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WHERE SILENCE SPEAKS | Words are superfluous when Michal Sabovčík and Adam Kadlečík listen to what the High Tatras have to tell WALKING ON SUNSHINE | Six towers, four girls, one goal: Walk a highline at an elevation of 2,800 metres in winter CHASING THE ICE | Alexandra Schweikart and JungHee Han share a hangover in St. Moritz OUT OF THE DARK | Read Macadam and Jakob Oberhauser climb into a stardust of sunlight in Oman THE PLACE OF HAPPINESS | Mayan Smith-Gobat and Ben Rueck seemed to have found what we are constantly searching for in life


ts fall | winter 2014

adidas outdoor magazine & product highligh

Michal Sabovčík and Adam Kadlečík Vidlový Ridge – High Tatras, Slovakia

open all winter!


The days are short, the evenings long, the temperatures low and the weather does what it does best at this time of year: challenge us. We love it. Sport is a challenge. Active experience gains intensity when nature shows its rough side. When the great freezer opens its lid and rolls out its carpet of frost, snow and ice right to your front door, then you only have to take a few steps to be standing in the middle of an adventure. Being outdoors means being a part of it. You are not outdoors until you really feel what is waiting outside. During no other season is this feeling as strong as in winter. Cold air in your lungs, icy wind in your face, crunchy snow under your feet. The world is winding down. Life outdoors is in hibernation. Most other people too. But not you. You are different. You are ready to go, whether it’s winter hiking, ski mountaineering or climbing a wintry wall of your choice. The special fascination is moving in conditions that demand more from you. More motivation. More focus. More endurance.


As a result, you gain more experience, more skill and more inspiration. The higher the stakes the higher the buzz. Get out of your comfort zone! Which doesn’t mean you have to dispense with comfort altogether. Good equipment is essential. It is the key to the door of year-round enjoyment outdoors. Just because sayings are often repeated doesn’t make them any less true: there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. Our mission: open all winter.


If your body is protected and your mind is free then they can focus on what is important: objectives and challenges. The coldest time of year has more than enough of them to offer. No wonder that winter first ascents at the top end of the performance scale are rated so highly. In his article “the hard way” (page 29), Reinhold Messner reviews the most challenging, ice-cold milestones of the last few decades, while making it clear that it is not just about the high mountains, but more about the special challenge that makes a winter tour something extraordinary. Like the demanding winter traverse of the High Tatras by Michal “Mišo” Sabovčík and Adam Kadlečík. A mammoth project that has been waiting for a repeat since 1979 and has now finally been accomplished (page 04).

A refreshing contrast (page 16) to these stories featuring a certain degree of suffering is supplied by an Austrian/American team of women climbers on the snow-covered Vajolet Towers in the Dolomites. They demonstrate on a highline at an altitude of 2,800 metres that extreme sport in freezing conditions is not a domain dominated entirely by men and that there are still plenty of creative opportunities for finding challenges in the mountains during winter. At the same time, no matter that it is winter and the temperatures have plummeted, there are also occasions when building up a sweat in a magical winter wonderland is the order of the day. Like ice climbing on frozen waterfalls near St. Moritz, for example (page 30), which Alexandra Schweikart describes as a mixture of bouldering, martial arts and Pilates. Your heart rate is at its limit while you tackle the XL-size ice cube in front of you. And where these two extremes meet, you always need a good facilitator. In the case of high-intensity movement and poor outdoor conditions, the facilitator’s name is climaheat™ (page 14) and is featured in many products in our winter collection. climaheat™ is an intelligent and highly functional insulation concept that combines material and finishing to produce the best of both worlds. Your body stays warm and dry, even if it is generating a humid climate inside, while outside rock bottom temperatures or icy wind - or both - are doing their best to get at you. Meanwhile, Mayan Smith-Gobat and Ben Rueck are in a humid climate of a different kind in Brazil (page 38). Stefan Glowacz’s legendary route “The Place of Happiness” certainly caused beads of perspiration to appear on their foreheads at times, although in the end the result was happiness on all levels. Because at the end of a tiring tunnel, the light of satisfaction is always waiting. The same goes for Jakob Oberhauser and Read Macadam. Their climb in the 7th Hole in Oman is a cool metaphor for climbing and coping with life’s difficulties (page 34). Their route is called: “Out of the Dark”. The prize: “Into the light”. The suspense in this issue is wide-ranging: from snow storms on remote Himalayan summits to big walls in tropical climes. From cross-border highlines to cave climbing in hot and dusty terrain. The outdoor way of life is highly varied. That is what makes it so fascinating and challenging. We want to make it as varied as possible for you too. Whether with the print version, iPad® app, website, Facebook, YouTube or Instagram. The medium is the means to an end. The feeling on all our channels is the same: enthusiasm for being outdoors. Let yourself be inspired, look for your challenge, find your adventure. We will be with you.

And on that note – open all winter!


42 38






04 04 where silence speaks

Words are superfluous when Michal Sabovčík and Adam Kadlečík listen to what the High Tatras have to tell

14 climaheat technology

Outperform cold

30 chasing the ice

Alexandra Schweikart and JungHee Han share a hangover in St. Moritz.

34 out of the dark

Read Macadam and Jakob Oberhauser climb into a stardust of sunlight in Oman.

16 walking on sunshine

37 did you know that ...

Six towers, four girls, one goal: Walk a highline at an elevation of 2,800 metres in winter

… adidas produced a special trekking shoe for Reinhold Messner prior to his historic oxygen-free ascent of Mount Everest in 1978?

21 reinhold messner column The hard way

22 poster

Four big shots from around the world

38 the place of happiness

Mayan Smith-Gobat and Ben Rueck seemed to have found what we are constantly searching for in life

42 specials

What´s new for fall/winter 2014?

44 welcome

Yannick Glatthard

45 shortcuts

Hot news from around the world

46 product overview

The wind grabbed a waft of mist the size of an aircraft carrier and propelled it up and over the edge of the ridge. That huge, floating, swirling mass was as stupefying a sight as a pirouetting hippo. Reaching the edge of the ridge and the thick, white mass, we met the light of the low evening sun. The mist kept on rising and was full of light, as if someone had turned on a switch. The next second the wind stopped. There was not the slightest motion of air and the wide snowfields absorbed every noise. Suddenly a silence could be sensed which was so expansive it seemed endless. At this moment any talk was superfluous. At this moment there was only one thing to do: listen. The silence evoked all one needs to know about the Tatras.

The Tatras are the highest part of the Carpathian Mountains. Four-fifths of the Tatras belong to Slovakia (Vysoké Tatry) and one-fifth to Poland (Tatry Wysokie). With a total length of 50 kilometres and a total width of 15, it’s not really a giant range. The highest summit, the Gerlachovský štít (2,655 metres), hardly impresses any serious altitude freaks. The common nickname of “smallest high mountain range in Europe“ underpins the impression that climbing and mountaineering in the Tatras are not really challenging but rather more of a neat pastime.

The flat hinterland out of which the Tatras majestically rise is perfect for wind and weather to generate force, accelerating toward the mountains like a raging bull and hitting them at full speed. If you’re smart, you will have already finished your climb and be sitting back in the valley in a snug hut, drinking the mandatory après beverage: climbing schnapps. If not, you´ll find yourself sitting out the apocalyptic side of the Tatras. The Tatras are definitely not a place where you casually stop by to score some nice winter climbs. Regardless of who you are and where you are from, climbing in the Tatras is no fast-food fare. Visiting climbers are served up traditional fare that only the boldest and strongest can digest. Only those willing to invest some time in getting to know the Tatras, their peculiarities, moods and characteristics will be able to put to use their wealth of experience - and avoid the gallows when the shit hits the fan.







1 Beliansky Tatri | 2 Kežmarský štít | 3 Lomnicky štít | 4 Gerlachovský štít | 5 Vysoká | 6 Rysy | 7 Kriván S

The Tatras are not only an arena for extreme alpinists, their wilderness also has a lovely side which can be experienced without having to battle for survival. The woods of the Tatras are full of deer, foxes, wild boars and rare brown bears, all scrounging around between Carpathian birches, beeches and white firs. Rumour has it that even wolves prowl their lonely beats in this area. The summits and ridges, enthroned above the lush forests, not only attract wanderers and climbers but eagles as well, who circle above in search of prey. When snow and ice have finally melted away from the debris zone around the ridge, some 125 different species of flowers blossom and bring colour to the rugged tundra. There are legendary tales of a group of like-minded men who work out in the Tatras every day of the year, regardless of the season and conditions. In most other mountain regions, manpower has been replaced with helicopters and cable cars. But not here in the Tatras. Here, carrying loads has a deeprooted tradition among the proud porters of the region. In these mountains “the last Sherpas in Europe“ shoulder their loads relentlessly to supply most of the huts with the most necessary goods. The porters are built sturdily: their thighs are as thick as tree trunks and their chests are the size of a barrel. Such an extraordinary physiology is needed to carry loads – groceries, firewood, water and linen strapped to wooden frames, which more often than not weigh between 80 and 100 kilograms – uphill for several hours. “When you walk up it’s better if you stop thinking. The head has to be free and then everything else will come naturally,” goes an old local saying. The most important thing is what happens inside your head. You have to consider each step before you take it. Your head is always tilted downwards. At some point you let your body take over. Other thoughts bubble to the surface. Things that really distract you. Life and the world, mistakes you have made, beautiful moments, death, everything at once. You are swimming in thought as much as you are in the sweat of your efforts. I am not perfect by a long way. I don’t have any great wisdom that I can pass on to others. I have let people down and made mistakes in my life like everybody else. But when I strap on my bags, I am making a promise. I am going to get them up the mountain come what may. In every piece of bread and every sip of beer I carry up, there is my effort. As long as I am needed, I will be there. As part of the mountain, as part of this world. The porters of the Tatras are unassuming people who are proud of what they do, modernisation because they have been able to withstand the ubiquitous modernization. In their profession they have won the battle of men against machines. Peter Patras is 65 years old and one of the oldest porters in the Tatras: “It’s like an addiction. If I don’t carry for a while I get nervous.“He’s been doing his job for 48 years now and he’s convinced that 20 years from now there will still be porters working in the Tatras.





Human existence in the Tatras is about reciprocity and symbiosis. You leave your traces whether you wander the flushing meadows or are fighting ice and snow through a steep face. Conversely, the Tatras leave their marks on you. They form your views and shape your character. If you want to get to know the Tatras, you need to take some time to get closer to their people: what they do and why they do it. This holds true especially for climbing in winter, which requires mental and physical skills that can hardly be found anywhere else. “Pure strength doesn’t get you anywhere“, says Michal “Mišo” Sabovčík, one of the young guns and currently one of the fittest climbers around. “Even when you are really good you need two high-volume seasons to get along with the Tatras conditions.” The Tatras are tricky and treacherous. The granite here forms few cracks; hence, placing gear is rare to non-existent. A sixth sense, plus a lot of creativity, are much more necessary than raw lock-off power when it comes to protecting climbs. Pure ice-climbing and dry-tooling blend fluidly into one another; sometimes the axes are clipped to your harness because climbing with bare hands just works better. “And then there’s the grass.” “The grass?“ “Yes, the grass.” There’s probably no other place on earth where people climb frozen grass, but here in the Tatras it is so fundamental to the experience. During the summer, many of the steep lines are constantly wet and grass-covered. This kind of unique vertical garden is a big advantage for alpinists when it’s frozen because then those impossible lines become climbable. Of course there’s also a bad side: a clove hitch around frozen straw isn’t really a reliable piece of protection, nor is an ice screw driven into frozen turf. The consequence is that runouts are common and none of them are short. Skills are one thing, rules another and even if you are swinging from frozen grass blades like a cold-weather Tarzan, there are a few need-to-know facts about climbing in the Tatras. “The first rule is: Ground up“, explains Mišo. Ground up means climbing a wall in a single push. Alternative strategies like abseiling and ascending to the highpoint via fixed ropes are out of the question. To put it simply: once the decision to climb is made, it is necessary to stick to it. That is the only way to adequately rise to the challenge. There’s no doubt that this is a clean and somewhat uncompromising style which excludes any kind of cheating. In the Tatras there are no half-measures and climbing here means you are willing to earn every metre. Absolute commitment is also required as far as the mobile protection goes. Drilling an emergency-bolt is a definite no-no: “Only the first ascentionist is allowed to place a bolt. Nobody else is allowed to add anything because this changes the character of the route. Only if you accept this can you show respect for his achievement”, says Mišo. An attitude so full of ethics and respect might sound a little too rigid for some ears and one of the consequences is that compared to other spots not many foreign climbers visit the Tatras. On the one hand this is sad because the alpine atmosphere in the Tatras is mind-blowing, but on the other hand the locals are proud of this fearsome aura. The Tatras have been preserved thanks to these local attitudes and so that climbing here is still a real adventure. Maybe this is the best reason to pay the Tatras a visit.

If a climber or mountaineer gazes at a wall he never only sees a piece of rock or an amorphous mass of natural matter. He sees potential lines running along natural weaknesses like cracks, corners and chimneys. In the first place climbing a wall means to discover these hidden labyrinths. If you want to climb you have to map the terrain and think about possible ways of manoeuvring through it. If you want to climb you have to piece together those fragments of information and envision ways of progression. In every mountain and every wall there are hidden lines. To find one of those lines at least three qualities are necessary: you have to look precisely, you have to be creative and you have to be patient because the logic of the lines is always unique and different from wall to wall. Limestone is not granite and slate is not sandstone. Even within the stone families there are morphologic differences: The granite of the Tatras is very different from the one in Chamonix, as is the one in Yosemite from the one in the Karakorum.


Many legendary climbers have found their line in the Tatras and by climbing it they have added their bit of history to these mountains. One of the biggest visionaries was Wieslaw Stanislawski. Stanislawski was born in Lublin on November 15, 1909, and started to climb in the High Tatras in 1928. His skills in the complex terrain improved quickly and the routes that attracted him became more extreme. The higher and more impossible-looking a wall was, the more he was drawn to it. During the years from 1928 -1933 Stanislawski’s ambitions became so intense they reached almost manic dimensions: He managed 105(!) first ascents, 89 in summer and 16 in winter. To honour his indefatigable vision people still refer to these years as the “Stanislawski era.”


In the 1930s there wasn’t much climbing activity in the Tatras, so Stanislawski was spoilt for choice. He picked the hardest and most beautiful lines he could find and solved one big-wall problem after another. Stanislawski influenced his successors not only through his creativity but through the ethics he employed. He always picked the hardest routes and never backed down. Not even if he got himself into severe trouble. His commitment was immense and he expected the same from all other climbers too. Stanislawski was willing to make his diaries from that era available. He wrote: “In the depths of every mountaineer’s heart there is fear, even if we call this fear emotion or joy of life. We all agree that it pays off to make sacrifices to this feeling. The passion for the mountains is one of the strongest and deepest, everyone who felt it knows what I am talking about. The others will never understand.”

If there’s only one line, the choice seems easy. But it’s a completely different situation when there’s a whole mountain range of many similar lines like there are in the Tatras. What do you do? Climb a route on every wall? Climb only the hardest routes? What is even the hardest? If you want to tap into the soul of a mountain range and find its life line, you have to listen to its pulse. Studying the topographic map of the Tatras, you will see a continuous ridge line running from the Western Tatras over the High Tatras into the Belianske Tatras: this 72-kilometre ridge contains 134 summits and towers. Even before World War I this line caught the attention of alpinists. Many expeditions tried their luck. The first one to solve this alpine problem solo and without any external support was Pavel Pochyly who was born on September 25, 1945, in Bratislava. Pochyly’s skills were so extraordinary that people gave him the nickname “Pavúk” (“spider”). In the winter of 1979 Pochyly decided to stake everything on one card and head out. Alone. A small accident would have been fatal. Even 14 days after his departure no one had heard anything about his whereabouts and his friends figured he was dead. Suddenly he appeared walking out of the mist at the meeting-point. His face looked weary, his beard was a chunk of ice and his eyes were half frozen. But Pochyly was happy, he made it and became the first person to traverse the Tatras’ main ridge. The feat of a century that no one had thought possible.

Wieslaw Stanislawski and Pavel Pochyly were only two of many legendary Tatras climbers. They may have passed away but the passion that they felt for their Tatras lives on to this day. Michal “Mišo” Sabovčík and Adam Kadlečík spent countless days in the wintry Tatras over the past few years ticking off one hard route after the other. At one point they felt the hunger for more. For something bigger. The biggest. Searching for the ultimate self-test Mišo came across the name of Pavel Pochyly and the Tatras traverse and was immediately impressed. On the other hand Pochyly’s descriptions sounded much like suffering. Why would anyone do this? Reflecting on this Mišo recalled one of his own mantras: “If you always ask why you might never move.” Right. Let’s do it. Move! Mišo called his buddies Adam and Gabo, and they hatched plans. In 2013 Mišo, Adam and Gabo set off with 25-kilogram packs that contained everything they needed to survive for the next days. That’s a lot given that they had to climb a sharp and demanding ridge line. On the other hand it was really important for Mišo, Adam and Gabo to pull off the traverse alpine-style, relying only on their own abilities and willpower, dispensing with any external support – the way the old Tatras climbers would have wanted. Three days in they started to feel the impact of the extreme cold. “The cold was creeping slowly deeper inside of us. In the morning we couldn’t feel our feet and we didn’t know if they would ever defrost again. Hours later the blood returned to the limbs. It was a feeling of painful redemption as if capillaries were about to explode. Sometimes it took four hours until we were warm again”, says Adam. But it was not only the cold that severely afflicted them. The climbing also became more demanding once they reached the High Tatras, with difficulties between grades III and IV. Though these UIAA grades don’t sound too hard, under these conditions those numbers lost all significance. The ridge was often loose, icy and terribly corniced. You had to climb up and down all the time, mostly on all fours. Protection was hardly possible and if the leader fell the others would have had to jump on the other side of the ridge to save him. “We went up, down, then up, then down again and I had the feeling that we didn’t really progress at all. This had nothing to do with climbing any more, this was a very anachronistic way of moving,” recalls Adam. On the fourth day Gabo injured himself. Going on was out of the question for him. From one moment to the other all logistics had to be changed, the plan had to be adapted. Gabo descended and then it was only two men standing.






During a 15-day winter traverse, psychologically devastating factors become common. The malicious terrain required constant concentration and wrecked the nerves. The cold crawled deeper into the body and killed all motivation. The wind, whose high-speed gusts felt like knives on the skin was pure torture.


The toughest part, however, was not fighting against the elements. The temperature dropped as far as it wanted to drop, the wind blew as strongly as it wanted to blow. Mišo and Adam knew that they had no influence over that. Ironically, this felt like a relief. The true difficulty was finishing the project and sticking to the plan and original inspiration. “No one commands you to follow your intentions. You can let go and descend any minute; it’s not far to the valley. But to stay up is the real battle, the real challenge that is played out on a mental level. It’s only you out there and you face no one but yourself.“ Days came and went and Mišo and Adam continued their fight despite failing strength. It was clear to them that they had reached their absolute limit, physically and mentally. The situation remained sketchy and capitulation loomed above them like the sword of Damocles. They quarrelled and argued on a daily basis but reconciliation was never far away: “Shortly before our finish on the Kolovy štít, Mišo asked me if I wanted to give up. ‘Yes,’ I said immediately. But he was only kidding. ‘Not me,’ he said and walked on,” says Adam. After 15 long days the suffering came to an end. Not a second too early because a big front was approaching. The following day weather stations measured wind speeds as high as 240 km/h. Who knows if the two would have had the power to sit that storm out?

What strategy does one need to overcome such circumstances as these? In what mental state does one need to be to walk through a winter hell and never give up? When I asked Mišo about that he answered, “The best way is not to think about the suffering.” But what is he thinking about then? “Sometimes a good beer, sometimes women,” he answered. Riffing off Mišo’s metaphor, I asked, “If the Tatras were a woman, how would she look? What qualities would she possess?” It occurred to me that this question contained a certain risk. Depending on how late we were into the conversation, a lot of answers could have been given to this question - most of them not printable. But I was wrong. At first Mišo laughed but suddenly he became thoughtful: “It would be a very beautiful woman. Beautiful and quiet. When you climb in the Tatras you must like the silence. It would also be a woman that one has to respect because if she gets mad you are in big trouble. If you want to be accepted by the Tatras you have to be a real man.” Mišo paused. “And also a good boy!“ Mišo put on a mischievous smile and raised his glass and everyone else on the table raised their. “Na zdravie!” We touched glasses with a loud clink. Outside it was already dark and noises had faded from the Tatras. The walls rose darkly above the snowfields and once again the silence was about to speak.

LIVES in peaceful Spišská Nová Ves in eastern Slovakia. HAS the major Alpine north wall trilogy (Matterhorn, Eiger, Grandes Jorasses) to his name, as well as since 2012 a first ascent on Great Trango Tower (Karakorum/Pakistan). CAN not only handle ice tools well, but also carving tools. His sculptures stand in the symbolic cemetery in Slovenský Raj. SAYS the Tatras traverse is the toughest he has ever done. WANTS to be even tougher in future and complete the “Stanislawski Project” together with Adam by climbing ten of his greatest routes in the High Tatras in five days. In winter, and in one push, of course. In figures: 4,100 metres of climbing and 32 kilometres of hiking.

IS the same age as his climbing partner Mišo, but lives in Hlohovec in western Slovakia. HAS studied civil engineering and knows when something is stable, regardless of whether it’s an office block or a frozen waterfall. WAS more likely to be found on Europe’s sport climbing walls than on hard-core alpine routes until the Tatras traverse. SAYS the Tatras traverse is the toughest he has ever done. WANTS to be even tougher in the near future and complete the “Stanislawski Project” together with Mišo by climbing ten of his greatest routes in the High Tatras in five days. In winter, and in one push, of course. In figures: 4,100 metres of climbing and 32 kilometres of hiking.







04// 05//

When the going gets as tough as the terrain, there is only one thing you need: the TERREX ICEFEATHER JACKET with the ultimate GORE-TEX® Pro Shell membrane. Highly resistant, absolutely wind and waterproof yet breathable, this is the best GORE-TEX® jacket money can buy. Thanks to FORMOTION® technology, the TERREX ICEFEATHER JACKET follows every move without a slip. Its intelligent cut hood can be worn over a helmet. Regardless of whether belaying in the middle of a route or exposed on a ridge: the TERREX KORUM HOODED JACKET with its fluffy 90/10 goose down protects against the cold when you need to take a break to snack, drink or simply enjoy the view. With a total weight of just 400 grams, there is no question of whether the TERREX KORUM HOODED JACKET together with the PRIMALOFT SKI GLOVES with reinforced palms have sufficient space in the TERREX 35 BACKPACK. They do. For ultimate performance you need ultimate vision – which is the job of the TYCANE PRO OUTDOOR glasses. Their hydrophobic lenses repel water, dirt and dust while the climacool® ventilation system ensures that no condensation obscures your visibility even in the nastiest weather conditions. Their Light Stabilizing TechnologyTM equalises rapidly changing light conditions if it suddenly clouds over, for example, and thanks to their ergonomic wrap-around vision, you can rely on the TYCANE PRO OUTDOOR to fit perfectly, no matter what the conditions in the High Tatras have in store.

01// Terrex Swift Climaheat Frost Jacket 02// Terrex Icefeather Jacket 03// Terrex Korum Hooded Jacket 04// PrimaLoft Ski Gloves 05// Backpack Terrex 35 06// Tycane Pro Outdoor


The right outfit for a tough tour in the High Tatras needs to possess one quality above all: versatility. It is not only changing weather conditions but also different body climates that need to be taken into consideration – compensating for the difference between active movement and passive rest phases in wild terrain. To meet these complex requirements, the TERREX SWIFT CLIMAHEAT FROST JACKET with the latest PrimaLoft ® Down Blend Technology is precisely the item you need to protect you. Thanks to its new ultrathin PrimaLoft ® fabric, the Jacket keeps you warm as toast even in wet weather. The outer material is water-repellent, windproof yet breathable and maintains a pleasant body climate throughout a full day of thrilling action in the mountains.


The comparatively small surface area of the High Tatras has led to its being nicknamed the “smallest high mountain range in the world”. However, as far as the weather and rapidly changing conditions are concerned, it lacks none of the challenges to be found in “big” mountain ranges. A fact that winter adventurers in the Tatras need to not only be aware of, but also well prepared for by choosing the best possible equipment.



CLIMAHEATTM PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Down Blend

CLIMAHEATTM PrimaLoft® Silver Insulation Down Blend

FORMOTION ® 3-D construction with articulated joints and carefully placed seams for freedom of movement and a comfortable fit





different-sized insulation chambers cover seams and trap heat through overlap





When the cold bares its frosty teeth, outdoor enthusiasts have always had to choose between down or synthetic insulation to stay warm. But now, with climaheatTM, we can have the best of both worlds. Featuring the best characteristics of various PrimaLoft® insulation materials, implemented using innovative finishing processes, climaheatTM is an ingenious blend that produces top performance and finally keeps the sharp teeth of cold away.

So, how does it work? Premium quality down from socially-responsible sources is finished using a patented fluorocarbon-free process and then bonded homogeneously with ultra-fine PrimaLoft® fibres. Thanks to this process the down remains permanently water-repellent so that it does not lose its natural loft, even when wet. Loft is insulation, and insulation is warmth. Tests using PrimaLoft® demonstrate that this blend dries four times faster than untreated feathers. Further, this intelligent hybrid stands up to both a washing machine and dryer, unlike normal down products, with no successive adhesion of the individual feathers. Loft is maintained through multiple washing and drying cycles. Consequently, both down and PrimaLoft® perform their best in this mix of materials to produce a combination of durability, water resistance, excellent loft, low weight, maximum thermal performance, easy compressibility and high breathability. The finished product is called PrimaLoft® Performance Down Blend technology and from 2015 will carry the bluesign® certificate, one of the most stringent environmental seals of quality in the whole outdoor industry.

Outdoor enthusiasts have always had to make a tough decision when it comes to jackets: down or synthetic? Down is warm, and slightly lighter and more compressible than most synthetic materials, which is why it was the feather of choice for mountain activities in dry, cold climates. Down, however, has one major disadvantage: when wet, it forms clumps and loses its thermal properties. Synthetic PrimaLoft® insulation is also warm, and it has a major advantage over down because when it gets wet it retains its insulating properties. So there are the down hardliners on one side, and the synthetic crowd on the other, always discussing the same “what ifs”: What happens if it rains? What happens if it’s freezing cold? What happens if you’re sweating buckets? What happens if you’re on the move for several days? What if you only want to take one jacket with you? As is so often the case, the best solutions are the most obvious. Why bother tossing around a million “what ifs” and “either/ors” when you could simply have both? When you combine down with synthetic insulation you get an intelligent, complementary mix that boasts the best of both worlds. Welcome to a refreshing concept in the world of thermal insulation. Welcome to the world of climaheatTM.






IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FINISHING There are two versions of PrimaLoft® Performance Down Blend used in climaheatTM textile products. PrimaLoft® Gold Down Blend consists of 30% PrimaLoft® microfibre and 70% goose down. That adds up to a total loft of 750 Cuin at the upper end of the thermal performance scale. The material maintains up to 95% of this performance level even when wet. By comparison, conventional down can lose up to two-thirds of its thermal properties when wet. PrimaLoft® Silver Down Blend consists of 40% PrimaLoft® and 60% duck down, producing a loft of 650 Cuin. Simply put, this provides very good insulation at an ideal volumeto-weight ratio. However, the best material demands the best implementation to gain the most from its best properties. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, as they say. That is the principal idea behind adidas climaheatTM: to remove the weak links. Normally, the classic method of using down ran into problems at the baffles – the points where the fabric was stitched and reinforced. Why? Because heat could still escape through the seams. But that is not the case with the Terrex Climaheat Ice Jacket. Different sizes of down chambers are sewn in overlapping patterns to guarantee all-round insulation, eliminating weak points. adidas lab tests with infrared cameras proved that this system provides significantly higher levels of insulation. Consequently, the Ice Jacket is in a class of its own where temperatures dip well below the comfort zone and maximum performance is needed. Even during dynamic activities the clothing responds to every move, with additional stretch panels featuring PrimaLoft® in movementintensive areas such as the sides and upper back. This design guarantees optimum fit without loss of warmth. Thanks to PrimaLoft® Gold Down Blend hybrid insulation, the Ice Jacket is ideal when high-perspiration activities meet ice-cold conditions. The Terrex Swift Climaheat Frost Jacket, on the other hand, is a highly functional all-rounder with a wide range of applications.

The warm core featuring PrimaLoft® Silver Down Blend is united with a tough, breathable and water-repellent ripstop shell material – more than a match for extreme wind and rain. The insulation performance of the Frost Jacket is high, while its weight is low, and its compressed volume even lower. As a result, it has a place in every winter backpack.

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e n i h s n u s n o g n i k l a w TORRI DEL VAJOLET




Six towers, four girls, one project: to walk a highline between the Vajolet Towers in the Dolomites. A line that connects summit to summit at an altitude of 2,800 metres.

Towers that scrape the sky.


Hayley Ashbur n

Elisabeth Kendler

AGE: 26 PLACE OF RESIDENCE: Moab/Utah, USA OCCUPATION: Highline Queen OTHER SKILLS: Climbing, BASE jumping LOVES: Life KNOWS: No vertigo

AGE: 26 PLACE OF RESIDENCE: St. Ulrich/Tyrol, AUT WALKED: Her first highline 6 years ago HAS: Already booked her ticket to Moab/Utah

AGE: 29 PLACE OF RESIDENCE: St. Johann/Tyrol, AUT FEELS: At home in the mountain s DRAWS: Her lines preferably with skis, a mountain bike or with hands and feet up rock-faces.

Julia Heuberger

Jill Kuzman

AGE: 33 PLACE OF RESIDENCE: Hollister/California, USA OCCUPATION: BASE jump Icon OTHER SKILLS: Highlining, climbing, having fun HAS: A head for heights

As if this plan wasn’t already tough enough, Julia, Jill, Hayley and Lisi decided to do it in the middle of the winter. An appropriate Facebook comment for this might be: “It’s complicated.“ The four girls, who are from the USA and Austria, faced ice and snowcovered rock terrain on the approach to the line, cold feet before stepping onto the line, fierce winds on the line and even colder feet when getting off the line. Not exactly your average walk in the park. But these conditions were part of an extraordinary plan. Plan as much as you wish, but when all preparations are completed everything comes down to one thing: to take the first step into reality, off safe ground and right onto the line.


The Torri del Vajolet are a formation of six rock towers, three northern and three southern ones, in the Rosengarten group in the Italian Dolomites. These bizarre formations, which seem to have a special arrangement with gravity and statics, are quite common in this wild corner of the Alps. But you’d be hard pressed to find a group of towers that are more elegant and bear more grace than the Vajolets. In the 19th century, locals were fascinated by these slender, stone forms. As interest led to action, the bravest among them filled up their canvas backpacks with pitons, ropes and speck. After all you can’t just leave those towers standing around without having stood atop them, can you? In August 1882, G. Bernard and G. Merzbacher set up their base camp at the bottom of the Vajolet massif. On the 28th of that month they stood on top of Torre Principale (2821m) for its first ascent. Five years later Georg Winkler climbed the southeast face of another one of the towers, which was later named Torre Winkler (2800m). In 1892 Hans Stabeler and Hans Helversen were the first to summit Torre Stabeler (2805m) and because they were already there, they decided to tag on the first ascent of Torre Nord (2810m) as well. In 1895 Hermann Delago spraddled solo and in his lederhosen to the top of the sixth and then still-virgin tower, which was later named after him: Torre Delago (2790m).

High vs. Low

The list of climbers who have since followed in the first ascentionists’ footsteps is quite long. If each and every one of those successors had stacked a single stone to mark their ascent, there would now be seven, instead of just six, towers in the Torri del Vajolet group. Without a doubt the towers are among the most sought-after alpine goals in the Dolomites. But those six towers, all of almost equal height, have not only drawn the attention of climbers who jam up the classic lines on sunny summer weekends. Highliners have gazed at them with longing as well. The Torri del Vajolet are a highliner’s dream destination. Although it’s not possible to link all six towers together with highlines, three are definitely realistic. From the summit of Torre Delago, a 12-metre-line to reach Torre Stabeler is possible and from there you can set up a 50-metregiant to the summit of Torre Winkler. In 2005 highline veteran Heinz Zak completed the first walk across the Delago-Stabeler line. Rumour has it that the much more demanding StabelerWinkler variant was walked in its entirety in 2013 by a as-yet unknown balance artist.

To set up a slackline in a park you don’t need much: a line, a pulley system, a few carabiners, two trees and a smartphone to watch the appropriate YouTube manual. However, a bit of technical nous will help get the job done. To set up a highline between two mountain summits is much more complicated as plenty of factors come into play. Wanting to go big and being able to are two different things entirely. Wannabe alpine-highliners have to be able to answer a very fundamental question: “How do I get up there?“ Well, there’s only one answer to that: climbing. But even that is easier said than done. The bottom line is: highlining requires a large skill-set, from alpine climbing to rock proficiency to simply being able to walk a longline with hundreds of metres of exposure beneath your feet. All told you have to be a tough guy if you want to walk in the sky between rock-peaks at almost 3,000 metres. Or even better: a tough gal.

It´s a woman’s world.

Anecdotes, adventures, heroic tales – the narrative stock provided by alpine history is almost endless. But if you’re reading between the lines one thing becomes obvious: the protagonists of these stories are mostly men and so are their narrators. Men and their adventures can be identified as a thread woven into this history that has produced a very specific pattern. But strong and brave women have always been doing their thing in the mountains, too; it’s only the attention that has often been denied them. In this respect the present is much wiser: Everybody knows that women draw their lines through the walls as well as men do. And it’s no different when it comes down to walking across the lines that are stretched between those walls. In the case of the Torri del Vajolet Julia, Jill, Hayley and Lisi were even one step ahead. It was in the middle of winter, and under such conditions no one had ever tried to walk a highline up there.

Torre Stabeler

Hayley Ashburn

Torre Winkler



Torre Delago

In this respect the present is much wiser: Everybody knows that women draw their lines through the walls as well as men do.

“I was really intimidated by the exposure. There was ice and snow everywhere I had nothing to hold on to visually and I could hardly stand up. Plus, it was terribly cold.“


The first part of “Project Vajolet“ was by far the most comfortable: the cable-car ride from Vigo di Fassa to the summit station, Bosch de Larjes (2,100m). Passing by the Rifugio Gardacia (1,950m) after a small descent the next goal was the Vajolet hut at 2,243 metres. From there a steep ascent led to the Gartl hut (2,621m). But instead of a warm snug interior only a cold room was waiting. On top of that its entrance was buried somewhere under the snow. But where, exactly? Here? Are you sure? The girls grabbed their shovels and started to dig. Shovelling through three metres of snow takes a bit, but at least the girls were heated up when they found the entrance half an hour later. Soon the stoves were running and after the soup was finished they crawled into their sleeping bags. Recovery was necessary because the next days were going to be tough. All the gear was brought up to the summits and the lines were rigged while everyone suffered from the cold, but the hardest part was to gain control over the lines during the first attempts to walk them. Breaks were rare because the days were still short. Every hour of light was precious. Sure, it was tough, but everyone agreed that the most important factor during these strenuous days was the team: “Getting together was a really great experience for us all. We all had things to teach and learn from each other. It’s a great atmosphere with four knowledgeable, fun-loving, humble girls all ready to make this project happen,“ says Jill. Jill and Hayley provided their knowledge about slacklining and rigging and when it came to skiing and climbing, Julia and Lisi contributed their experience. “The Vajolet Project was so versatile and there were a lot of things where I was definitely not an expert. It was really good that Julia and Lisi were there. I learned a lot,” says Hayley. “And it was great that we could rely on them,” adds Jill. The vibes were good. Walking the 12-metre line between Torre Delago and Torre Stabeler was merely a matter of maintaining good form. Next up was “the big one,“ the 50-metre highline from Torre Delago to Torre Stabeler. A length factor of 4,1666 is quite a lot. Nevertheless the numbers fail to do justice to the length. Up here every step means a battle against the fierce wind, which always threatens a loss of either balance or concentration. The longer the line, the heavier and harder to control it becomes. Each and every step farther becomes a personal victory over the impossible. The first attempts were the hardest, says Hayley: “I was really intimidated by the exposure. There was ice and snow everywhere I had

Suddenly the barometer started to fall, but the atmosphere was so exhilarating that no one really took notice. Unfortunately, next morning the clouds quickly approached, draping the Torri del Vajolet in thick mist. Not the slightest chance of continuing remained, so the project was called off.

Girls only.

Failure is all about perspective. Why call this a defeat when only a few metres went missing? Come on, you can’t be serious! The highline project on the Torri del Vajolet wasn’t about metres or centimetres or millimetres. It wasn’t about being the first to walk it in winter either. Or about being greater or better than someone else. No, it was about having a good time together and trying to make a really rad project happen. “Of course I wanted to walk that line,“ admits Hayley. “It was definitely the most beautiful one I have ever been on. But I also wanted to show that women in general can do crazy things if they want to. Just try and believe in it.“ It would not have taken much to finish the line and if the weather had let her try a few more times she would have done it for sure. Effort, courage, persistence and team spirit were perfectly in tune during the project and without a doubt Julia, Jill, Hayley and Lisi earn respect for that. And that is what highlining is all about. “And the moral support,” adds Jill, “because even if highlining looks like an individual sport it’s not. You need the moral support of your crew and when they are cheering at the other end it gives me the extra push.“ What about the men? “For me, having an all-girls’ project doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy projecting with the boys,” says Jill. “It means that we have the ability and skills to stand on our own. Helping each other face our fears and chart new territories, as strong, knowledgeable, independent women. We can function on our own or in a group because of what we bring to the project as individuals.“ See? Nothing to worry about, boys! Maybe next time you will be on the team again!


Share your skills.

nothing to hold on to visually and I could hardly stand up. Plus, it was terribly cold.“ But even those harsh conditions couldn’t get her down and when the wind died down in the evening hours, Hayley was back on the line for another walk. “The evening hours were the best,“ she recalls. “There was no wind and the low sun painted all the summits pink. The line was so calm and it felt as if it wasn’t even there. It felt like walking on sunshine.“ Metre by metre – 30, 40, 45 – Hayley came closer to the Torre Winkler. Suddenly she tumbled and fell. Unimpressed she got up and went back to the start to try again. She was a true Sisyphus, impressive to watch but nerve-wracking at the same time. The whole scenery was impactful even to those not on the line. Says Julia: “It was so great to experience the evening atmosphere up here and watch Hayley’s performance on the line – I have no words to describe it. Her body-control on the line was just amazing.”


“The evening hours were the best,“ she recalls. “There was no wind and the low sun painted all the summit s pink. The line was so calm and it felt as if it wasn’t even there. It felt like walking on sunshine.“






04// 01//

They say that a picture says more than a thousand words. However, what they say is not always right; sometimes the opposite is true. The picture: a highline spanned between two rock towers. Balancing in the middle, a person who appears to be suspended in space, illuminated in bright sunlight in front of the imposing backdrop of the winter Dolomites. Some of the thousand missing words: wind, chilling to the bone, cold feet and freezing ears. Climbing, rigging, balancing – behind alpine highlining there hides a wide spectrum of activities which the necessary apparel needs to live up to. The most important thing in winter is to keep warm. They say that you can’t perform well if you are freezing, and this time they are right. The TERREX SWIFT CLIMAHEAT FROST JACKET with PrimaLoft ® Down Insulation not only promises to keep you warm, it also keeps this promise. Regardless of whether you are belaying, waiting to step onto the highline, or have just crossed it: thanks to climaheatTM, you are always at the temperature that feels best. The jacket has a windproof, waterrepellent and breathable ripstop outer material and ensures that thermal performance is maintained even in damp conditions.


In the next layer, the TERREX SWIFT ½ ZIP LONGSLEEVE with Cocona® activated carbon fleece provides optimum moisture management. When the sun is high in the sky and it becomes too warm for a jacket, the UPF 50+ protection factor of the longsleeve reliably fends off the UV rays. For the lower body, the TERREX SWIFT FASTSEASON PANTS keep your legs warm and, thanks to the athletic cut, give you exactly the freedom of movement you need for climbing and extreme slackline moves.



Regardless of the equipment – ice tools, skis or climbing gear – the TERREX BC30 Day Backpack has space and fittings for every bit of kit and at 235 grams is so light that you’ll hardly notice it. For highlining, nothing is as important as the right footwear. Especially developed for slacklining, the SLACK CRUISER features STEALTH rubber soles for unbeatable grip and its edge stability and flexibility provide a feeling of total contact on every step. Focussing on a fixed point is the visual anchor highliners need to keep their balance. You need to have a pair of DAROGAS perched on your nose so you don’t lose sight of the fixed point. Dynamic wrap-around design and Vision AdvantageTM PC LENSES ensure a comfortable fit so nothing blurs your vision. On top, the REVERSIBLE BEANIE will keep your ears warm so that you can fully concentrate on your space walk.

01// Terrex Swift Climaheat Frost Jacket 02// Terrex Swift FastSeason Pants 03// Terrex Swift 1/2 Zip Longsleeve 04// Reversible Beanie 05// Daroga White Shiny 06// Terrex BC30 07// Slack Cruiser


However, the 8,000ers were not of interest at that time. They had already been climbed (between 1950 and 1964) and nobody thought it was possible to reach their summits in winter. The 1970s saw the start of a second wave of expedition climbing: conquering the last mountains in the world by any means necessary, and also attempting new routes on the steepest 8,000-metre walls. In May 1970, climbers from England and the USA managed to climb the 3,500-metre South Face of Annapurna. In June of the same year, my brother Günther and I made it to the summit of Nanga Parbat via the 4,500-metre Rupal Face, the biggest face in the world. My brother died on the descent and I barely escaped the tragic experience with my life. The conditions in the Himalaya were indeed much harsher than in the Alps during winter. In 1973, the Italian Guido Monzino – a multimillionaire with a penchant for exorbitant displays of daring – led an expedition to Mount Everest. Following his expedition to the North Pole in 1970, all that was left to add to his radiance was an ascent of the highest mountain in the world. Helicopters flew payloads right into the Western Cwm. In the same way that the Italians had danced to the North Pole from one base camp to the next across the frozen sea (in planes or squatting on dog sleds), Monzino now followed a line stamped into the snow by Sherpas that snaked its way up to the summit of Mount Everest. Foregoing training and skill, Monzino et al. Were paying good money to flirt with the dangers of the cold and altitude, thereby romanticising the wilderness as “stormy, bathed in sunlight, cloaked in mist”, and also degrading the true mountaineers with it. These summit fetishists were subsequently celebrated as indomitable endurance athletes and nature lovers. However, these ”conquerors of nothing”, motivated only by success, certainly looked ridiculous having spent so much cash and received so much assistance from the Sherpas. It was as if the emperors, to achieve public adoration in Rome, had driven their slaves to the limit. Finally, in 1975, after several failed attempts, the second British expedition led by Chris Bonington (which included Doug Scott, Dougal Haston, Peter Boardman, Pertemba Sherpa and Mick Burke), successfully climbed the southwest wall of Mount Everest. Scott and Haston bivouacked on the descent to the south summit (8,760 m), and Boardman/Sherpa Pertemba managed the ascent and descent. Burke, unfortunately, did not return from the summit of Everest. The most difficult wall on the highest mountain had been climbed. Yet again the telegraph wires sang with the latest news. But no, the never tiring “conquerors” did not move on to other pastures. Instead, they relentlessly rediscovered the same mountains. In May 1978, Peter Habeler and I were the first to climb onto the roof of the world without oxygen. Later that year, on the August 9, 1978 I managed to climb the Nanga Parbat solo via the Diamir Wall – the first time that one of the 14 8,000ers had been climbed in its entirety solo. It was only worth being the second discoverer in a small group, or alone. The reduction in equipment and porters only increased the adventure. Also that year, Naomi Uemurawho, in 1970, was the first Japanese to reach the summit of Mount Everest, drove his pack of dogs from Canada to the North Pole, supported only twice with food and fuel that was flown out to him. Upon reaching the Pole itself, he was picked up by plane. In the winter of 1984, the highly experienced Uemura did not return from an expedition on Denali in Alaska. Not even Uemura was able to survive without breathing apparatus in the wintry Arctic. He had shared everything with the Eskimos and bound himself to dog sleds – but he did not come

Someone who has always come back, Fridtjof Nansen-style, even from the most dire situations, and has consequently earned all my respect, is the British mountaineer Doug Scott. On September 24, 1975 he and Dougal Haston spent the night in a snow hole just below the summit of Everest: without a stove, without a sleeping bag and without breathing apparatus. Without freezing to death. Next, he wanted to attempt Kangchenjunga without oxygen. Together with Georges Bettembourg, Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker, Doug Scott set off in the spring of 1979 choosing the route via the north wall, traversing the west saddle and then following the ridge up to the summit. On May 4th, they reached their limit. An emergency situation forced them to it at an altitude of 7,900 metres, thousands of miles from home. The wind was whipping at 150 kilometres an hour. Gusts sent stones skimming across the snow. They huddled together in their down suits as in cocoons and waited. When the wind died down, they dragged themselves onwards over the scree. The next gust of wind threw them to the ground. Huddled together with the wind blasting at their backs, they fought for survival. Fought the fear of freezing into ice statues and being blown off the mountain. Again they made a dash. Again only a few steps. On the ridge the northwest storm was at its strongest. It blew in the direction of Sikkim. Should they make a dash for Sikkim and hide in its wind shadow? Break out of this frozen hell and flying chunks of ice? During the night the wind had almost blown them there. The darkest hour came just before dawn. The wind tore their tent to shreds and it collapsed. Splinters of ice pierced their faces. Doug Scott rammed his ice axe into the floor of the tent, the tent poles broke and material fluttered in tatters. The fight for survival rose another notch. “Don’t leave anything behind!” shouted Scott. Even in a moment of panic, this titan of adventure did not lose control. Kangchenjunga spewed snow and fog: a majestic mountain. They had walked that fine line between being there and not being there, and managed to rescue themselves. Scott interpreted it as a sign from heaven. Tasker and Boardman disappeared in 1982 during their attempt to climb the whole northeast ridge of Everest. Somewhere among the rock turrets in the death zone above 8,000 metres, they met their end. Why, we do not know. They did not come back. Like innumerable top climbers before them and even more after them. Doug Scott is still alive, and that is a consolation at least. Meanwhile, all but two of the 8,000ers have been climbed in winter. Millions of people are now participating in winter sports, from ice climbing to ski mountaineering, both on and off the piste. The equipment, especially the clothing – windtight, breathable, wear-resistant – is many times better than 30 years ago. In 1980, Polish mountaineers stood on top of Mount Everest in winter, in the decade between 1979 and 1989, the best in the world. A moment of glory for alpinism! In 2014, Simone Moro, currently the most successful winter pioneer on the 8,000ers, and David Göttler failed on the ridge between the Rupal wall and the Diamir wall below the summit of Nanga Parbat. Success was unattainable in winter: despite modern equipment, a great deal of experience and maximum motivation, there was no alternative but to retreat. On two occasions I attempted an 8,000er in winter: Cho Oyu in 1982; Makalu in 1986. I failed both times. Once because of the avalanche risk; once because of the -40°C jet-stream. I have no regrets. The Antarctic crossing also demanded maximum endurance and resistance to suffering from Arved Fuchs and me, but the risks are even higher climbing a summit over 8,000 metres above sea level in winter. If you are not prepared to turn round then sooner or later you will die. Only the power within, built up over a series of attempts, enables us now and then to reach our limits, just like others on a winter hike, or an ice climb, or on a sledding trip. There are many opportunities to prove yourself. But for everyone, Paul Preuss’s maxim applies: “Ability is the measure for gauging feasibility.”


In the winter of 1966, after many weeks of preparation, an international team climbed in expedition style a new, direct route straight up the middle of the Eiger, an achievement comparable in terms of length, temperature and danger to climbing in the Himalaya. Some Italians also worked their way up the northeast wall of Piz Badile in a similar style. Of course I wanted to join in on the winter hype, too: first winter ascent of the Agner north ridge; first winter ascent of the Furchetta north wall; followed by the first winter ascent of the Agner north wall, which, at 1,500 metres high, covered in thick snow and -25° C all the way, was a really tough undertaking. With numb fingertips, frozen trousers and stiff ropes, Sepp Mayerl, Heindl Messner and I stood on top of the summit after three days. Ideal training for the Himalaya! I knew that the Himalayan cold, even during the warmest seasons, would still be worse than winter in the Alps. Plus, there are the oxygen deficit and storms to reckon with.

back. An intensive search, even from the air, was not possible during such short periods of daylight. The cold and the storms covered the solo adventurer for ever. We all guessed that the new dimension in high-altitude climbing would take place in winter. The question was: How do you prepare yourself and, more importantly, where do you get the motivation from? Naomi Uemura became the role model for all solo adventurers looking to escape from the monotony of city life, straining to break free from civilisation into the great wide open offered by the Himalaya, the Antarctic and the Arctic. To die like Naomi Uemura! As if escaping from the dull facets of everyday life into the jet-stream storm could ever be considered a “death”. With frost-bitten feet, limping on their last legs of willpower, lungs collapsing, suffocating on their own body liquids – order, morals and thought all stop here. Finally, hope as well. Winter mountaineering on the highest mountains and largest ice wastes was not yet in fashion, but it would soon become the new challenge, the last adventure on Earth.


Winter mountaineering wasn’t always fashionable. Although we have been climbing mountains using snowshoes or skis since the dawn of modern alpinism, it wasn’t until the 1960s when the world’s best mountaineers started climbing in the Alps in winter too. In 1961, the North Face of the Eiger was climbed for the first time in winter. A sensational achievement! Even more difficult, according to Toni Hiebeler, was the first winter ascent of the Civetta Northwest Wall: 1,200 vertical metres of rock, frozen waterfalls and lots of snow.

Italy VAJOLET TOWERs ATHLETE: Hayley Ashburn (USA) LOCATION: Vajolet Towers - Dolomites, Italy PHOTO: Michael Meisl

brazil pedra riscada ATHLETE: Mayan Smith-Gobat (NZ) and Ben Rueck (USA) LOCATION: ”The Place Of Happiness” 9, - Pedra Riscada, Brazil PHOTO: Frank Kretschmann

SLOVAKIA high tatras ATHLETE: Michal Sabovčík (SK) LOCATION: ”Weberovka” M5+, Malý Kežmarský štít- High Tatras, Slovakia PHOTO: Jakob Schweighofer

norwAY arctic circle ATHLETE: Alex Luger (AT) LOCATION: Lyngen Alps - Norway PHOTO: Ray Demski, Red Bull Content Pool



The winter didn’t do us ice climbers any favours: thanks to the warm temperatures and an abundance of powder snow, we spent more time with skis on our feet than ice tools in our hands. Ice climbers talk about “standing” waterfalls when they are frozen to columns and candles of ice. For me, hacking my tools into a frozen column of hard, blue ice, I sometimes think that it’s a miracle that only a few days ago this solid mass was bubbling slush. And in just a few weeks, it will turn back into falling water, and we will once again hear its deafening crash into the valley.


Last winter, however, the waterfalls just didn’t want to freeze. Still, JungHee Han, a friend from South Korea, said he wanted to come visit me and do a couple of tours. Although South Korea is a peninsula in the ocean, a continental freeze rips across the land in winter and turns the many waterfalls to ice. JungHee loves winter, and the ice climbing in Korea has whipped him into an awesome competition ice climber. However, the call of the European Alps reaches as far as South Korea. When he arrived in Munich, we didn’t hang out for long before beginning our search for ice. First stop: Switzerland. Our destination, St. Moritz, is a winter metropolis located at the foot of Piz Bernina in the Engadin valley. From here to Piz Morteratsch, the Morteratsch glacier dominates the valley, dropping away into a steep and wild wall due to a step in the valley floor. Here, the glacier cleaved open, exposing layers of centuries-old ice piled in steep and bizarre shapes. Deep blue, the glacial ice sparkled at us, radiating its deep chill. We were going to need warm jackets here. This so-called Gletscherbruch formed an ice cliff that produced the finest steep ice climbing - more overhanging than any waterfall. In fact, the climbing was so overhanging that the belayer had to look behind rather than above to see the leader climbing out of the glacial cavern. In contrast to ephemeral waterfalls, you can rely on a glacier. The quality of the ice was super, if a bit hard and brittle. Fortunately, we were well prepared, having sharpened our ice tools and crampons for the trip. Every ice climber has his or her own special techniques and preferences. Ice climbing such steep and overhanging terrain requires not just having the sharpest tools, but also the highest level of agility.


Like an acrobat, JungHee swung from one hook to the next, often ramming his crampons in at head height. At the steep edge of the roof his feet were in the air and he swung up and over with a figure-4. This tricky move involves using your arm as a hold, hooking your knee over the crook of your elbow. Impressed by JungHee’s strength and skill, I followed him up the steep overhang. I fell, tried again, and fell again. Farther up on the cliff of the Gletscherbruch, I discovered a line that was longer but not as steep. Here, I could really let rip with what felt like a mixture of bouldering, martial arts and Pilates. We climbed into the evening – an unforgettable training session! At the end of the day, we submerged our aching forearms into a pool of two-degree glacial water. Seldom are the circumstances in which water that cold feels so good! Back in St. Moritz, we treated ourselves to a beer and regenerated our aching muscles in the sauna to prepare for our next icy adventure. Another day, another challenge. Personally, I was hoping to find a real waterfall – deep-blue, frozen and vertical. I remembered a basin in a valley near Chur that was completely shady, often providing perfect conditions well into late spring. We ventured toward the Sertig Valley, located at almost 2,000 metres, hoping to find at least one of the 200-metre tall waterfalls in good, frozen condition. We had woken up early to make the most of the coldest temperatures. From the car park, we were stunned to see that all five waterfalls were frozen solid! We began hiking through powder in a beautiful winter setting, with our snowshoes proving a blessing. Wearing snowshoes was a first for JungHee, and hopefully there would be more firsts to come. We sorted our equipment, ice screws and quickdraws, gulped down tea out of the thermos, and then hit the first waterfall. I started on the first pitch. It wasn’t too steep; just the right angle to wake and warm me up. JungHee followed and we swapped equipment at the first belay. ST. MORITZ N


The waterfall became steeper and it was JungHee’s turn to lead. Safely and skilfully, he cut the best line up the now vertical, if partially overhanging ice. Wherever the natural shape of the ice offered a good rest, he placed an ice screw. In ice climbing, good route-finding is important, not to mention being able to recognise the best locations for ice screws. Ice climbing is all about efficiency of movement and conserving energy. JungHee executed a rapid sequence of moves to overcome the final few steep metres of the pitch. He placed two ice screws for a belay and I followed. As I climbed, I enjoyed the view below, the superb ambience and the fact that, despite the warm winter, we had still managed to find such excellent ice climbing. We set up an Abalakov anchor, which involves boring out a V-shaped tunnel in the ice using two screws and threading the runnel with leaver cord. We rigged a rappel, and descended the route. I found myself chuckling on the way down as I reflected on how special this sport is. My life was being held by nothing more than the strength of frozen water. We arrived at the base and peered over at the candle, a partially free-standing column that was almost 100 metres tall. Because the waterfall was cylindrical, the climbing was extremely exposed. Climbing the front of the waterfall, JungHee appeared from my vantage point to be suspended in space: a narrow column of ice in front of him and, just behind him, the valley. We were not able to top out this pitch, however, because the warm temperatures had already diminished the quality of the ice farther up. Back on the ground, we stashed our equipment, heaved our packs onto our backs and stamped our way down the powder slope in our snowshoes. JungHee, who is normally quite reserved, couldn’t resist letting loose a whoop! “What is cheese fondue?” asked JungHee, as we headed toward the mountain hut at the car park. “Melted cheese in white wine,” I replied, “with a baguette to soak it all up.” “And what do you eat with it?” he wondered. “Nothing else … Um, you’ll see,” I said, looking forward to supper. The steaming fondue bubbled away and we enjoyed every bite. Ice climbing makes you incredibly hungry! There was one thing JungHee particularly liked about the cheese fondue: everybody ate out of the same pot, as is customary back home in South Korea. He ordered another two cool beers. Turned out, his beer-ordering skills were almost as good as his ice climbing! It was a super trip. Due to such a warm winter, we weren’t expecting to find so many incredible metres of ice to climb. Yet again, I was surprised at how universal the language of ice climbing is: JungHee and I understood each other to the extent of blind trust throughout our climbing. Before he left to go home, he vowed to return to Europe and hunt down more ice with me again – and, of course, enjoy more cheese fondue and beer.


Sertig-Valley Davos, Switzerland Ice-climbing at its best! JungHee on the candle WI 5, 100 metres of free-hanging ice. Chasing the ice in the Sertig Valley: frozen waterfalls ahead!

Morteratsch Glacier Powder time: JungHee just before the top-out of the glacier!

Morteratsch Glacier cutting ter atsch: JungHee Steep -Steeper-Mor glacier ice! st part of the steep loose on the harde Alexandra trusting the ancient glacier ice high above the last ice screw. CHASING THE ICE 32

Cheese fondue Multinational dinner: Swiss cheese fondue tackled by hungry Korean and German ice climbers.


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If you hide away in a deep freezer with a compact sauna under your jacket, that is pretty much how it feels when you are ice climbing. That is when water gives you the cold shoulder in its toughest state, unless you are an ice climber. Your body’s climate controls run at full blast. Mode: tropical deluxe. Ice climbing is demanding. Ice climbing is selective. Ice climbing is a mix of maximum effort, euphoria, adrenaline, fear and willpower, i.e. it puts the heat on. Outside, a giant icicle breathes in your direction all the minus degrees it has stored up for several weeks. In between, ideally, there is hope and apparel that manages to effortlessly put in a top performance. Insulation is one thing. Moisture transport another. The most important thing is freedom of movement. The TERREX CLIMAHEAT ICE JACKET with integrated PrimaLoft® Down Blend Technology brings all these requirements together. Overlapping thermal chambers filled with high-quality down are tuned to each zone of the body. That makes the jacket sealed. Where elasticity is required, stretch material and PrimaLoft® are implemented. Together with the FORMOTION® cut, you can operate ice tools dynamically at full reach above your head while your lower back is still in the cuddly comfort zone. That is why the Ice Jacket is cut a touch longer and lined with perspiration-absorbent Cocona® material. There is nothing worse than being pumped out and soaked in the frosty shadow of an even frostier ice wall when it’s your turn to belay. The cold penetrates your kidneys, it drains your willpower, which is why there is the TERREX ICESKY LONGSLEEVE which, thanks to climawarmTM, perfectly supplements and supports the functionality of the Ice Jacket. With its body-hugging cut it transports perspiration outwards, keeps you warm and cosy and follows every move.



02// 06//




03// 04//

01// Terrex Climaheat Ice Jacket 02// Terrex Icesky Longsleeve 03// Terrex Blaueis

Pants 04// PL Ski Gloves 05// Knit Logo Beanie 06// Tycane


“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. TEXT: READ MACADAM PHOTOS: HANNES MAIR N



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. Back at home, his partner had recently received some distressing medical news. His mind wasn’t on the climb. I was in the same distracted head space with my route, too; I was stressed out about my own relationship breaking up. Then the weather turned to rain and the entire country of Oman was beset by a deluge. Back at the house in Muscat, the essence of freedom and time that we had hoped to experience here in Oman was feeling constricted by external pressures. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to the beginning.

BACKGROUND Our plans began around the glow of a campfire, as good plans often do here. The thorny branches of a dead acacia tree crackled red against the needlepoint Omani sky. Jakob has spent the past ten winter seasons in Oman and I have been based here for the past six. We both came for work, but stayed for the climbing. With its jagged, rocky mountains, 1,200 kilometres of coastline and perfect climbing conditions half the year, Oman belies the common perception of a hot, desert-ridden Middle Eastern country. Within two hours of Muscat, the capital city, you can find 500-metre vertical walls, five-star sport climbs at villages straight out of an Indiana Jones movie, and dry riverbeds strewn with boulders sculpted by aeons of flash floods. There are even places to go deep-water soloing in Muscat. The country is stacked with adventurous climbing opportunities, yet largely underdeveloped and off the radar. We sought a project that was unique to the climbing here in Oman, something different from the “usual”. We had both been dreaming of climbing in the 7th Hole cave after each visiting it independently years earlier. Dark and immense, it was the natural choice. It is hard not to be inspired by the crazy overhanging features 110 metres underground. It was important for us to climb from the ground up, using only traditional protection; no bolts, no rehearsal. A true adventure! Around the fire that night we committed time in winter 2013 to climb together. Unfortunately, with our unplanned personal dramas and a week of forced rest due to rain, we felt pressure to get up there and climb before our time ran out. Our minds raced: Would it be possible? Would the climbing be too difficult? Or would it just be completely full of water, stopping us from trying at all?

LUNAR LANDSCAPES After the rains passed, we set off up wildly exposed hairpin corners, passing ancient settlements and countless goats to reach the Selma Plateau. The road was in bad shape and we pushed the vehicle hard through terrain that would be impassable in reverse. Committed. As we crested the plateau, we encountered swirling, cold mists, but could still see the deep blue Indian Ocean sparkling 2,000 metres below us. We startled a horde of Egyptian vultures that took flight ominously over the landscape. Behind them rolling, rocky hills were dotted by lonely acacia trees. Hours later, much longer than it normally takes, we arrived at the edge of 7th Hole Cave. It was bracingly cold and damp as we exited our Jeep and walked over to peer into the cave - our base for the next couple of days.

READ MACADAM BORN July 1983 in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada WAS a member of the Canadian Youth Sport Climbing team 1999-2001 HAD an orange cat and much later a corporate job that he left to follow his passions IS a life coach to help people find their own passion LIVES in the Sultanate of Oman, Arabia’s hidden gem LIKES playing outside, exploring himself mentally and physically

As Jakob reached twenty metres up the wall, I suggested to him that some protection could be worthwhile. But Jakob curtly pointed out that there was no way it would do any good; the rock was too crumbly! Jakob was excavating stones, tossing them over his shoulder as he inched upward. I considered, bemused, that it appeared as if he was picking out fruit at the supermarket, tossing the rotten fruit behind him into the darkness; the echoes reverberated throughout the cave. Jakob soon retreated, climbing back down the precarious, friable rock (if you could call it rock). Once back on the ground, Jakob untied and we considered our lack of progress, bewildered. We had climbed a ton of chossy stone together in Oman, but this was another level. “Maybe over there?” Jakob said, suggesting a different line. No. Twenty minutes later after another attempt we plonked down, frustrated.

NEW PERSPECTIVE The atmosphere in the cave was quiet and electric. The air buzzed with the tinniest noises. We admired how the cave seemed to transform as light shifted across its cool walls. Simultaneously we both noticed a major crack, previously hidden by shadow, only now illuminated by the changed light. It descended as if from the neck of a woman silhouetted in the sky, right to the edge of the hanging amphitheatre. Exposed, direct … but possible? By now it was too late to start climbing, so we stashed our gear and made our way back to camp through the cave’s rear exit.

SUCCESS The next day, bright and early, we rappelled down into the cave once again feeling excited about the potential of this new line. The crack was exposed, guarded by a steep slope of friable conglomerate at the edge of the chasm. We set up a quick belay at the base. A fall prior to placing good protection would cause us both to tumble down into the void below. It was my lead this time. I turned on my head-torch and set off in my bubble of light. I felt the frightening pull of the abyss beneath me. What an incredible position! I traversed from up the slope along brittle conglomerate stones covered in russet-coloured dust. “Better than the day before”, I chuckled. I cleared dirt away to reveal the rock so I could place a sling and had to displace a thick cobweb. A spider the size of my hand darted out in front of my face. “Phaaa!” I almost lost it. Quickly I clipped a sling and moved on. Slowly my confidence grew as I placed another thread and started up through a run-out section toward the base of a body-width chimney. I needed to reach the perceived safety of the chimney; falling here would land me back at Jakob’s feet. Tenderly weighting and unweighting the hollow rock, I inched upwards.

IN THE CAVE The next morning we rigged the descent by rappel. After the requisite number of coffees we were prepared. Rappelling down the 110-metre line, the scale was indefinable as my eyes adjusted to the darkness. The first thing I noticed in the cave was the extreme contrast between light and dark. Boulders materialised from the eerie shadows created by Jakob’s headtorch, swinging back and forth like a beacon in the dark. Our intended dream line took a path through some overhangs to the right of a gigantic hanging amphitheatre. We looked up at the severely overhanging crack, buzzing. So psyched! Jakob won the paper-rock-scissors for first lead and set off with a trail of dust and stone skittering down behind him. It was not this chossy in my dreams.

“Yew!” I let out an involuntary holler as I reached the chimney. Although covered in cave dust, the rock was solid. I wedged my body against the wall and took stock of my situation. The chimney snaked upwards above me for another sixty metres, overhanging the bottom of the cave. “What a fantastic position!” I called down, but Jakob did not hear me due to the crazy cave acoustics. Above me the chimney narrowed like an hourglass. I levered up into it and in that very moment the gear on my harness rotated around to my thighs and I was instantly stuck, feet dangling free below and hands scrambling for purchase above. The large hex bonged like a hilarious wind-chime. My helmet scraped the wall, displacing my head-torch to the side and putting me in the

JAKOB OBERHAUSER BORN January 1971 in Innsbruck, Austria WAS already mountaineering as a child HAD a dotted bird and many climbing friends IS a professional mountain guide LIVES in Vienna, where cultural life meets the Alps LIKES exploring and developing new areas

dark. I placed a cam with a deep breath and shuffled the rack to one side. With trust in the wedge between my body and the harness, I thrutched upwards like a caterpillar. Able to step my foot high up, I was able to awkwardly push free. Now I could rearrange my head-torch so I could see again. I continued up, covered in dust.

OUT OF THE DARK At the first belay Jakob and I laughed at the absurdity of our position: two buddies crammed into a chimney forty-five metres up in an underground cavern, looking out over a black chasm below. Above us the angle steepened, capped by a roof ending in a starburst of sunlight. It appeared steep and intimidating and I re-checked my chockstone belay as Jakob bridged his way up into the corner of the chimney and grunted as he tried to arrange a tiny thread. Finally protected, he moved out under the roof and suddenly began laughing as he tied another thread. “This is ridiculous!” He disappeared momentarily in the blinding light, before reappearing in silhouette and calling me up. As I seconded the pitch, I was in true disbelief. The chimney was so steep that between my feet I could see the whole base of the cave spread out beneath me. Surprisingly, instead of climbing the roof I could walk out over the abyss with one leg on each side of the chimney. At the top of the pitch Jakob sat grinning ear to ear, reclined across the void. Now we were in the natural light of day. I took the reins again, floating up the final incredible pitch of hollow calcite organ pipes, bronze coloured and glossy against the gritty pale limestone. I had the entire rack of wires and cams again, yet needed only a few slings to thread through the pipes. At the top of the headwall of pipes I climbed under a giant stone wedged in the corner and pulled myself up to the rim of the plateau. Jakob joined me and we emerged in celebration, looking like two coal miners. We had done it: the first people to free climb out of one of Oman’s amazing caves. The pressure had been released. The experience was a release. We named our route “Climb into the Light.” Climbing from the bottom of a dark cave into the light was a great metaphor for the role that climbing plays in both our lives in general, but it felt even more appropriate due to our specific circumstances. This route recharged us for what we were dealing with in our own lives. We could not have foreseen the impact that the climb would have, yet all it took was that moment of defeat after our first attempt in the cave to realise that if we take the time to be still and just observe where we are, the light will always come and illuminate the right path.

BACK TO HADASH A few days later the sound of the muezzin rang out again, “Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar.” Jakob pulled onto his project once more. This time he flowed effortlessly through the tiny and sharp crux moves of his route, and clipped the chains on his hardest redpoint in many years. “Whooo!” He was feeling renewed and full of fresh energy and so was I as I roped up for my own project…





Oman has a surface area of 309,500 km2 and is the third largest country on the Arabian Peninsula, where it is located in the southeast corner. To the north, Oman borders the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to the west Saudi Arabia and to the southwest the Republic of Yemen. The peninsula of Musandam is in an interesting location, being an exclave of Oman separated by the UAE.

CLIMATE Most of Oman is desert. The high season for visitors is from the beginning of November until the beginning of March while temperatures in the valleys are between 20°C and 25°C. In summer, the temperature on the coast soars up to 45°C with extremely high humidity levels, while inland summer temperatures of 55°C and extreme dryness are not infrequent. An exception are the Dhofar Mountains at the southern end of the country: thanks to the southeast Asian monsoon, the Kharif, it rains from July to September with temperatures of 25°C and the landscape turns a lush green. Following the Kharif, the temperatures rise continuously, reaching a peak of up to 30°C January.

CLIMBING IN OMAN Most of the countr y’s climbing areas are located in the 600-km long Hajar Mountain Range. The area stretches from the Musandam Peninsula on the Strait of Hormuz to Ras Al Khabba (southeast of Sur) and is reached from Muscat airport by hire car - a 4WD if possible.

For want of alternative accommodation, climbers usually stay in tents. Although there are no official campsites, camping is permitted throughout the country. More information on these climbing areas can be found in the climbing guide to Oman by Jakob Oberhauser: “Oman” Alpinverlag Panico (ISBN-13 978-3-95611-019-1)

DHOFAR MOUNTAINS 1. Western Hajar Mountains Here, to the west of Muscat and east of the UAE, are the most important climbing areas in Oman. Sport climbing areas like “La Gorgettes”, “Hadash” and “Kubrah Canyon” as well as the bouldering areas “Wadi Nakhal”, “Kubrah Canyon” and “Wadi Nakhar” are located here, as is the 1000-metre high wall on “Jabal Misht” and the 800-metre high “Jabal Kawr”. 2. Eastern Hajar Mountains: In the Eastern Hajar Mountains there are sport climbing areas such as “Wadi Daykah” and the “Wadi Tiwi” with its partially bolted multi-pitch routes on walls up to 400 metres high. The Salmah Plateau with the “7th Hole” is also located here. 3. Northern Hajar Mountains: This part of the mountain range is on the Musandam Peninsular and easiest to reach from the UAE. Here there are a large number of alpine tours on walls up to 600 metres high (information available from and in the climbing guide “UAE Rock Climbing”).

With their one and only documented route, the Dhofar Mountains in the south of the country are still pretty much virgin territory. The potential is huge and the landscape unique. From sink holes to coastal rocks several hundred metres high and impressive sport climbing opportunities, the Salalah is waiting to be discovered. To get there, you need to fly to Salalah via Muscat. Once here, you can drive to most places in a normal car, although if you want to head out into the Rub Al Khali sands or tackle some of the wadis, a 4WD would be advisable. There are numerous hotels around Salalah, or you can camp, of course.

DUQM The Stone Garden of Duqm is worth a mention for boulder freaks who don’t mind a long journey to get there, and don’t mind the heat when they do. Located around 700 km from Muscat and 400 km from Salalah, the journey takes you to a labyrinth of blocks in the desert sand. None of the boulders here have been documented, but Read Macadam, Jakob Oberhauser and Dejan Miscovits have already checked them out.



We all know that climbing Mount Everest involves crossing the dangerous Khumbu Ice Fall, entering the Valley of Silence in the Western Cwm, and front-pointing up steep, icy slopes beneath the ominous Lhotse Face. But perhaps the most important part of the whole climb begins with the approach. The 10-day trek from Lukla into Everest Base Camp is absolutely necessary because it is during this time that the body slowly learns to adapt to the scarcity of oxygen. Were an unacclimatised climber simply to helicopter in to Base Camp, he or she would suffer horrible headaches, tremors and oedema – and the climb would be over before it even began.

In 1978, this fact was well known. What wasn’t known prior to this year, however, were the answers to these questions: Is it possible to climb to the summit of Mount Everest, standing at 8,848 metres, without supplemental oxygen? And is it possible to return from the summit without severe brain damage? In 1978, Reinhold Messner, then 33 years old, was hiking in to Everest Base Camp in a most special pair of shoes – lightweight adidas trekking shoes. Though the shoes didn’t have an official name yet, they represented a revolutionary step forward in the trekking world. Super lightweight with a synthetic sole and sturdy leather upper. Messner first came up with the idea for a light trekking shoe while training in the mountains of his home in the Tyrol. His training runs were infamous, each one involving over 1,000 metres in altitude gain. During those runs, Messner realised that having a lightweight yet sturdy trekking shoe for the all-important approach to the Himalaya would help him conserve much-needed energy. Toni Reiter, an excellent rock climber and the mountain sports expert at adidas, was intrigued by this idea. In 1977, Reiter arranged a meeting between Messner and Adi Dassler to discuss the concept in detail. That year, Messner wore adidas’ first prototype trekking shoe during his approach to the south face of Dhaulagiri. Messner continued to collaborate with adidas on the design, and by 1978 his adidas trekking shoes (still without a proper name) had evolved: sturdier, more quick-drying, and even more lightweight. It was a good thing, too, that Messner felt so light on his feet during that approach to Everest in 1978, because his mind was surely heavy with uncertainty. Messner and his longtime climbing partner, Peter Habeler, were trying to become the first people to reach Everest’s summit without oxygen. To place this feat in the context of history, it is important to understand that every expert believed that climbing Everest without supplemental oxygen was impossible. In fact, Messner and Habeler were widely criticised as “lunatics”. After all, Everest’s summit is five miles above sea level. At this altitude, the air contains only 1/3 of the oxygen density as at sea level. Doctors had studied the physiological demands of high-altitude climbing in the 1960s, and determined that the oxygen levels at Everest’s summit were so low that they could only support a human at rest. Everyone was convinced that to even attempt such a feat would result in serious, irreversible brain damage or death.

As we all know, Messner and Habeler achieved their goal, but their ascent was not without dramas. Habeler got sick with food poisoning, and Messner continued without him. He and two Sherpas pushed on, reaching the South Col the next day. Here, they became trapped in a violent storm with -40°C temperatures and winds over 125 miles per hour for two full days. Finally, the storm cleared and the climbers returned to Base Camp, where they rested and recovered enough to consider making a second bid. Habeler, however, wanted to use oxygen. Yet Messner remained dedicated to their original mission. Reaching the summit wasn’t important to Messner. For him, it was all about discovering himself. “I do alpinism for knowing myself,” said Messner in Base Camp. “What’s important is to explore myself. If I use supplemental oxygen, then I am placing some artificial aid between myself and the mountains. By relying on artificial aids, I won’t ever truly have the possibility of knowing myself.” Habeler relented, and once again the team climbed without any oxygen canisters. In a few days, they were at the South Col, bordering the “Death Zone” – the altitude at which it is impossible to sustain human life for a long period of time. They pushed upward. Habeler experienced headaches and double vision. Messner could only take a few steps before gasping for breath. Progress was painful, slow, each breath as precious as life itself. Above 8,800 metres, they could only go 10 or 15 feet before collapsing into the snow. So they crawled. On May 8, 1978, around 1 p.m., Messner and Habeler achieved what was widely thought to be impossible: an ascent of Everest without oxygen. Of that moment Messner later wrote: “In my state of spiritual abstraction, I no longer belong to myself and to my eyesight. I am nothing more than a single narrow gasping lung, floating over the mists and summits.” They returned to Base Camp, healthy. Their success caused doctors to re-evaluate what they had once believed was humanly impossible. But what about the fate of this mysterious, special trekking shoe? In 1979, Messner wore them to K2. He sent a postcard to adidas with the message: “We climbed up to 6,200 metres with adidas shoes. New altitude record (for the shoe). Regards, R. Messner.” In 1980, he returned to Everest to complete the first solo ascent without oxygen. He climbed up to 7,000 metres on the Everest North Face using adidas shoes with studs. Another altitude record for the shoe, and one of the most important achievements of Messner’s career. By the 1980s, it was clear that these trekking shoes could handle the most extreme conditions. Now they needed a proper name. In 1983, Messner visited Herzogenaurach and presented the adidas “Super Trekking.” The ideas of being light on your feet on the approach and of climbing to the top of the world without oxygen were once both considered impossible. Yet the success in these few crucial years proved otherwise, inspiring the rest of us to push a little harder into that uncomfortable unknown. And, as Messner says, to approach the mountains not for the summits, but as a way to come to know ourselves.


Try for one minute to really imagine what it must have been like to be told by every climbing and medical expert that if you were to do this thing you would either seriously damage your brain or die. Really, try to imagine yourself in a room of doctors who are begging you to realise this climb is scientifically impossible. Now imagine yourself telling them that they are all wrong. Try to imagine having this courage to go forward, no matter what the temperature says or oxygen levels read. Try to imagine yourself climbing toward the impossible. “Nobody knows whether it is possible to climb Everest without oxygen”, Messner said in Base Camp. “But I believe it is possible to climb Everest without oxygen in general. Whether Peter and I will be the first ones to do it, I do not know yet.”


adidas Super Trekking | 1982

Everything was “Tudo Bem” “All good”... Soon we learnt to just accept it and go with the flow.



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!” This was the inner dialogue constantly running on repeat through my brain. I kept climbing, yet there was still no trace of the next bolt and I was nearly out of rope. Finally, the angle eased a little and a fin of rock appeared. Pulling up onto this “thank God” rail I saw the anchor merely a few metres away! On clipping the chains I breathed a sigh of relief, yelling “On belay Ben!” into the void below. As my body relaxed for the first time in what felt like hours, a surge of relief flooded through my veins and then slowly dissolved into a feeling of contented happiness that radiated from within.





The Journey

A day after arriving in Brazil, Ben and I found ourselves headed north, moving slowly from the insanely busy streets of Rio to remote countryside. At first, driving felt like a death wish… Trucks roared past, constantly threatening to run us off the road, motorbikes zigzagged wildly through the thick, quickly-moving, constantly-honking traffic. This seemed to be the only road rule consistently adhered to in Brazil, and it was a trip of extremes from gruesome accidents to beautiful serene country. Our moods were constantly swinging between amazement and sheer terror. Brazil has its own sense of time, everything seemed to take at least twice as long as expected. The 850-km drive took us nearly eighteen hours. After this epic drive, arriving at the small village of Sao Jose do Divino late at night was like a breath of fresh air. Beer flowed freely and we were immediately welcomed by everyone in town like part of the family. We all let out a sigh of relief, experiencing an incredible feeling of content at being immersed in this relaxed and friendly culture where everyone seemed content to live on next to nothing and just enjoy every day.. Everything was “Tudo Bem” - “all good”… Soon we learnt to just accept it and go with the flow. Waking up the next morning to a loudspeaker blaring, supposedly football news, we found that Sao Jose was surrounded by a crazy amount of granite domes rising out of the lush green farmland all around. There is amazing potential everywhere, yet for this trip our goal was Stefan Glowacz’s route “The Place of Happiness”, a stunning 850-metre white arête on Pedra Riscada, the most prominent granite dome and definitely “the line” to climb!



The most prominent granite dome and definitely “the line” to climb!

First Attempt

Ben and I began climbing at 4:30 in the morning, simul-climbing the first six rope lengths of black slab in the dark. We found the line was difficult with only the small circle of light from our headlamps. Bolts blended perfectly into the knob-covered slab and I often only saw them as my feet passed them. At first light Ben led the first “dirt crack”, climbing through cactuses, unsure where to go - adventure climbing at its best. However, after this the climbing became obvious and much more difficult. After a week of travel and no exercise, I felt shaky and nervous leading up off the first crack pitch. It was thin, delicate climbing and in the last few metres my foot slipped. Cursing myself I lowered back to the anchor, then we both dispatched this pitch and the next quickly and without further incident.

After several attempts we finally made it through the two crux (7c/7c+) pitches. Pitch eleven was a full seventy metres, with very few bolts. From the last bolt to the chains was a terrifying fifteen metres of delicate climbing through cactus-covered rock, which all looked the same. The sun was still brutally hot, we were mentally exhausted and parched, having already finished the last drops of our water… Even coiling a rope felt like a mammoth task. We slumped in our harnesses, staring up at the wall looming above us. After much debate we decided to retreat. Continuing on would have been a pure fight and a test of pain tolerance. Dehydration, however, was a real risk, so we decided to return with the chance to actually enjoy this beautiful route. A day of rest and rehydration left us feeling far from ready, but psyched to try again…

As we emerged out of the corner, the blazing sun hit us with full force: it was a balmy 40°C. Instantly our movements slowed and functioning normally became difficult, yet the next two pitches were the “real deal”. The rock burned our fingertips, crimping on sharp granite crystals was excruciatingly painful and though not extremely difficult the climbing was intense and mentally draining. On every pitch the runouts between bolts went from big to huge. Often the next bolt was not even visible and it was difficult to know where the route went. Clipping was a massive relief, yet each time it took immense courage to head off into the unknown again.

We decided to return with the chance to actually enjoy this beautiful route.

I pushed fear out of my mind and kept almost crawling up the low-angle slab...


The Final Push

Climbing the slabs was like groundhog day: we were feeling slow and far worse than on the previous attempt. However, once we started up the cracks everything began to flow. This second push was where the magic occurred. Having only climbed two big walls before, Ben had needed a day to relax into this wild exposure. Now he climbed with smooth precision and we slipped into a perfect partnership, swinging leads and both executing each pitch perfectly, without hesitation or falls. We climbed efficiently and with the necessary inner confidence. This was one of those rare times when that wonderful feeling of pure flow was reached, when everything apart from the movement of climbing ceases to exist. Always an incredible feeling, yet experiencing it as part of a team was truly special. We arrived at our previous high-point around midday, feeling so much better that we actually questioned whether we were on a different route. After a short break and Clif bar, Ben led us into the unknown once again, climbing into a maze of steep vertical knobs. Everything looked the same, every move involved touching a dozen different knobs to find the right one and once again it was rare to see the next bolt until it was right in front of you. Apparently the main difficulties were over, yet as time passed we became gradually more tired and dehydrated and the next few pitches took everything we had. Pitch thirteen, though graded easier, was the most demanding for me‌



Throughout life we are constantly searching for happiness...

I desperately tried to shake some blood back into my solid forearms, while tightly gripping two tiny nubbins of rock. The last bolt was several metres below my feet and the next, a mere two metres to my left, looked very difficult to get to. My arms were ready to give out and my feet excruciatingly painful from wearing tight rock shoes all day. However, gathering all my remaining strength I dug my fingers into a tiny crimp, stepped far to the left, crossed to a hold which was merely a vertical piece of rock and, committing fully, lunged to the next hold with every piece of willpower I had left. Miraculously, it worked… I stuck the hold, quickly clipped the bolt and tried to gather myself to continue up the technical arête. Finally clipping the chains I slumped into my harness, exhausted yet extremely happy. Sheer determination and the knowledge that this was my only chance were all that got me through! That moment felt incredible… Ben and I were a perfect team, crushing a stunning route in a surreal landscape - seven hundred metres of rock stretching out below us, cactuses growing on the vertical wall all around and countless domes rising up far below. It was a moment of true happiness. As Ben joined me a tropical rainstorm rolled over us. We hung in our harness like limp ragdolls, bodies quickly becoming stiff and lifeless, watching waterfalls gush down the slabs below and willing the rain to pass soon... Ten minutes gradually turned into half an hour and we knew daylight was running short. So as soon as the rain eased a little Ben took the sharp end, heading up the damp rock. Once again it was a terrifying pitch. Yet slipping back into the flow, Ben climbed with assurance and soon the seemingly endless face eased into a slab. In the last rays of light, I headed up the last pitch of grade five slab, climbing carefully without seeing a bolt. Several times, merely touching golfball-sized knobs sent them bouncing down the slab around Ben. I pushed fear out of my mind and kept almost crawling up the low-angle slab… Twenty metres turned into thirty, then forty and I still had not found a bolt, anchor or anything.

Darkness was creeping in rapidly, there was no defined line to follow and from my experience on the lower slab I knew that finding bolts was near impossible; only a meter away and they became invisible. It was a starless night and we could just make out low rain-filled clouds rolling over the top of Pedra Riscada. Ben and I were in a dangerous situation: one wrong move would send me plummeting sixty metres past the anchor and the threat of rain cried out, “Disaster!!!” So when I found a horn to sling, Ben and I decided that the risk of climbing the last fifty to sixty metres of very easy, yet dangerous slab was not worth the gain of clipping the chains. The consequences of not finding anything on the slab were simply too great. We were both extremely happy with our day, having climbed every pitch in the best style possible and did not want to ruin this or risk potential injury or death by trying to force our way to the anchor. Even though we had not clipped the chains, we felt content that we had climbed the route, finding flow and happiness in the process. Yet in the days after, doubts arose which threatened to ruin this special achievement... “Had we really climbed this route?” Not clipping the chains meant we had technically not climbed “The Place of Happiness”… Yet we had, we simply got lost on a slab which we could practically walk up. This was no sport route big wall climbing is entirely different, but our lives were at stake! Questions kept us awake at night… “Where is the balance between being prideful and wanting to tell our friends over a beer that we crushed the route and stupidity?“ and ”Do we really climb for personal happiness or because we want to tell the world about our achievements?”

Finally we concluded...

Throughout life we are constantly searching for happiness… Climbing is the avenue that both Ben and I have found to pursue this goal and stretch our boundaries. “The Place of Happiness” was a climb which caused us to look within, to learn about ourselves and each other, to face fears and grow as people, and through this process create our own place of happiness within. Looking back it is always the journey to the chains that matters more than the simple act of clipping the chains, and we had an amazing journey. So, in my mind we succeeded!




Rapid ascents, snow-covered mountains, racing downhill, 1,000 possibilities and your challenge. Ski tours are freedom. And the freedom is as good as the clothing you are wearing. Your body needs room for movement, protection against wind and weather, moisture management and insulation. That is how sport in winter conditions becomes a pure experience without limits. That is the idea behind the adidas FAST SKI TOURING COLLECTION. Technology and comfort are combined in the TERREX ICESKY LONGSLEEVE to form a flexible mid-layer that keeps you warm and dry. The TERREX SKYCLIMB VEST with PrimaLoft® insulation on the front panels is used during breaks or at lower temperatures. Together with TERREX SKYCLIMB PANTS featuring the FORMOTION® cut,

this mountain trio becomes an athletic quartet when you add the lightest weight TERREX SKYCLIMB JACKET to the mix. Through storms or snowdrifts, the waterproof and extremely breathable TERREX ACTIVE SHELL GORE-TEX® JACKET is the ultimate choice. If it gets cold, or even colder, the NDOSPHERE JACKET comes into a class of its own: thanks to PrimaLoft® insulation and its Cocona® lining, the jacket keeps you warm even in wet and extreme conditions. Because you want to look the part on the ascent, and afterwards as well, the TERREX SKYCLIMB SKIRT and TERREX NDOSPHERE SHORT add functional style. And that is the way it should be.


BIG PERFORMANCE FOR LITTLE EXPLORERS Autumn leaves cover the misty landscape and after three more sleeps snow mounds become snow mountains and mountains transform into castles. Whether it is the morning frost, November rain or arctic temperatures: a need to move and discover draws you outdoors for playful exercise or energetic play – adventure where neither fantasy or toes are left in the cold. Always part of the action: the versatile adidas KIDS COLLECTION. In the heat of the battle against the cold, the SUPERHERO JACKET has the upper hand thanks to its climaheatTM concept with patented PrimaLoft® Silver Down Blend Insulation. If the low temperatures send in reinforcements, boys pull on the comfy FLEECE HOODIE

over the quick-drying and moisture-regulating base layer. Girls slip into the stylish organic cotton LONGSLEEVE and then the FLEECE JACKET. Boys and girls stick their legs into the tough SLUSH PANTS, especially when it looks miserable outdoors. That is when they can really show what they are capable of thanks to their total waterproofing and perfect fit around the waist and feet, which ideally will be wearing TERREX CONRAX YOUTH CLIMAHEAT or CLIMAHEAT ADISNOW II. If anything can keep the frost at bay at ground level then it is these boots, which are insulated with PrimaLoft®. So that little adventurers don’t lose their footing, they can rely on the TraxionTM soles for optimum grip.


80 to 90 per cent of what you perceive of your surroundings is received through your eyes. As a result, the ability to see is our most dominant sense and it plays a critical role during sport. If you have any doubt about that, try running an obstacle course with your eyes closed: have fun! Being able to see well is more than just being able to focus. Just as important as a sharp focus are spatial perception, contrast, peripheral vision, dynamic field of vision, and much more besides. All of our visual perception channels are in use during sport: when we move we need orientation, we must be able to reference our movement and our position in relation to our surroundings, we have to recognise each detail and foresee possible sources of danger, static as well as dynamic, we have to maintain an overview and keep everything in perspective. Like during climbing, for example: Where is the next hold? Where is the next foothold? Where is the next opportunity to place protection? Where does the route lead next? How is the rope hanging? How is the weather developing? And what was that small jolt caught out of the corner of the eye? A rock? Watch out! Danger! Our eyes show us the way. Our eyes are our all-round radar. Perfect vision means being able to react quickly, stay safe, act proactively rather than reactively, tire less quickly, be exposed to lower injury or accident risk. Our sight system supplies us continuously with important feedback. Without this constantly updated information, we would be very limited during sport activities. There is a simple formula: See better, be better. Even so, many athletes underestimate the importance of good vision and eye protection. Our eyes are sensitive and harmful, rays are often underestimated or taken seriously far too late. This can lead to permanent damage to the conjunctiva and cornea, impairing vision. Wind, dust, sand and dryness also stress the eyes. Stressed eyes tire sooner. Fatigued eyes have a negative effect on our concentration. Reduced concentration stresses our whole system. We become less secure. Performance drops. That is why high-functionality sports eyewear is no luxury. It is essential. The specifications that have to be met by good eyewear are high. Whether these specifications are really requirements is another story, a story that the British optometrist Nick Dash has taken a closer look at. Nick is a specialist when it comes to sports vision and has opened the eyes of many top athletes worldwide as far as visual perception and sporting activities are concerned. In a new study, Nick tested a range of sport eyewear for performance during a day of sport. OUT OF THE CORNER OF AN EYE Something doesn’t always need to happen centre-stage for it to be important. Sometimes, essential details are located on the side. Like peripheral vision, for example. This is where visual perception takes place outside the zone of focussed vision. To put it simply: it is what you can see out of the corner of your eye, even though you are looking straight ahead. It turns out that that is a great deal. The significance of peripheral vision lies especially in the localisation of objects, while the central field of vision is responsible for identifying them. Put another way: peripheral object localisation is about filtering a structure – relevant at the given time or to the current activity – out of a more or less unspecific background. That is how we create an orientation reference for our actions. During sport that is a more than critical factor, as confirmed by the professional climber and experienced mountain guide, Michael Lerjen from Zermatt: “Especially during climbing, I need the widest field of vision. I need to maintain visual contact with my climbing partners or a group I am guiding in the mountains. I am in a position of great responsibility and need to be prepared for all eventualities. I also need to scan the surroundings for holds, footholds and possible hazards. The less I need to move my head while doing this, the better.” Every extra movement means more effort, which can destabilise the body in tricky situations. More effort is inevitably required if your field of vision is restricted. That is because your eyes and head are constantly moving during sport. On average, every three seconds from the core field as far as 70° to either side. That is the zone looking over your shoulder to the left and right. Classic mountaineering eyewear – like good old glacier goggles, which are covered on the sides – requires even more movement. You have to turn your head even further to see the same as without glasses, or with glasses that promote peripheral vision. The extra movement required costs energy. Each time you turn six kilos – the average head weight – from one side to the other, can have a negative effect on your balance. It is a subtle effect, but in the middle of a wall standing on ultrathin ledges or at the end of a long and tiring day, it becomes an undesirable side effect. Good sport eyewear should therefore have the widest possible field of vision at the same time as protecting against stray light. Here lies the technical challenge. The test used by Nick Dash

reveals that the tycane pro outdoor is the only eyewear that perfectly manages the balancing act between providing side protection and a wide field of perception. In the peripheral vision sector, the tycane pro outdoor allows a lateral view angle of 114° from a static standpoint – that is more than 16° wider than the second-best eyewear in the test. This field of vision is achieved thanks to the extremely large wrap-around 10-base filters on the tycane pro outdoor. By turning your head 70° to each side, the tycane pro outdoor opens up a 360° field of vision, i.e. full all-round vision. The best of the competitors’ eyewear managed 336°, leaving a blind spot of 24° unless you rotate your shoulders or upper body in order to be able to look behind you. A limitation that can become noticeable longterm. Conversely, full all-round vision means: 1. Less energy is expended during sport because the surroundings are covered effortlessly by peripheral vision. 2. More stability for the overall system because head movements are reduced. 3. Enhanced safety and better performance. LESS SALT THANKS TO MORE FOAM Michael Lerjen is 26. But his eyes are already twice as old. Firstly because he has already seen so much of the world during his professional mountaineering activities. All 4,000er summits in the Alps, for example. As well as Nanga Parbat in the Himalayas. And secondly because a great deal of time in the mountains means a great deal of stress to the eyes. Nick Dash discovered that Michael’s eyes are showing signs of developing pingueculas. Like many Latin medical terms, it sounds more dramatic than it actually is. This common complaint of degeneration of the conjunctiva is seen as a yellow-white spot in the eyelid fissure and is something to which outdoor athletes are particularly susceptible. Too much UV radiation, yes, that much we know. But then there is dryness as well, and that is something many are not aware of. Wind, heat, sweat – during sport we lose liquid. And so do the eyes, and the loss of liquid can be measured by monitoring the salt concentration of the tear fluid. Which is what Nick Dash did. Once in the morning. Once in the evening. In between plenty of activity and with different sports eyewear. The more dehydrated the eyes, the saltier the tear fluid, says Nick. An alarmingly high value was recorded with eyewear that is open to the sides - far in excess of the critical level. With the tycane pro outdoor the value was even better in the evening than in the morning. But why? A foam pad is integrated into the construction. This not only stops UV rays from the side, but also keeps out wind and dust particles, with the effect that the eye does not dehydrate during sport activities. The tycane pro outdoor does this job as well as ski goggles, which for comparison purposes Nick had also included in the test. Because there is no better protection against dehydration. Nor against UV radiation. EASY ON THE EYE Looking at the sun without a filter can cause lasting damage to the eyes in a matter of seconds or a few minutes. A fact that witnesses of the partial eclipse of the sun in Germany in 1912 found out to their cost. More than 3,000 people suffered from changes to their eyes, with around ten per cent sustaining permanent deterioration in vision. Of course, who looks directly at the sun anyway, and the next eclipse is some way off. During outdoor sport, however, the magnification of the sun’s rays and their reflection result in similar stress to the eyes. Snow, for example, reflects 80 to 95 per cent of the light, while vegetation only reflects 6 percent. Water and rock are somewhere in between, but depending on the angle of incidence of the sun, they can reach levels close to those of snow. Plus, the intensity of the sun’s rays increases by up to 16 per cent for each 1,000 metres of elevation. Mountain sports can therefore present a risk to the eyes. People exposed to chronic light levels can sustain between 30 and 40 per cent of age-related conjunctiva and cornea changes from UV light damage. The cornea absorbs mainly UV-C and UV-B rays, while the eye lens absorbs UV-B and UV-A rays. Almost unhindered, the remaining radiation reaches the retina, especially the point of sharpest focus, the macula. On top of that, we have already reached 80 per cent of the total damage from UV rays before we are 18, firstly because children’s eyes are more sensitive to sunlight, and secondly because it is more difficult to persuade kids to wear sunglasses. The necessity for comprehensive protection against sunlight is clear. High-quality filters and effective side protection are essential for sports eyewear. Nick Dash investigated this too. Result: of the tested eyewear, only the tycane pro outdoor offered reliable long-term protection. One thing that the test clearly revealed is that lifestyle eyewear is not up to the job. That is because regardless of whether you are in the mountains, on the water or on the beach stray light is everywhere and in the worst case it comes in from the side and is then reflected into the eye by the inside surface of the eyewear. The ultimate combination that should be avoided under all circumstances is: leisure sunglasses, contact lenses, glacier. Contact lenses also dry out the eye and a dry eye is more susceptible to UV damage. The logical consequence would be: tycane pro outdoor always and everywhere. And why not? Who said that function can’t also be smartcool?


One of the most important pieces of equipment for dynamic outdoor activities is sports eyewear. That is the opinion of the internationally renowned optometrist Nick Dash, who also provides proof: peripheral vision and optimum overview are key factors for our sports performance. The eyes also need to be protected, and not just from UV radiation. Very few glasses fulfil these requirements. The tycane pro outdoor does, very well indeed.





Mountain sports are a way of life for those hailing from Meiringen, Switzerland. In this alpine crucible, people live, breathe, sweat and bleed the mountains – which may begin to explain why the 16-year-old local resident Yannick Glatthard is already such an accomplished all-around athlete who has earned some impressive results in a diverse range of competitions such as freeride skiing, ice climbing and bouldering. For example, Yannick took 10th place in the Ice Climbing World Cup in Saas Fee (after only three months of training); he has placed in the top ten on the Freeride World Tour twice, and he is widely considered one of the best boulderers and sport climbers in Switzerland. It’s easy to forget that Yannick is only a teenager, but remember that he grew up with climbing in his blood: his grandfather founded the first mountain-climbing school in the world and trained the great Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, who completed the historic first ascent of Mount Everest with Edmund Hillary in 1953. We sat down with Yannick to ask him about his past, present and what the future will bring.

YOU APPEAR TO BE VERY MELLOW AND DETERMINED FOR YOUR AGE. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF? When I was 12, I spent a week on my own, climbing in Chamonix with a friend. We bivouacked there. I have often had to fend for myself. You find out more about yourself. I would describe myself as a person who’s at one with nature. Very inward-looking.


WE SAW THAT YOU LISTED BOB MARLEY AS ONE OF YOUR FAVOURITE MUSICIANS ON YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE. IS HE YOUR ROLE MODEL? His lifestyle is way too laid back – not my thing! But I like his music, especially for psyching me up at competitions. I’m not often nervous. Before getting started, I lose myself in my thoughts, which are far away in the mountains. That is when I need music. Without music, I would be incomplete.


WHAT SONG BEST CAPTURES YOUR FEELINGS FOR THE MOUNTAINS? There is a yodelling song called “Steinmandli Jutz”. It has a solemn melody and is almost ceremonial. It matches the way I feel when I’m out in the mountains.

YOUR SPORT CLIMBING ACHIEVEMENTS ARE IMPRESSIVE. DO YOU ASPIRE TO BE LIKE CHRIS SHARMA? HE IS ALSO ONE OF YOUR FAVOURITES ON FACEBOOK. Not really – that’s not my lifestyle either. Obviously, it would be cool to climb a 9b. But if it doesn’t work out then I won’t be heartbroken. Being outdoors in the mountains and chasing summits – that is my true passion. I am a mountaineer. Rock climbing is not the main thing. It’s the mountains that make me happiest, not the gym.

WHAT ABOUT ON THE WEEKENDS? Out to the mountains! In winter and spring I often go freeriding or ski mountaineering. Discovering new territory – that’s what’s best.

HOW DO YOU TRAIN? I don’t really like the word “training”. I simply go climbing. For me, based on my intuition.

WHAT ABOUT CLIMBING IN THE MOUNTAINS, IS THAT MORE ENGAGING TO YOU? Climbing in the gym and on rock are completely different. Sport climbing is more about strength, and you can be distracted or not totally psyched while you’re doing it. The mountains are different. You can’t simply let go out there. A sound psyche and mental strength are necessary.

HOW DO YOU PREPARE MENTALLY? It’s not something that happens overnight. You need a lot of experience on rock. I try to climb as much as possible at a level where I feel safe. If it gets too scary, then breathe slowly and deeply. That calms you down.

WHAT FRIGHTENS YOU? My greatest fear is not of dying in the mountains. The worst thing would be an injury that would prevent me from climbing. But I am used to dealing with injuries. I was a bit wild as a kid, and fractured my skull when I was one and broke several bones later on.

WHAT DOES FAMILY MEAN TO YOU? Home, that is the place where I get food in the evening. And where I know that they care for me and stand behind me when I don’t feel well.

HOW IMPORTANT WILL CLIMBING BE TO YOU IN 10 YEARS? I’ll be 26. When I’ve finished my carpentry apprenticeship, I want to start training as a mountain guide. Once I’ve completed that, I would like to send a couple of projects alongside working as a guide. Basically, on a scale of 1 to 10, climbing will still have a priority of 9 to 10 for me.



I want to measure myself against others and see which training methods are most effective. Plus, it is simply unbelievable who you will meet at competitions. This is where I have met many friends for future climbing projects.

Everything – except Everest! I would rather climb the North Face of the Grandes Jorasses. I go for technically challenging routes. Winter climbing would be a dream, in Patagonia, maybe in the Himalayas too. Or maybe big-wall climbing in Greenland.



It’s probably a lot different than what most people would imagine. I’m up at 5:30 a.m., and at the building site by 6:15. I’m currently working as an apprentice carpenter. I’m at the building site till 6 p.m. and after that, I go training. The job is great. It gives me a good level of fitness and strength, and keeps me grounded. I used to train too much.

I started climbing about on rocks when I was five, so I don’t know any other way of life. I don’t know what life would be like without climbing.






Alex Luger’s latest first ascent, on February 13, 2014 is a route on smooth, blank slab named “Psychogramm” 8b+ on the Bürser Platte in Vorarlberg/Austria. An appropriately named climb, this crazy route involves climbing a crack so thin only the tiniest trad gear can be placed – and very little of it at that. A superb line, that now counts as one of Alex Luger’s highlights. A month later, Babsi Zangerl found her own slice of trad slab by becoming the first woman to climb the well-known and infamous neighbouring route “Prinzip Hoffnung” 8b+ Trad. Barbara’s sound bite: “I am happy that I pulled all my courage together to attempt this beautiful and unique line.”

We are proud to welcome to our team this friendly young Spaniard, who feels most at home on French grade 8s and 9s.

On February 9, 2014 Russian-born Anastasiya Kuzmina won Gold in the Biathlon Sprint over 7,5km at the Olympic Games in Sochi/Russia. Back in Slovakia, Anastasiya received a hero’s welcome. Two months after her success in Sochi, she was invited to take part in one of the most challenging long-distance races in the world: the “Arctic Circle Race” in Greenland. In three days, the athletes had to cover 160 km on cross-country skis through the ice wasteland of Greenland. They spent the night in tents with the temperature outside at -40°C. After three days, Anastasiya Kuzmina finished an awesome second on her debut race. “I will remember the beautiful landscape and the warmth of the people for a long time and I am certain I will return,” said an exhausted Anastasiya, delighted with her effort.

Gimme Kraft! You need a whole lot of power for climbing, and the coaches Dicki Korb and Patrick Matros know where to get it. adidas Outdoor has been able to support them since the beginning of this year as they focus on preventative muscle building and health-oriented training. They both have a sound understanding of their craft, as you will find out in their book “Gimme Kraft!” (Gimme Power!). The two coaches work together closely with adidas athletes like Sasha Digiulian, Mayan Smith-Gobat and Mélissa Le Nevé to make them even better.

3. JUAN „JUANITO“ OIARZABAL The man who has already stood atop an 8,000-metre summit 26 times. We are looking forward to many exciting projects and stories together.


7. DEAN POTTER Dean Potter lives with his girlfriend, Jen, and their Australian Cattle Dog, Whisper, in the Yosemite National Park in California. The small family likes nothing more than spending time together hiking, free-solo climbing and, more recently, flying with wingsuits. Last autumn, Dean, using a special human/dog harness, jumped from “The Mushroom” on the Eiger, Switzerland with Whisper in tow. Everybody who knows Dean knows that he loves Whisper more than anything and wanted to share the intensive moments of life with her too. “When Dogs Fly” is Dean’s latest film project. Here is a taste of what is to come on the adidas Outdoor YouTube channel at:







Sport meets Music. It’s time to rock again this fall! adidas Rockstars invites you to a unique bouldering event at the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart. A rock band supplies the energy and an auditory link between the spectators and the athletes. Register online right now to win the title at the GORE-TEX Be a Rockstar event and receive a much sought-after invitation to the adidas Rockstars 2015 competition.

For the seventh time in a row, the adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championship takes place on the legendary Wellerbrücke reach in Ötztal in the Tyrol / Austria. Alongside Sam Sutton, the crème de la crème of the kayak world gathers here to compete for the Kayak Crown. Amateur paddlers are also invited to take on the pros – register at:


Our employee Francois Kern continues his adventures, this time on a ski expedition to Baffin Island. He returned with some exciting first tours and many unique impressions from the furthest corner of our planet. We are pleased to have Francois back safely as one of our team!






The German province, known best for the highest density of breweries in the world, is also a magnet for gourmets and foodies. However, it’s not just beer and food freaks who are drawn to Franconian Switzerland in Germany, but also climbers looking for the fairytale sculptures of rock distributed throughout the forests. So it’s no surprise that French climber Mélissa Le Nevé couldn’t resist a visit to the Franconian Jura to sample its classic flavours. Mélissa demonstrated that she has taste by being the first woman to climb the mega treat “Wallstreet” 8c on the Krottensee Tower - 27 years after its first ascent by Wolfgang Güllich. Wallstreet was the first 8c in the world. “It was a very special feeling to climb one of the milestones of climbing history”, she says. Mélissa has gained an appetite for more and plans to visit Franconian Jura again soon.

Alpinism is a symbol for creativity, freedom, vision, tactics, risk, courage, performance, and especially teamwork and friendship. In midMay 2014, five friends took part in a story on Kangchenjunga/Nepal that is a shining example of these principles. The friends in question are Alex Txikon from the Basque Country, Dmitri Sinev and Adam Bielecki from Poland, Artem Braun from Russia and Denis Urubko from Kazakhstan. The five alpinists opened a new variation of the line first climbed in 1979 by the legendary British trio Boardman, Tasker and Scott on the NW wall of Kangchenjunga. In four days the five climbers divided into two teams to ascend as far as Camp 4 at 7,600m, accompanied by a strong wind, steep ice and some rock climbing up to grade 6. On May 18, at 2 a.m., they started their summit bid. At 7,850m Urubko and Braun decided to turn back. Txikon, Bielecki and Sinev continued on through obviously dangerous steep rock and ice, not reaching an altitude of 8,500m until 4pm – far too late. Bielecki realised the severity of the situation and called for a descent. “He saved our lives”, says Txikon. On the descent, Bielecki slipped and by some miracle came to a standstill after a hundred metres. Completely exhausted, they arrived back at the camp at 7,250m to the hugs of Urubko and Braun. Txikon showed early signs of frostbite, so the team considered descending the following day. Only Denis Urubko faced a difficult decision. He wanted to attempt the summit again at daybreak. “I promised myself, with all my power, not to make a single mistake and go for the attempt”, said Urubko. At 9:40 a.m. the next morning after just 4.5 hours of climbing, he stood on the summit of the 8,586m high Kangchenjunga in the sunshine without a breath of wind. Still on the same day, he managed to arrive back at Camp 1 and throw his arms around his friends with the words: “Thanks, boys, it would never have been possible without you!”





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Fully equipped winter mountain sports jacket with GORE-TEX® Pro Shell material, ideal for extreme weather conditions. Made for maximised ruggedness with high breathability, FORMOTION® cut for ultimate performance while in motion.

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Multifunctional outdoor shoe with GORE-TEX® membrane keeps feet dry while offering breathability and climate control. Synthetic toecaps offer durable abrasion resistance. Features a comfortable moulded sock liner. Features a comfortable moulded sock liner and is designed for women´s feet.

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IMPRINT outdoor magazine & product highlights fall/winter 2014 is the official Outdoor catalogue with editorial content of adidas AG. adidas outdoor magazine is published twice a year. Published by adidas AG World of Sports Adi-Dassler-Straße 1 91074 Herzogenaurach – Germany Concept and realisation bøa! agentur gmbh Photographers Timeline Production, Jakob Schweighofer, Michael Meisl, Frank Kretschmann, Hannes Mair, Ray Demski, Peter Untermaierhofer Text Mike Mandl, Flo Scheimpflug, Reinhold Messner, Jakob Schweighofer, Andrew Bisharat, Christian Penning Copywriting and English translation WordWorks & Andrew Bisharat All data are subject to change and are provided without any guarantee. Printing and layout errors excepted. All rights reserved. May not be copied. © 2014 adidas AG. adidas, the 3-Bars logo, and the 3-Stripes mark are registered trademarks of the adidas Group.

The “Lecco Spiders” is the climbing club of the famous Grignetta Spiders Mountaineering Association in Italy. They can look back on a long list of international successes that stretches back more than 60 years. They have among their ranks past heroes Cassin and Casimiro Ferrari and current big names such as Matteo Della Bordella and Fabio Palma. Over the years they have not only opened up numerous new routes but have also been in the spotlight of international fame.

DAV Summit Club GmbH is the German Alpine Association’s mountaineering school and special travel organiser for active mountaineering and cultural vacations worldwide. DAV Summit Club evolved from the mountaineering service of the DAV founded in 1957 and is now one of the largest mountaineering schools in the world.

The Zugspitze Mountaineering School is the mountain guide association on Germany’s highest mountain. The specialist knowledge of the team is clear from the high quality of training and tours they provide. Some are old hands with a valuable source of knowledge; others are up-to-date thanks to their training activities with various alpine associations and many tours with their clients, who they don’t only accompany up the Zugspitze.

The Zermatt Alpin Center: founded in 1894, the Swiss association can look back on a highly successful history spanning more than 100 years. Over 60 professional mountain guides at the Zermatt Alpin Center have been relying on adidas Outdoor products since spring 2011.

adidas outdoor magazine fall/winter 2014  

The days are short, the evenings long, the temperatures low and the weather does what it does best at this time of year: challenge us. We l...

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