BD athlete Barbara Zangerl reports on recent 8b and 8b+ sends in Austria
Black Diamond athlete Barbara “Babsi” Zangerl has been cranking all spring at the sport crags of Austria and managed to pull off a couple of highlight 8b and 8b+ ascents. Below is her report and some photos.
The entire forest in Neiderthai is scattered with various-shaped, very high boulders with lots of potential and really nice routes. For me, Glückshormon is one of the nicest routes in the Oetztal. The route runs up a black stripe, is 10 meters high and pretty much overhanging, with the crux move right at the finish. The most difficult moves were on a sharp edge and a tiny undercling, followed by two crimpy dynos. The crux was doable, but stringing the whole thing together was a tough nut to crack. A few days of cranking and many failed attempts later, I was feeling a bit stronger, but unfortunately I had to take an early winter break.
Nervously, I returned to Neiderthai this March, slightly doubting the fact that I could top out on this monster. But after I fought through the undercling, I knew I had finish the rest and not allow myself to get too pumped out. Two more moves and a dyno to a jug-handle, I screamed with happiness as I finally stood on top.
Because I’ve been so attracted to black rock, I returned to the Zillertal and the Black Wall there is a pearl—not only because it’s black, but also because it’s possibly the most beautiful cliff in the world. During my two visits last year, I climbed whichever route I could pull off. It all seemed like just real difficult bouldering, very athletic and exhausting climbing. But after finding a line so nice as the Diving Board, it really motivated me to climb it.
The actual “Diving Board” feature that gives the route its name can be envisioned as about a half-meter protrusion in the middle of the wall. Climbing up to the Diving Board, there’s a roof with some good holds, but above the roof the steep terrain is really difficult. The crux is pulled off by standing on the board and cranking on little holes in a seam. This where I kept falling for four days until finally I pulled through and topped out. This route is a gem and surely one of the most beautiful routes I’ve ever climbed.