1. A Danish Outdoor Adventure Group Production

    The Iron Road - Via Ferrata in the Dolomites

    After watching a TV program about Via Ferrata, we decided to return to the Dolomites, in August 2010. This time to become even better acquainted with the routes in Brenta and the northern part of the mountains. Our goal was to climb 10 routes in 12 days and try some of the harder climbs, technical grade 5A or 5B, Fletcher/Smith Rating.
    With a hired car from Münich, a small 2 person tent, some wonderful Italian food and great German beer, we went on a great adventure. During these 12 intensive days, we met Will Stewart and Kirsty Bamber, a great cave climbing couple, who made a permanent impression.

    For those who are not familiar with the term a via ferrata, Italian for “iron road” or klettersteig, German for "climbing path", is a mountain route which is equipped with fixed cables, stemples, ladders, and bridges. The use of these allows otherwise isolated routes to be joined to create longer routes which are accessible to people with a wide range of climbing abilities. Walkers and climbers can follow vie ferrate without the need to use their own ropes and belays, and without the risks associated with unprotected scrambling and climbing.

    Here is some information about the routes climbed in the video. Not all of the 10 routes are included, as filming became difficult.

    The Fletcher/Smith Rating System consists of two parts:
    A number, which rates the technical difficulty from 1 (easiest) to 5 (most difficult).
    A letter, which indicates the overall alpine commitment or “seriousness” of the undertaking.
    Three letters are used: A (least commitment), B, and C (greatest commitment).
    Based on this, a 1A is basically a walk-up, likely in a safe area close to civilization, and not likely to be very long. A 5C likely includes some challenging rock climbing, is remote, long, and as hard as they come for via ferrata. Something like a 4A might be a challenging rock climb but likely not very long and in a friendly environment. Current via ferrata guidebooks by Fletcher and Smith employ this system.

    Via Ferrata Italian name - Fletcher/Smith Name - Fletcher/Smith Rating

    Angelo Viali - Vizen 5 - Rated 3B
    Giancarlo Biasin - Vizen 3 - Rated 5A
    Giulio Segata - Trent 7 - Graded 5B
    Burrone di Mezzocorona - Trent 1 - Graded 2B
    Sentiero Alfredo Benini (Via Delle Bocchette) - Bren 1 - Graded 2C
    Sentiero Bocchette Alte (Via Delle Bocchette) - Bren 4 - Graded 4C
    Via delle Trincee, La Mesola - Arab 2 - Graded 4B
    Piz da Lech - Corv 5 - Graded 3B

    Live the Adventure


    Gil Nielsen and Kenneth Andreasen
    Danish Outdoor Adventure Group

    # vimeo.com/38398222 Uploaded 5,401 Plays 0 Comments
  2. A Danish Outdoor Adventure Group Production

    In august 2011, we decided to start summiting the highest mountains of each country in Europe. As we had already done the Mount Blanc and several others, we agreed upon Austria and Germany.

    The Zugspitze Climb:
    The Zugspitze, at 2,962 metres above sea level, is the highest peak of the Wetterstein Mountains as well as the highest mountain in Germany. It lies south of the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and the border between Germany and Austria runs over its western summit.

    The ascent starts in Hammersbach (758 m or 2,487 ft) through the Höllental along the Hammersbach stream. The path runs through the Höllental Gorge (Höllentalklamm) and was built from 1902 to 1905. Twelve tunnels were driven in the rock of the 1,026 metre long gorge with a total length of 288 metres. Another 569 metres of path was dynamited into the rock in the shape of a half profile, whilst 120 metres was led over footbridges and 49 metres over scree. The gorge can also be circumnavigated over the Stangensteig path. After the gorge the route heads for the Höllentalanger Hut (1,381 m or 4,531 ft), after which it crosses the Höllentalanger stream. Above that the Brett is crossed on steel pins fixed to a rock face. Crossing the Grünen Buckel the trail runs up to the Höllentalferner glacier. The glacier is mostly snow-free in summer so that crampons are required to cross it. Even more difficult is the randkluft because the ice retreats further and further from the rock as it melts. After the glacier there is a klettersteig to the summit of the Zugspitze. This route climbs through a height of 2,204 m (7,231 ft), for which between seven and eight hours are needed. There is also the option of getting to the Höllental route on the Riffelsteig path from Eibsee. This path crosses the Riffelscharte wind gap and meets the route before the Brett.

    An excellent long day with an overnight stay on top of the mountain on a lonely snowpatch just 20 m left of the top. Next day we hiked down the Austrian side.

    Two days later we attempted the Grossglockner:

    The Grossglockner is, at 3,798 m. (12 460 ft.) above sea level, Austria's highest mountain and the highest mountain in the Alps east of the Brenner Pass. This makes it, after Mont Blanc, the second most prominent mountain in the Alps, when measured by relative height.

    We agreed upon climbing the normal route.
    The easiest and most common route is from Erzherzog-Johann-hut: PD, glacier 35°, UIAA II.

    The Grossglockner is one of the "to do"-mountains, like Matterhorn and Mont Blanc, which many non-alpinists want to climb once in a lifetime. So it is often noticed that unexperienced and under-equipped people try to climb it. The normal route is more difficult than many other major mountains of the alps. From the Erzherzog-Johann-hut you have to cope with a 35-40 degree steep slope (pure ice in later summer) and with an exposed ridge rated UIAA II. If you are an inexperienced alpinist, carrying a rope with the ability to handle it, is a must. The rope should also be used for crossing the glaciers to the Erzherzog Johann hut from Stuedl hut or Franz-Josefs-Hoehe. Some have already fallen to their death because of crevasses!

    The route starts from the Luckner-Haus (1918 m) and continues up to Stuedl hut (2802 m). From the Stuedl hut to the Erzherzog-Johann hut (3454 m) it takes 3 hours: A marked path passing a big cairn to the Koednitz glacier. Then crossing the Koednitz glacier (rope and crampons recommended because of crevasses), then a steep but not difficult scramble (UIAA I, cables) to the Erzherzog-Johann hut.
    We booked an overnight stay at the hut and had spaghetti bolognese. Nice and warm. Early next morning, around 4.30 am, we got up. Had some breakfast and started climbing to the summit and all the way down to Luckner-Haus at 1918 m. We also experienced a mountain rescue by helicopter from the summit.


    Gil Nielsen & Kenneth Andreasen
    Danish Outdoor Adventure Group

    # vimeo.com/38396889 Uploaded 524 Plays 0 Comments
  3. A Danish Outdoor Adventure Group Production

    Lagan - Swedish Adventure Canoeing

    In the beginning of 2009 we heard about the Swedish river Lagan. It is one of four main westcoast rivers in southern Sweden about 250 km long. The upper part of the river has been closed since several storms harried the area, uprooting trees and blocking it for canoeing. A perfect tour for proper adventuring. So in Juli 2009 we decided to give it a try by hacking, sawing and clawing our way through the obstacles. What magic a German made Gourka Machete can do on Swedish lumber.

    The trip lasted 3 days. It was packed with hard work, carrying and dragging the canoe. Lots of fallen lumber criss-crossing the river. A near accident not caught on tape where Kenneth hit a fallen tree head on in the middle of the river, and was left hanging over the water.

    We paddled from Vaggaryd to Värnamo, bringing Ortlieb watertight bags, self rescue gear, food and utilities.

    Lagan is one of four main westcoast rivers in south-western Sweden besides Göta älv. It is with 244 kilometers one of the longest rivers in southern Sweden. It starts in Tahesjön outside Taberg in the municipality of Jönköping, flows through Vaggeryd, Värnamo and Ljungby and ends in the town of Mellbystrand in the municipality of Laholm. More specifically, it ends in the Bay of Laholm, a part of the strait of Kattegat.
    People have been following the river from the coastal areas since the Viking Age and settling in its vicinity. Along Lagan was a trading route, the so called Lagastigen, which is now part of the road E4.

    Maybe now the river has been opened up for canoeing. But back then it was one fun adventure.

    Live the Adventure


    Gil Nielsen and Kenneth Andreasen
    Danish Outdoor Adventure Group

    # vimeo.com/39094723 Uploaded 314 Plays 0 Comments
  4. # vimeo.com/39222144 Uploaded 148 Plays 0 Comments
  5. Skimountaineering in Ötztal, Tirol, Austria.
    Attempt to traverse Ötztal from Obergurgl to Huben in February 2012.

    # vimeo.com/37048563 Uploaded 211 Plays 0 Comments



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