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Angelika Rainer below The Mustang at Vail in Colorado
Photo by archivio Angelika Rainer
Angelika Rainer climbing The Mustang at Vail in Colorado
Photo by archivio Angelika Rainer

Angelika Rainer climbs The Mustang at Vail in Colorado

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After having flashed 'Reverse Stratofortress' M12+, Angelika Rainer has repeated The Mustang at the Fang Amphitheater, Vail, USA. With her first grade M14- mixed climb the Italian climber proves she’s on formidable form for her outdoor projects and the next stages of the Ice Climbing World Cup.

Sending The Mustang was definitely Angelika Rainer's’s main goal during her trip to the States, but the outcome couldn’t be taken for granted given the difficulty of the climb and the bitter cold that has locked the entire area since December. Yet the Amphitheater in Vail, Colorado, the hallowed ground from all North American ice climbers, provided Rainer with the opportunity to climb her most difficult mixed route to date.

The route begins 5/6m of vertical rock, followed by the almost 20m drip. At the top of this the pitch bears right at 90° and follows the roof for a further 20m to reach the lip and the end of the route, past a 4/5m roof to reach the sliver or ice.

"This route is beautiful," said Rainer "Will Mayo who made the first ascent extended The seventh tentacle, the classic route freed by Jeff Lowe in 1994, by adding a 20m horizontal roof that provides no chance to rest! "

"I knew I was on form right at the start, when I managed to flash Reverse stratofortres M12+" continued Rainer "and this gave me the right vibes to try and tame The Mustang. I’m overjoyed and extremely satisfied, all the hard training has paid off."

"In the next few days we’ll travel to Ouray, to climb some beautiful icefalls and take part in the famous ice climbing festival." Just like last year, Rainer has decided to skip the next stage of the Ice Climbing World Cup scheduled to take place in Korea to remain in the USA. The South Tyrollean athlete will compete at Saas Fee in Switzerland and then in front of her home crowd at Corvara in Val Passiria.

The Fang Amphitheater offers a series of very difficult mixed routes, some of which cross each other or are extensions of previous lines to create even harder outings. Knowing exactly where a climb starts and finishes is not obvious. Sometimes the variations are located in only the final few meters, just like Mayo’s latest creation on The Mustang. Although shorter, according to the first ascentionsist the new exit is even tougher. "It’s really difficult to keep up-to-date with all these continuing variations" noted Rainer, before concluding "But I’m happy to have climbed the original line, as to variations, we’ll see, for now I want to spend some time on ice."

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