Australian Fauna So Far

Here is a list of all the animals that I encountered in Australia so far.

Kangaroos in the late evening sun.
Kangaroos in the late evening sun.

As I already mentioned in my earlier post, it is really hard to find any animals that could potentially be poisonous in Melbourne. The same is true for nearly all larger animals, except for a few possums which live in the trees around Alexandra Gardens in the centre of Melbourne. Some of the locals feed them from time to time. The only time that I encountered a kangaroo was when I found one dead near the road. From my limited experience of Sydney, I would say the same for the city with the well known opera house. Although Sydney is supposed to be the home of the highly infamous Funnel Web spiders, I could not see any sign of them at all. Luckily.

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Welcome to Australia!

Date

Here is a list of things that I did not expect in Melbourne, Australia.

It has been nearly a month now that I arrived in Melbourne. While most things are roughly how I imagined them to be, some are quite different to what I thought. Here are some things that I did not expect:

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Elbsandstein Climbing, Hiking and Via Ferrata Fun

I have been climbing, hiking and doing via ferrata a lot in the Elbsandstein mountains recently. I give a short overview of Saxon style climbing and a summary of the main via ferrata in the region.

The Elbsandstein mountains are great! I have been there three times in the last three months, always for extended periods of at least three days up to a week. There is a lot to see. Even though I have been there regularly in the last couple of years, I am surprised that I can always find new and exciting places that I have not visited before.

You have a great overview at the top of Häntzschelstiege.
You have a great overview at the top of Häntzschelstiege.

The Elbsandstein mountains are an accumulation of sandstone mountains near the city of Dresden, located in the very east of Germany. A part of them lies on the German side and is called Sächsische Schweiz, while the second part is called Böhmische Schweiz and stretches along the Northern border of Czech Republic. On the German side they reach a height of a bit more than 550 meters above sea level.

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Ice Climbing in the City

In January we went ice climbing in Berlin at Der Kegel.

Pascal wields the ice tools.
Pascal wields the ice tools.

To do ice climbing you usually need a frozen waterfall or a glacier. At least you normally should be in some form of alpine setting. Here in Berlin we do not have all this fancy stuff and the landscape is pretty much flat. But thanks to the guys of “Der Kegel” we could enjoy our first routes of ice climbing earlier in January.

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Ras and Timesguida - Two Peaks and an Approaching Storm

This is a report of my winter mountaineering trip to Ras and Timesguida n’Ouanoukrim. They are the second and third highest peaks in Morocco, North Africa. An approaching storm made me turn around on the summit ridge.

  • Name: Ras and Timesguida n’Ouanoukrim
  • Height: 4083 m and 4088 m
  • Location: High Atlas, Morocco, Africa
  • Date: End of November 2012
  • Conditions: Winter
  • Route: East ridge from Tizi n’Ouagane
The flat summit of Igger n'Abdeli (3815 m).
The flat summit of Igger n’Abdeli (3815 m).

Ras and Timesguida belong to the Ouanoukrim mountain chain and are the second and third highest peaks in Morocco, after Jebel Toubkal. I tried to climb them the day after I summited Toubkal. The approach is the same as for Toubkal, see the section “To the refuges” there. I stayed in the CAF Toubkal Refuge (3207 m, formerly Refuge Neltner) run by the French alpine club, the smaller and older one of the two refuges below Toubkal.

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Jebel Toubkal - Winter Mountaineering in Morocco

This is a report of my winter mountaineering trip to the highest mountain of North Africa, the Jebel Toubkal. It is located in the High Atlas in Morocco. I took the South cwm South col route.

  • Name: Jebel Toubkal
  • Height: 4167 m
  • Prominence: 3757 m
  • Location: High Atlas, Morocco, Africa
  • Date: End of November 2012
  • Conditions: Winter
  • Route: South cwm South col (up and down, see text)
  • GPS coordinates (as measured at the summit): N31°03.589’ W007°54.895’
Panorama taken at Toubkal summit.
Panorama taken at Toubkal summit.

This is a trip report of the climb to the highest mountain of North Africa, the Jebel Toubkal.

To the Refuges

From Marrakech I took a shared grand taxi to the small mountain village of Imlil (1740 m), rented crampons and ice axe and spent the night there in a guesthouse a bit outside the village. The next morning I left my big trekking rucksack at the guesthouse, packed all the necessary gear for the climb (including warm sleeping bag!) and headed out towards the refuges. It is possible to hire a mule and muleteer and have your equipment transported to the refuges, but I decided to be the mule myself.

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Andalucía Collection

This is a collection of some of the best photo that I have taken on my journey through Andalusia, Spain during the last two years.

Mountain chain seen from Granada.
Mountain chain seen from Granada.

Over the last two years I spent a considerable amount of time on my journeys in Andalucía. That is the most southern autonomous region of Spain. It harbours the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the beautiful cities of Granada, Sevilla and Córdoba, to name a few, and other beautiful sights. In the West it borders with Portugal and Morocco is just half an hour ferry ride away in the South. Because of its southern location and its relatively mild temperatures in the winter months (November, December, etc.), it is well suited as a winter travel destination. Especially because it is not too far away from most central European countries.

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Climbing Trip Frankenjura

This is a report of our climbing trip to the Frankenjura, which is one of Germany’s best known rock climbing areas. We stayed in the small town of Schlaifhausen.

The church on top of the mountain near the climbing spot.
The church on top of the mountain near the climbing spot.

At the end of June we went on a climbing trip to the Frankenjura. The Frankenjura is one of Germany’s best known rock climbing areas. It is located in Bavaria and bordered by the cities of Nürnberg/Erlangen, Bamberg and Bayreuth to give a rough idea. The weather was perfect during our stay. It was really hot, around 33 degrees Celsius during the day. That was nearly a bit too hot when you are climbing the whole day. Luckily the rocks were in shade during most of the day.

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Mulhacén Day 2 - Summit Push and Descent

This is the second part of the trip report of the ascent to Mulhacén, the highest mountain of continental Spain. We started at the Poquiera mountain hut and took the Western route up to the summit.

This is the second part of the travel report of the ascent to Mulhacén, the highest mountain of continental Spain. You might want to read the first part before.

On the summit of Mulhacén. View towards the South. You can even see the Mediterranean Sea in the distance.
On the summit of Mulhacén. View towards the South. You can even see the Mediterranean Sea in the distance.

After a good sleep in the Refugio Poquiera, below three layers of blankets and nearly fully clothed, I got ready, had breakfast and took a few pictures of the first sunrays illuminating the mountains. My climbing partner Pia and I had agreed to start the summit push towards Mulhacén at around 08:00, but as it was still quite dark and cold outside we delayed the start to around 09:00.

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Mulhacén Day 1 - Capileira to Refugio Poquiera

This is the first part of the trip report to Mulhacén, the highest mountain of continental Spain. I started in the small mountain village of Capileira and reached the mountain hut Poquiera.

  • Name: Mulhacén
  • Height: 3482 m
  • Prominence: 3285 m
  • Location: Sierra Nevada, Andalucía, Spain
  • Date: April 2012
  • Conditions: mild winter
  • Route: Up: West, Down: South (see text)
View down into the valley that I came through. Refugio Poquiera is behind me.
View down into the valley that I came through. Refugio Poquiera is behind me.

This is a travel report of the ascent to the highest mountain of continental Spain, the Mulhacén. I did the trip in late April 2012. The mountain was still mostly in winter conditions. The trip report is spread over two blog posts because of its length. In this first post I will describe the first day of the ascent, the journey from the village of Capileira to the Refugio Poquiera.

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