Type: Sport, 20 ft
FA: Jerry Moffat, 1983
Page Views: 290 total · 6/month
Shared By: Monomaniac on Jan 7, 2015
Admins: Shawn Heath

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In September 1983, a young Brit crossed paths with a young German climber below the gritstone cliffs of Curbar Edge. He was living on The Dole, “dossing” wherever he could find a dry patch of floor, and so, with nothing better to do, he asked Wolfgang if he had space for an extra passenger on the long drive back to Obertrubach. Over the next few weeks, Jerry Moffatt wrote a major chapter of German climbing history. He worked through many of the Frankenjura’s hardest lines, climbing Sautanz, Chasin the Trane, and Heisse Finger, all on his first try (although perhaps on toprope, according to one source). Each of these were landmark ascents, particularly Heisse Finger, which was perhaps the hardest route in Germany at the time.

Thus out of existing options, Moffatt visited a nearby cliff perched above a local playground. The cliff had no routes (yet), but German bouldering legend Wolfgang “Flipper” Fietz had bolted a potential line out the center of the slanting roof. (Fietz was a key figure in German climbing, but his contributions have been largely overlooked because he never bothered to redpoint his climbs, instead considering a route finished once he had done all the moves. Later climbers were often credited with the FAs of routes he “opened”, and its rumored that Gullich called him the strongest climber he ever knew). Moffatt worked out the moves that first day, much to the astonishment and unbridled enthusiasm of Fietz. He returned a few days later, climbing barefoot so he could work his toes into the cliff’s tiny pockets, and redpointed the line to create Ekel (literally “gross”), the hardest route in the land. The line was originally given X-, but eventually downgraded to IX+ (13a/b). Even at the lower grade, it was still the first full IX+ in Germany.

The climbing itself is brutal. Just reaching the starting holds is desperate and awkward. The bout begins with an all or nothing leap to a high scoop, with feet swinging wildly over the abyss. A series of lever moves and slaps works out the overhang to a strenuous snatch to a three-finger pocket. At the lip, a powerful lock-off from a sinker 2-finger leads to better holds on the short headwall.


The start can be a bit tricky to locate, now that the wall has been gridbolted. It’s located in the center of the wall, beginning a few feet left of a big notch in the two-feet-high shelf of white rock that runs along the back of the polished ramp. There is a belay bolt immediately below the start of the climb.


3 bolts, usually sporting fixed draws, to a fixed anchor.