FROZEN RALLY

08/14/2013

Austria

IceClimbing_Pinnistal_cover
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...

STAGE #1: PROLOGUE
January 2010. Guido Unterwurzacher and Christian 'Hechei' Hechenberger set off on their first pilgrimage to Pinnistal valley, the ice climbing paradise, to satiate their lust for cool routes. After all, this is where ice climbing history has been written. The Tyrolean climbing legend Andi Orgler made the Pinnisalm in Stubai, Tyrol, Austria, famous well beyond the boundaries of the valley with routes such as "Männer ohne Nerven" WI 5+,6/1985 ("Men without nerves") and "Metamorphose" WI 7/1991. Andi swung his ice axe higher and established some of the toughest ice routes in Tyrol at that time. It is not just the extreme classics but also the huge choice of routes that make Pinnisalm a hotspot for climbers into hacking up ice. There are around a dozen climbing areas to choose from. In addition, the elevation (1,700m) and shaded location often ensure excellent ice conditions by early winter.

So it was clear that Guido and Christian did not want to give this fine selection of the coolest waterfalls the cold shoulder. On the contrary. Guido: "What we wanted to do was climb as many vertical metres of ice in one day. But after four waterfalls we were finished. We were more than satisfied with our achievement. However, 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. Ideally that would be ten of them."

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