Switzerland

Switzerland has always held a strange allure for me. One of those destinations that until recently I had not heard that much about.

Mich had been a couple of years previous and had raved about these awesome granite blocs with good crimps, edges and the ocassional sloper as well as the chocolate!

Mich cruising up Palpa Tina

Mich cruising the lower section of Palpa Tina 7a+

Mich is much more well travelled when it comes to climbing trips than myself and always said “yeah Font’s good but there are soooo many other great places, maybe even better for us UK climbers who spend a lot of time at the gym due to bad weather”.

At first I thought that this was blasphemy. Can anywhere be better than Font? However, her wise words did seem to make sense. The weather in the UK always seems to result in a lot of plastic time and most trips to Font are spent learning the style rather than putting all those hours in the gym into practice.

Tom loosing skin on Black Jack 6c+

Me on the brilliant Black Jack 6c+ at Paese.

This made me a little bit more open minded about going to Swiss where I had previously regarded it as more of an inferior destination.

How more wrong could I have been. Upon arriving in Swiss I was still a little sceptical. “Sure the rocks looked good but do you know where can I get a croissant around here?”

However, as the days went by I was warming to the place more and more. We pretty much climbed exclusivley in the area of Chironico and with each sector we visited it seemed to unveil these incredible problems with fantastic rock quality, great moves and holds that I could actually pull on.

Playing on these incredible granite boulders, nestled amongst the trees at the base of the alps, I must say I fell in love with the place. I dont think on any trip before have I ever done so much high quality stuff. So many incredible lines and problems that tested me more physically and mentally.

Tom Greenall flashing Chads Buldge

Flashing the punchy Chads Buldge 7a

The more time went on the more I got into the style of the climbing and the lifestyle of Swiss. As this came so did the psyche and even better problems as I got a bit stronger.

However, I definatley don’t think that the climbing here soley suits the bigger numbers. I have spoken to a lot of people who kind of see Swiss as a destination for the 8a climber and the sole preserve of the campus board champion but this is all totally inacurrate. I must have climbed some of the best quality 6’s in my life during my time here and if you can climb up to 7b there is an endless pool of great features and lines to tackle.

Mich Forrest on Hopper

Mich on Hopper 6c+/7a

Swiss is an incredible place and I would urge any climber committed to gaining new experiences to go there. I do think that us Brits get a little over romanced by Font. Maybe its because its so close to us or maybe its the food but I can safely say that Swiss can easily hold it’s own and in many ways is one of the best bouldering destinations in the world.

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