Fear surged through my veins, my muscles tense as coiled springs, ready to explode at the slightest touch, yet relaxing was vital - I desperately fought to slow my breathing and calm my mind. Tenuously clinging to the dead vertical face like one of the many small succulents which covered the wall, obscuring the holds. I was six hundred metres above the ground, with the last bolt out of sight, at least ten metres below my feet, and still unable see anything above. Scenarios flashed through my mind; we had just heard that a member of the only other party to repeat this route had broken his leg during a fall… “
Best not to think… Just concentrate and focus on the next move… You will be fine… One move at a time… Don’t think about anything else!
“Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar!” The call to prayer echoed across a craggy cirque in the Hajar Mountains. Jakob and I were in Oman to climb at a virtually unknown sport-climbing area near the small village of Hadash.
To say it was scenic here would be a grievous understatement. The purple, slate crag was exposed on a shoulder of a gigantic mountainous bowl, 1,000 metres above the plains below. Below us, dirt tracks snaked across dry riverbeds and small rocky outcrops appeared lunar and minuscule against a backdrop of 2,000-metre peaks. The call to prayer rang like a testament to the majesty of it all.
Jakob pitched off the crux of his route and swore his bad beta: “Agh, I should just do that!” The route was definitely possible for him, but he seemed preoccupied with other thoughts.
Tudo Bem means something like “What’s up?” If you are in Brazil, then there is only one cool answer to this question: thumbs up and: “Tudo bem!” That is because tudo bem also means: “Everything is OK!” So it goes like this: Tudo bem? Tudo bem! Everything is OK, brother. Couldn't be better.
The invitation4 January, 2010: the up-and-coming Brazilian climbing star Felipe Camargo had just sent his 3rd repeat of what was probably Brazil’s toughest boulder at that time: O dia santo (8b+) in the São Bento bouldering zone.
Two climbers from Spain, Dani Moreno and Eduard Marin Garcia, find themselves in Peru facing the most puzzling challenge of their lives on La Esfinge, or The Sphinx. And with a hilarious bet on the line, the stakes could not be any higher.
Edu Marin was sprinting up the last few metres to reach the belay when his partner, Dani Moreno, called up to him from 30 metres below. “Hey, Edu!” shouted Dani, grinning mischievously. “I have a riddle for you! If you get it, the beers are on me tonight! If you don’t, then you pay! So, what do you say?” “A riddle?” Edu shouted back, gasping for air. “You know [cough] that I love [wheeze] riddles. [Gasp] And beer!” "This is serious" said Dani. "OK, what goes on two legs in the morning, four legs at midday and no legs in the evening?
Originally, completing the Alpine Trilogy was not on her list, but now she is the first woman to have repeated all the Trilogy routes. Three routes that still count as the most difficult in the Alps. Three routes that up until 1994 only four men were able to write in their diaries.
The first ascenders are particularly impressed. "The Boulder Queen has rediscovered herself," says Beat Kammerlander. Thomas Huber agrees: "Babs is one of the greatest in the Alps." Stefan Glowacz goes even further, speculating that she is the protagonist in a new era: "There has been nobody like this since Lynn Hill.
How do you prepare for a project/contest (info/training/nutrition)?I strategize and develop a program based on the nature of the project or competition. This usually means mixing a specific gym routine with outdoor climbing and of course eating good, whole foods. With outdoor projects, a huge part of the battle is learning the intricacies of the route/problem as quickly as possible. Time management is key.
What are your biggest accomplishments?First Ascent of The Kingdom 8C/V15Second Ascent of The Game 8C/V15First Ascent of Heritage 8B+/V142-Time US Sport Climbing National Champion.
What are your next goals (related to your sport)?Continue to travel and develop new areas around the world and apply my bouldering strengths to larger objectives.
Guido in the “Kerze” WI 6 (“The Candle”), one of the most beautiful ice routes in Tyrol. Looking even more attractive with a sugar coating of spindrift.
It is not every rally in winter conditions that requires spikes and horsepower. Sometimes ice axe and muscles have to do. What remain the same are the stages and the special stage tests. These also had to be done by Guido Unterwurzacher and Christian Hechenberger. With their heart rate rev counter in the red...
“What we wanted to do was climb as many vertical metres of ice in one day. However, on our first attempt after four waterfalls we were finished. We were already talking about how awesome it would be to climb all the doable waterfalls – i.e. all the waterfalls that are climbable at the time – in just one day."
Heading up the valley from the village of Neder in Neustift/Tyrol there is a natural toboggan run, probably the finest and certainly the longest in Tyrol, snaking up into Pinnistal.