and its was covered with ice so it made the top out very interesting and super scary, but it was well worth it once I was standing on the top of the cave.
We were planning on staying in the Frankenjura for a while longer, but due to it being super cold and wet we made the decision to head to Austria to catch up with some old mates and do some much needed training after all the eating we did in England.
Although I had a fair amount of bad weather in Europe I managed to climb lots of great boulders. Here is my tick list:
Believe In Two (V15) FA
Tough Times (V14) FA
Bella Luna (V13) FA
Steppen Wolf (V13)
La Boule Direkt (V13)
Vecchio Leone (V13)
High Spirit (V13)
The Riddler (V12/13)
New School Rocks (V12)
Schule Des Lebens (V12)
Freak Brothers (V12)
Nana Bianca (V12)
Aldi Power (V12)
Jenseits Von Jena (V12)
Alphane Moon (V11)
Serre Moi Fort (V11)
No Mystery (V11)
Free For All (V11) Flash
Aldi Power (V11)
After celebrating Christmas in Dallas, Texas I will be heading to Hueco Tanks to try my luck on some problems there. There is a large Australian contingent in Hueco right now so it will be great to catch up with some good mates while I’m there. On another note, before I left Australia I was busy filming for an up and coming up Australian climbing film called Smitten. Check out one of the teasers with myself in it here: http://vimeo.com/17598848