On the last weekend in March, unknown persons in the Kesslerloch near Thayngen caused irreparable damage to the walls and ceilings of the lower part of the cave with a large fire. Certain lines of the popular bouldering spot in Schaffhausen will probably no longer be climbable in the future, including two classics by Fred Nicole.

With the first ascent of the line Eau Profond (8b +) 1996 the Swiss bouldering legend Fred Nicole the Kessler hole known beyond the borders. Also his creation happy colors (7c) is one of the classics of the almost two dozen lines of the bouldering cave. At the end of March, a massive fire caused parts of the limestone rock to detach from the ceiling and fall to the ground. Large parts of the lower side of the cave are affected by the destruction.

Kesslerloch: An overview of the affected lines

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  • kesslerloch-vandalism-destroys-fred-nicole-boulder
  • Kesslerloch_Topo1
  • Kesslerloch_Topo2

inconsistencies in the topo

Fred Nicole was most active in Kesslerloch in 1996/97. At that time, the Swiss bouldering pioneer also defined the two lines Happy Colors and Eau Profond. However, since he was traveling while the topos was being created, there were ambiguities regarding his boulders. "Happy Colors, as I defined the boulder, is to the right of the classic line that is now called Happy Colors."

Eau Profonde sees Fred Nicole as a combination of two boulders. "It's more of a traverse or a small route." The first repetition of Eau Profond got Klem Loskot, who also devalued the boulder at the same time.

Cave protected since 1902

With its ledges, slits and sometimes very sharp finger holes, the Kesslerloch is not only important for the local climbing community, but is also archaeologically relevant. It is believed that 15000 years ago people sought shelter in the limestone cave. Accordingly, in addition to the police, who are looking for witnesses to the incident, the Office for Monument Preservation and Archeology of the Canton of Schaffhausen is also involved in the damage assessment.

According to local climbers, due to the alleged damage, the lower part of the Kesslerloch is no longer climbable or worthwhile. On the one hand, the rock has become brittle due to the intense heat and is crumbling, on the other hand, the amount of soot disturbs the climbing experience.

In front of the fire: Jannis Deuring climbs Happy Colors (7c)

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Credits: Cover photo: SHPol