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This Legendary Alpine Free-Soloist Talks About Being Alone

He made two impressive solos of Cerro Torre, with one being in extreme winter conditions

Markus Pucher talks about what ice climbing and free-soloing meant to him him, from motivation and concentration, to loneliness and conflicting feelings that shape and move him in the mountains.

Pucher is a leading Austrian alpinist who spends a considerable amount of time climbing in Patagonia.  In 2013, he climbed the infamous Ferrari Route on Patagonia’s Cerro Torre alone. Later, he stated he felt “perfectly comfortable, as if I belonged up there.” He repeated the Feat in on Dec. 27, 2014, in a raging storm and whiteout conditions in a stunning three hours and 15 minutes. The extraordinary ascent caused an international sensation and admiration.

Pucher said after his climb, “I stood on the Summit of Cerro Torre. It was the second time for me that I free soloed the Torre. I have to admit that I was quite puzzled, as I stood up there in the snow storm. For me, the incredible experience was one of my toughest climbs ever.”

In 2017, he made the first winter solo of Aguja Guillaumet. Watch a short profile on him published this week by Grivel in their Ice Chaser series.

Markus Pucher Profile