Word back from David Lama about a solo first ascent called Badlands in Austria’s Valsertal/Tyrol region. Seems Lama had originally planned to climb a route on Schrammacher but deep snow on the approach took its toll and he decided to bail on the no-margin-for-error route and go for Plan B. While sitting on his pack munching on an energy bar, he spied a line that looked appealing…
“I take the time to look for the easiest line. The direct start looks hard and the rock seems to be quite loose. Spindrift is coming down continuously. A little to the left there would be another possibility, but it also looks too difficult for a solo ascent. Maybe further left, I think. First you would have to climb along some big flakes, which would lead you into a big corner. This would then lead you into another corner, from where you would have to do a pendulum traverse to the right into some mixed terrain. That could work…”
Badlands is a 700-meter line that ascends to the ridge between the Sagwand and Hohe Kirche and is rated (6a A1 WI4 M5). And that was the easy alternative!?!! Yeesh.
Read the full story and see more terrifying photos on David’s blog.