„Ravage“ (8b+/c) at Chuenisberg: A Comprehensive Overview

„Ravage“ (8b+/c) at Chuenisberg: A Comprehensive Overview

„Ravage“ (8b+/c) at Chuenisberg: A Comprehensive Overview

„Ravage“ is one of the most challenging and iconic sport climbing routes located at Chuenisberg in Switzerland. As one of the most demanding routes in the area, it has attracted elite climbers eager to test their skills against its intricate and powerful moves. Here’s a detailed look at the history, location, access, and accommodation options for climbers interested in tackling this formidable route.

History of „Ravage“

„Ravage“ was initially bolted and climbed by Antoine Le Menestrel in 1986. At the time, it was considered one of the hardest routes in the world. This achievement brought significant attention to Chuenisberg, propelling it into the limelight of the global climbing community.

The route’s difficulty rating was subject to debate. Initially graded as 8c, it was later downgraded to 8b+ by Wenzel Vodicka, who repeated the route in September 1986. The third ascent was made by Philippe Steulet in 1989, who encountered increased difficulty due to broken footholds in the traverse. This led Fred Nicole and Elie Chevieux to propose an upgraded difficulty of 8b+/c in 1996, a grade that remains accepted today. Up until 2002, „Ravage“ saw only ten ascents, and by 2020, around forty climbers had successfully completed it. Notably, Adam Ondra managed to onsight „Ravage“ in 2009, showcasing his exceptional climbing prowess.

Location and Geography

Chuenisberg is located in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland, near the town of Adelboden. This area is renowned for its stunning limestone cliffs, which offer a variety of climbing routes catering to different skill levels. The scenic beauty of the region, combined with the quality of the rock, makes it a popular destination for climbers.

Geology: The limestone cliffs of Chuenisberg provide excellent friction and feature a range of holds, from small crimps to larger pockets. The rock quality is generally solid, though climbers should always be cautious of loose sections, particularly on less-traveled routes.

Route Description: „Ravage“ (8b+/c)

Grade: 8b+/c
Type: Sport Climbing
Length: Approximately 30 meters
Rock Type: Limestone

„Ravage“ is known for its technical difficulty and the precision required to navigate its moves. The route features a combination of small crimps, powerful dynamic moves, and intricate sequences that demand a high level of skill and endurance.

Start: The route begins with a series of delicate moves on small holds, requiring precise footwork and balance. Climbers need to carefully navigate these initial moves to conserve energy for the more challenging sections ahead.

Crux: The crux of „Ravage“ is located about halfway up the route. This section involves a difficult sequence of moves on tiny crimps and pockets, demanding both finger strength and body tension. Climbers must execute a powerful and dynamic move to reach a higher hold, a key moment that often determines the success of the ascent.

Upper Section: The final part of the route transitions into more powerful, dynamic moves on slightly larger holds, leading to a challenging finish that tests the climber’s endurance. Maintaining composure and managing energy is crucial in this section to complete the climb successfully.

Access and Approach

Getting There: Chuenisberg is accessible by car, with the nearest town being Adelboden. From Adelboden, climbers can follow signs to the Chuenisberg parking area, which is well-marked and easy to find.

Approach: From the parking area, a well-trodden path leads climbers to the base of the cliffs. The hike takes approximately 15-20 minutes and is relatively easy, though it can be steep in some sections. The path winds through picturesque forests and meadows, offering a pleasant start to the climbing day.

Accommodation Options

Camping: For those who prefer to stay close to nature, there are several camping options near Chuenisberg. The campsites are well-equipped with basic amenities such as toilets, showers, and designated cooking areas. Camping is a popular choice among climbers who enjoy the camaraderie and communal atmosphere.

Hotels and Guesthouses: Adelboden offers a range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly guesthouses to more luxurious hotels. Staying in Adelboden provides easy access to Chuenisberg while offering the comfort and convenience of a town setting. Some recommended options include:

  • Hotel Adler Adelboden: A charming hotel located in the heart of Adelboden, offering comfortable rooms, a restaurant, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
  • The Cambrian: A luxury hotel featuring modern amenities, an outdoor pool, and a spa, perfect for relaxation after a day of climbing.
  • Gasthof Ruedy-Hus: A cozy guesthouse with a rustic feel, offering affordable rooms and a welcoming atmosphere.

Vacation Rentals: For those looking for a more private and flexible accommodation option, vacation rentals such as cabins and apartments are available in and around Adelboden. Websites like Airbnb and Vrbo offer a variety of options to suit different preferences and budgets.

Local Amenities and Services

Climbing Shops: Adelboden has several outdoor gear shops where climbers can purchase or rent equipment, buy guidebooks, and get local beta on the routes. Shops like Bergsport-Adventure offer a range of climbing gear and accessories.

Restaurants and Cafes: After a long day of climbing, Adelboden’s restaurants and cafes provide a variety of dining options. From traditional Swiss cuisine to international dishes, there is something to satisfy every palate. Popular choices include:

  • Restaurant Hohliebe-Stübli: Known for its traditional Swiss dishes and cozy atmosphere.
  • Schmitte: Offers a mix of local and international cuisine with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients.
  • Cafe Adler: A great spot for coffee and pastries, perfect for a relaxing break.

Health and Wellness: For climbers needing some recovery after a challenging day, Adelboden offers several wellness options. The Cambrian Spa is a popular choice, featuring a range of treatments, a sauna, and an outdoor pool with panoramic views.

Local Climbing Community

The climbing community at Chuenisberg is vibrant and welcoming. Local climbers are often found at the crags, offering beta and sharing stories. The community spirit enhances the climbing experience, providing support and encouragement to both new and experienced climbers.

Conservation and Sustainability

As with many popular climbing areas, conservation is crucial to preserving the natural beauty and integrity of Chuenisberg. Climbers are encouraged to follow Leave No Trace principles, including packing out all trash, minimizing impact on the environment, and respecting local wildlife. Efforts to maintain trails and climbing routes are ongoing, with local climbing organizations often organizing clean-up days and conservation projects.

„Ravage“ (8b+/c) at Chuenisberg is a pinnacle of sport climbing in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland. Its challenging sequences, combined with the stunning natural beauty of the area, make it a must-visit for any serious climber. From its rich history and notable ascents to its convenient access and variety of accommodation options, Chuenisberg offers a complete climbing experience. Whether you are tackling „Ravage“ or exploring the other excellent routes in the area, Chuenisberg promises an unforgettable adventure in one of Switzerland’s most picturesque settings.