You know that joke of the two guys who went to Glees when the weather was looking bad? No? Well, they had nice weather.
Last weekend, despite all efforts of the entire Illig-team to keep us home, Mattijs and me (Jesse) (Stefan had to pass due to illness), went to Glees for a short weekend. We left home at 7:30 on Saturday morning and where back on Sunday before diner.
The bouldering area of Glees is a small ridge from a naturally broken lava flow near Glees and Burgbrohl in the Eifel area of Germany. Glees has smaller and bigger basalt blocks, usually having real top-outs, along the ridge. With a driving time of about one hour from the Dutch border, it’s a perfect place for a one or two day trip outside and to feel some real rock. When you cross the border at Venlo (on the A73), follow the signs towards Mönchengladbach/Köln on the German A61 and take exit 32 (Niederzissen). Follow Burgbrohl and find the Gleesserstrasse in the village. Turn right and after some twists turn left on the Erlenstrasse. You can park your car at the end of the street and from there it’s only a 5 minutes’ walk to the first blocks. You can find all info in the guide book “Eifel en bloc” by Michael Gerritsen and Ralf Lehmann (in German).
The three main areas in Glees are Bleausard (E1), Kruzifix (E2) and Romani ite domum (E3). These areas are divided in several smaller “sectors”, containing from 2 to 8 problems or so. It’s pretty easy to find once you’ve established where you are since it’s all on one ridge. We started in the first area on a boulder called ‘Bleausard’ (6A), a nice warm-up boulder and did the sit as well (6B+).
Jesse in Bleausard sit (6B+)
After having rain most of the way towards Glees (it actually stopped only half an hour before our destination), we were very happy to see the sun break through. It even started to get a little warm! After doing some warm-up boulders, we went to Shakira (7B+). Shakira is a nice problem on a short, round boulder where the crux is to get your ass from the ground and grab the first of the two slopers. If you’re able to hold it, going to the second sloper and topping out isn’t a big problem. But that crux! Damn, we couldn’t nail it! But it’s definitely on our list for the next time.
We went to the next couple of boulders and searched for Dynamosaurus Rex (6B+/6C) and Neuro-Bomber (7A). After a bloody long time we found a small block totally covered in moss. We tried to clean the boulder, but our brush got greener and green, without the boulder loosing much green. We gave up, but started projecting in Shattenkabinett (7A+) and the sit of Fun-Thomas (7A). Both had the same sit, which was again very hard! We couldn’t get it and blamed the dude who opened this uncreative sit start for our unsuccessful attempts. A fun little problem near Shattenkabinett, is Plattenfäx (6B+), an absolute Glees classic.
Die Eisheiligen (6C+) is a three-star problem which looks super cool, but unfortunately the left crack was wet so we couldn’t try it. We hoped for it to be dry on Sunday, but by the end of this story you’ll know we didn’t try it on Sunday. We ended up doing the hardest 5C in my life. A compression block with very small foot holds, a reachy move to the end and yes, a sit start. Maybe it was my shape or something else, but I couldn’t stick it. Mattijs did.
Mattijs in Die wilden jungs (5C), with on the background Die Eisheiligen (6C+)
The last problem of the day was Flash Gordon (6C+/7A). After a couple of tries we found our method, but couldn’t stick the last move, a dynamic move over the lip. After some tries, it started to rain and we decided to finish it on Sunday. Unfortunately, it rained on Sunday and we couldn’t satisfy ourselves with this send.
Pic4: Jesse in Flash Gordon (6C+/7A)
With still good hopes for a dry Sunday, we left for Koblenz for the night. After some searching and asking we found a hotel in the Altstadt where we could also park our car and have Frühstück in the morning. We found a nice place to eat called Altes Brauhaus where they (of course) served pints in half a Litre and have big ass schnitzels (Jesse’s big eyes choose one of the XL schnitzels which will actually give you one very big schnitzel next to a normal-sized one!). A little tipsy we found ourselves walking into the Irish Pub where they had some kind of employee-party and gave us pie together with some big Kilkenny ales. A little more tipsy we went to this hardrock bar where all of them (Yes! All of them!) watched Roadrunner and Coyote on a big screen with rock on the background in low volume. We immediately left (well, after one beer because the bar lady was nice :) and went to bed in the hotel.
The next morning we tried Glees, but it was raining all morning and didn’t stop when we got there. We explored a little more, especially in area E3 and saw some very nice problems for next time. We decided to drive to Graviton, a bouldering gym in Sittard we both didn’t know yet. It’s located on the second floor of an old postal warehouse. It ended up being a really nice day in a very beautiful, big and at the same time cosy bouldering gym. It’s worth the drive if the weather is bad and you’re looking for something new.
Concluding, Glees isn’t very big but has a couple of very nice problems and is definitely worth a visit for a day or a short weekend. We recommend buying the guide book online.
(editor’s note: the post about 100% Bouldering is really, really coming up!)