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mvs

[TR] Karwendel Mountains, Austria - Herzschlag der Leidenschaft (Heartbeat of Passion) 6/16/2012

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Trip: Karwendel Mountains, Austria - Herzschlag der Leidenschaft (Heartbeat of Passion)

 

Date: 6/16/2012

 

Trip Report:

Hi all, some of youse may remember me from the old days! I try to come around when I know of something interesting for yall, and I think I have something. If not this particular climb then recognize that there are a dozen like it.

 

"Herzschlag der Leidenschaft" is a massive "sport alpine" climb, rated at 5.12a if you do it all free. For mortals like me, it goes at solid 5.10 with A0. The coolest thing is the length: 32 bitchin' pitches! The vertical gain is 1200 meters, and the climbing length is 1700 meters, thanks to some long traverses mid-height.

 

[img:center]http://farm8.static.flickr.com/7098/7393528814_c264553444.jpg[/img]

 

I was thinking of it as a bigger cousin to Mt. Garfield's big sport climb. The lower 16 pitches are "approach," and the real hairy stuff is in the upper half.

 

Fitted out like lycra-clad sport climbers, we weren't ready for the truly hairy moat to start things off. Here I am carving pitiful steps with rocks, weeping about the 60 foot drop into blackness just right of my tender tennis-shoed feet:

 

[img:center]http://farm9.static.flickr.com/8141/7389345156_cfd6bd01b0.jpg[/img]

 

But finally we started. I'm old, and barely skilled, so I got the loose crappy block. But there were 3-4 excellent pitches and some always satisfying simul-climbing in coils like you see in old films.

 

[img:center]http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5340/7389351990_6f500b5677.jpg[/img]

 

[img:center]http://farm9.static.flickr.com/8019/7389355238_7c90d23b89.jpg[/img]

 

But for young turks, the fun begins with a 5.10c rightward traverse:

 

[img:center]http://farm8.static.flickr.com/7084/7389358028_74dd123611.jpg[/img]

 

then a 4 pitch leftward traverse! Barely gaining elevation! Check out the ominous "bivouac holes" above my buddy Georg's head.

 

[img:center]http://farm8.static.flickr.com/7239/7389363846_805cf8f8a0.jpg[/img]

 

Oh yeah. We're in Austria...here is what the countryside looks like from mid-height:

 

[img:center]http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5343/7389367588_1a3de855aa.jpg[/img]

 

Here the climbing is so exposed and very good:

 

[img:center]http://farm8.static.flickr.com/7095/7389392354_89bb204e10.jpg[/img]

 

We go straight up beyond Georg:

 

[img:center]http://farm9.static.flickr.com/8020/7389388968_265436acc4.jpg[/img]

 

Yeah, I'm in A0 land for a while!

 

[img:center]http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5337/7389395908_ec424fcace.jpg[/img]

 

I redeem myself with some scrappy 5.8 pitches, where the bolts ran out and I used all our cams in the chimney above my head. Higher, you can see an amazing lieback crack (5.11a/b) that we don't have pictures of.

 

[img:center]http://farm8.static.flickr.com/7225/7389398840_d3e77d6f77.jpg[/img]

 

A bit more short roping, to reach the upper headwall and the last 3 pitches:

 

[img:center]http://farm8.static.flickr.com/7092/7389413658_d358af427b.jpg[/img]

 

On the way down we can see the wall, moving like a ghost ship through the green sea:

 

[img:center]http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5159/7389436840_493cbe556b.jpg[/img]

 

We walked right into a restaurant below the wall. Characteristically American, I order the fries:

 

[img:center]http://farm9.static.flickr.com/8152/7389447276_f03b10d040.jpg[/img]

 

Anyway, there do seem to be at least 10 routes like this with more than 30 pitches in the area. One of them, "Ende Nie" (Never-ending) is 38 pitches, rated 5.10b. Sure, there is some loose stuff along the way, but the ratios are pretty good. For this one, I added up 630 meters of 3rd/4th class, 600 meters of mid-5th, and 470 meters of 5.10a and above. Mebbe you guys want to come out this way. Austria seems to be completely ignored as a climbing destination. I never saw an American over here! Something to do for Oktoberfest anyway.

 

So that is the news from here. Take care and have a great summer cc.com!

 

Gear Notes:

Double 60 meter ropes, 12 quickdraws, 4-5 cams and 6 nuts.

 

Approach Notes:

Literally 5 minutes from the car. The descent is a hiking trail down (about two hours)

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Thats where I'm from...

We have many many bolted multi pitch routs in Tirol and Salzburg. There are often Alpenverein huts close by where you can stay for cheap.

Oh how I miss that sometimes...

Edited by trese

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Har! I guess the idyllic valley rang with the sound of a drill. But to haul the batteries up 1000 meters? Jeez.

 

I don't know if it's a very recent thing, but I think it's been in the last 5 years that these 30+ pitch routes have been established. They usually demand an "alpine head," with sparse protection on easy pitches, but then they relent and bolt like crazy when the climbing is say 5.10b and above. If I get some time I'll try to make a list. I know I really enjoy the long climbs so for me this stuff is amazing.

 

BTW, I was reminded of Washington on pitch 12 or so...I had to climb through the remains of a goat, ugh, maybe he fell in the spring. I remembered the sad-eyed goats near Prusik Peak and Snow Creek Wall with their bald patches. Sniff. I'd give an eyetooth (whatever that is) for a good day on ol' Outer Space!

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Sweet! I need to head to Europe, though I may wait for implosion of the euro.

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32 pitches - that looks like some fun! Nice TR Michael. cheers.

 

PS

 

"If I get some time I'll try to make a list. "

I'd love to see that list.

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This long multi pitch bolted routes are not a very recent thing although every year new routes are established - for example the Ende Nie was established over 10 years ago.

The Herzschlag der Leidenschaft was esablished 2 years ago.

A great resource for routes in Austria is the following page (in German... click below Touren on Klettern - longer routes or Klettersteige - via ferrata or Klettergaerten - climbing crags - usually bolted): http://bergsteigen.at/de/default.aspx

Edited by trese

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Thanks Trese, I didn't really realize how prevalent such monsters were. I did another > 20 pitch one two years ago, called "Via Aqua" in the Wilder Kaiser (UIAA VII-). Looking forward to getting slayed by "Ende Nie" one day! :)

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