Dienstag, 4. Dezember 2012


                      jamming up the obvious dihedral on Power of Lard/Snowpatchspire

Atum is the time of the year where i slow down a little, the mountains are covered in the first snow and the rockclimbing shoes are changing with the winter equipment. Thinking of my next plans-travels-projects, I looked trough my photo-archiv of mountain ranges and remembered the trip to the Bugaboos in 2011. It was an amazing time I have spent there. I am now really motivated for the next summer which i will probably spend again on granit somewhere on the globe :) 

Check out the gallery on:

Mittwoch, 17. Oktober 2012

World´s Between - Back from Indian Himalaya

Just arrived from a different world! Contrasts appear bigger than ever. Real exposure demands to think about our next step.

Details will follow……..

Samstag, 1. September 2012

on the road to Indian Himalaya

We are packing and organazing before leaving to the airport of munich........ 

                                          trad gear is heavy but essential

                                          maybe to most important good....for survival

6 weeks time for searching, suffering, fun, and good rock ;)

Donnerstag, 30. August 2012

......all free in a day!

 on the fist ascent (organe shirt, center of the picture) notice the water falling way far from the wall, .....it´s steep

Finally I could realise the first free ascent in a day of my  first ascent at the rote wand. I opened the route from the ground up.  7 pitches ,difficulty 8b+, protection: traditional + bolts, character: run in- run out, lost of air under the a**
Details will follow…..

                         on the first pitch.......                                                         copyright Jutz P.

The best state of mind to start my 6 week adventure to Indian Himalaya,…..so psyched

Donnerstag, 16. August 2012

Valhalla Rising

  © Thomas Wanner

Sometimes I have to step out of my “comfort” zone to feel exposure. This crazy rock formation is located in a field of blocks as a result of a rock fall in 1972. In January I could realise the first repetition of the “Haselwurzfall” (FA: 22 years ago R., G. Mathis) a crazy steep icefall.
On the approach to the fall, I found this huge “finger” while scrambling up through this block field. I was surprised about this present, as I really like high boulders and clear lines.
In March I made the first ascent of “Valhalla Rising” 7b+ after checking it out with a rope. It´s serious climbing with no fall option above the crux moves.
Location: Hohenems/Unterklien. 

                                                       © Thomas Wanner

Freitag, 22. Juni 2012

How should we call the creature? .....we call it human

                                               Pio on the 2nd picht of "Save Madrischa"

 While I was climbing on a new project, a good friend of mine made the first repetition (as far as I know) of the route “Save Madrischa” (I published a brief report on the route in the previous post). Seeing him climb was like a time travel back when I was there. Trying to fumble in some gear, while visualising the upcoming movements.

The Rote Wand was previously named MADRISCHA (isia mater). Translated the meaning it´s “Mother Mountain”.

To name this route “Save Madrischa” was a result of my personal approach and view concerning the history of the Rote Wand. The puristic way of how routes have been set up there over the time is a present for upcoming generations. For people like you and me, for us. I see the idea of  “plaisir-climbing” as a trend which is a result of nowadays need to consume a “save” adventure. Climbing has found it´s place in the world of sports. And the playground is for everyone.

In my point of view it is important that we respect traditional climbs. We shouldn´t destroy their character with an excuse of contemporary safety standards. We still have a huge potential for putting up routes in a more “consumer friendly” style. It´s not important if a route has one hundred or just three ascents per year.
Isn´t it the quality of an experience which makes it a personal highlight? I remember those days most brightly where I had to fight, where I suffered, where I felt fear. The days where I exposed myself the most.

Don´t reduce climbing on the movement. It´s more. Think about your steady progression in life. And imagine there could be a time when your climbing changes.
This might be the point where climbing could be a projection of your feelings, an expression of your existence.

Climbing is not climbing! Save adventure climbs! Maybe one day you will need them too!?

Sonntag, 10. Juni 2012

The Attraction of the Unknown

“Hanno! how far can I climb on without touching the ledge below?!”
“Four meters but not more!”
“Ok I ´ll go for it”
I am standing six meters above my last protection trying to place a hook onto a sloper where I thought could be an edge or a small hole. Unfortunately nothing is there. The whole surface of the rock I can reach with my fingers is blank. With every second, while searching for a cliff placement, my left hand is getting more and more pumped. I am trying to stay focused. A feeling of fear slightly arises. It’s like a wall in front of me obstructing my view. I have to leave this place, this situation, get new cards. I climb higher pushed by confidence that I will find what I am searching for.

Nothing f***! f***! f***! There is no placement, the hole structure of the rock is too smooth.

I try to climb down. One move down, another move down…..  it´s no energy left. I am watching my fingers one by one slipping off the small hold. My mind is clear. I have neither feelings of fear nor happiness. I slip into a state of freedom, no decisions to make, no responsibility to take. Now I am the observer.

My fall wasn´t long and I didn´t hit the ledge below. The cliff was still hanging somewhere on the wall because I didn’t have the power to put it back on the gearsling. The cliff was connected to my harness and stopped my fall. I needed some time to realize why I am not falling. I was back in my life in the situation I brought myself into. Hanging on this marginal nothing - but at least hanging!

 It´s a phenomenon of our affluent society to risk the own healthiness to intense feeling of life. The need to feel evanescence to stay active lies within the human nature. Sure you can say the situation is not real because I expose myself purposely. I have to agree with this argument. But to be polemic, our industrial and social surrounding is full with artificial responsibility. Is it a comfort of time to stay infront of a red traffic light? You don´t have to fell the decision. Cross or don´t cross? It´s not upon you to decide.  

So again the question why?
Because it´s my reality, where I can test my skills and improve them, where I can feel the freedom to decide and take the responsibility over the next move or the gear I place.
The way I get into such situations seems to be a trend, but the influences of it are real and I have the opportunity to solve them out of a deep feeling of trust in what I am doing.

 In 2010 and last year I put up two multi-pitch routes at the south face of Rote Wand/Lechquellengebirge/Austria. I am now publishing the topos of “Save Madrischa” and “Pollution” for the chronic of the Rote Wand and to avoid alleged “new” first ascent over already existing climbs. The new routes are no “death- climbs” but for enjoying the climbing you should feel comfortable with the difficulties of the route and some air under the a**.

Mittwoch, 6. Juni 2012

Water + Cold = Ice

                                               overhanging ice.....lots of work. Location Fallbach

Summer should already be here but at the moment we have lots of rain and my projects are not in the best shape. So I am forced to do a restday….. drinking lots of coffee and do some blog posting while listen music.
Just had my icetools in the hand………playing with them in the flat, what I can´t recommend because there will be traces everywhere, on the desk on the door frame, …..  your girlfriend will find it ;)…….

The ice season in Vorarlberg was really short (only 10 days long) and strange because we had no rain in the hole fall. So some icefalls didn´t built up well or even existed. Others were growing well because normally they have too much water. I was at the right time on the right place and realised the first repetition of the “Haselwurzfall”. It´s first ascent was made by the Mathis - brothers (Rochus , Gottfried) 22 years ago! This is what I really like on ice climbing, it´s so depending on conditions. I seized the cold temperatures did some nice ice action, mixed-climbs and solos.


                                                    "Ebnitermöse", Location Ebnit/Vorarlberg

                                   Is this a save belay? searching for the way through Fallbach. Location Dornbirn

Mittwoch, 2. Mai 2012

Weather luck in the Bugaboos or “a modality of being“

Alex Luger about his experience in the Purcell Mountain Range in British Columbia, Canada.

Govinda said: “But is what you call ‘things’ something real, something existent? Isn’t it the deception of the Maya, only illusiveness and appearance? Your stone, your tree, your river – are they reality?”
“About this”, said Siddharta, “I do not distress. May things be appearance or not, then I am an appearance, too, and they still are my own kind. That is what makes them so near and dear to me: they are my own kind!”
(Hesse, Siddharta)
I am standing at the roadside between the airport transit and a crash barrier. There is no sidewalk. I am seeking for a staircase, a lift, any kind of way out to get one level higher to the departure hall. The reception staff at the hotel advised me to take a shuttle for the two kilometre long route to Frankfurt airport. When I asked if there was any walkway they gazed at me disparagingly and repeated the departure times of the shuttle once again.

I am squeezing my way through the guardrail while buses are speeding past me and I am happy that I only have one bag. Finally I get to the departure hall of Terminal 2. “You have to go to Terminal 1! Take the shuttle bus!” So I sit down on a bench at the bus stop. I am travelling to Asia. The word “connected” pops up in my mind, “everything is connected”! Three days ago I was still in bear country, in British Columbia. Seemingly endless vastness, rugged mountain ranges, rivers… 

In-between I did a quick stopover in Vienna to organise my visa for China. I thought this is weird - in the Bugaboos, a region of the Purcell Mountains, we were free. Free to go where we wanted, free in our decisions. It was a simple game, avoiding crevasses, jumping over the shrund when sliding down the col, not falling when simul climbing, simple rules with clear consequences. The freedom to climb and to move in the mountains according to your skills. No shuttle buses, but two legs. No street lighting but a headlight. No traffic lights, but eyes. No TV, but 800 meters steep and rugged granite needles. Rules?! Only those you impose on yourself, rules that correspond with my ethics when being in the mountains.

”An airport is a playground of progress, an organisational master piece. Countless travellers are guided daily through the gates and consigned on the their dedicated seat.” With this thought in my mind I pick up my luggage, at least I can carry that myself, board the shuttle bus and decide to obey the announcements and display panels. “Sir, please wait behind the red line!” I look down at my feet, which are placed one step in front of a red line that I haven’t event noticed. I raise my head and see the officer twiddling his thumbs. Now that I stepped back he summons me to come to the counter.

I’m reflecting on the past weeks in Canada. The Bugaboos. How impressive these mountains are, how stunning the scenery is. Rugged granite formations protrude from the glacier. They remind me of gigantic rhinos. The only proposition in this region, I think, is to not leave any marks. Neither when you are hiking, nor when you are camping/ bivouacking or climbing! You have the freedom to chose your route, your belay stations, where to set up protection, and how to descent. Of course, there is a guidebook with recommendations, but they are ‘only’ recommendations. What make sense to some may seem silly to others.

And to tie in with the quote of my introduction: “If things are illusive, then I’m illusive, too, and that’s what makes things lovable.” I am comfortable in the mountains; I enjoy solitude and above all I enjoy having the freedom to go where I want, climb where I want and think and feel what I want! One of my realities: “being alive and grounded.” 

Traversing the Bugaboospire 

Approach to basecamp don´t stop walking the mosqiustos will eat you

 Jamming on the on sight of "Fingerberry Jam" on Pigeon Feathers

        Run-in Johannes focused for the next pitch

 Snowpatchspire left , right ridge "Kainroute" Bugaboospire

So steep....crux pitch "Power of Lard" 

Upper Vowellglacier

Facts of a perfect week:
Approach from Calgary Airport to Applebee Campground, Bugaboos, Purcell Mountains, BC

Day 1: Sunshine Crack, Snowpatch Spire, 5.11- (on-sight)
Day 2: Energy Crisis, Crescent Spire, 5.11+
Day 3: Northeast Ridge, Bugaboo Spire, 5.8, 2 hours from base camp to summit (on- sight)
Day 4: Rehydrating, Eating, Regenerating
Day 5: Fingerberry Jam, Pigeon Feathers, 5.12, (on-sight)
Day 6: Beckey- Chouinard, South Howser Tower, 5.10, 4 hours from start of the face to summit (simulclimbing)
Day 7: The Power of Lard, Snowpatch Spire, 5.12/13-
Day 8: Cooper- Kor, Pigeon Spire, 5.10, scary wet traverse

After eight days the ways turned and it started to snow. Johannes and I climbed almost every day and one day we also descended down to the valley in the evening to get food. We experienced very intense climbing days with freezing cold temperatures, beautiful crack metres and incredibly great weather. 

© Words and photos by Alex Luger
Translated into English by Sonja Hamel

Donnerstag, 26. April 2012

........there is always a first time.....

when I look back tying in the sharp end for the first time with eleven the feeling of exposure was overwhelming....... or the first time placing a stopper the state of focus is just on this moment..... the step into the unknown was the one that made me so addicted to this fairly approach to the walls........ to „real“ life