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Watch Beat Kammerlander on His Five-Pitch 5.14b

In 2013, legendary Austrian climber Beat Kammerlander made the ground-up first ascent of Kampfzone, a five-pitch line in the Rätikon massif. He returned in 2017 to send the line at the age of 58.

Many of Kammerlander’s classic routes, such as Silbergeier 5.14a, were established ground-up on lead back in the 1990s. Even these days, any repeats of a Kammerlander route is newsworthy due to the sometimes 15-metre runouts.

In a 2017 interview with planetmountain.com, Kammerlander said, “Finding a hard route, one that is at your limit and then working it from above before freeing it, is easily done. Just find some rock and add some bolts and you’ve got it.”

Kammerlander continued: “But finding a route that also happens to be at your limit, while you’re climbing up into the unknown, with all the complexities and uncertainties involved in ground-up climbing, this is something completely different.

“This doesn’t happen very often. And if you add to this the fact that Kampfzone climbs absolutely perfect rock, then you can easily understand why this route is a very rare gem.”