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Hansjörg Auer and Alex Blümel making the first ascent of 'The loss of the Demantoid' on Kristallwand, Kirchkogel in Austria
Photo by Elias Holzknecht
Alex Blümel and Hansjörg Auer after the first ascent of 'The loss of the Demantoid' on Kristallwand, Kirchkogel in Austria
Photo by Elias Holzknecht
The Kristallwand, Kirchkogel (3280m) in the Ötztal, Austria with the routes 'The loss of the Demantoid' (7c+), 'The music of Chance' (6c/A3) and 'The music of Hope' (7a/A1).
Photo by Elias Holzknecht

Ötztal, new rock climb up Kristallwand by Hansjörg Auer and Alexander Blümel

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Austrian alpinists Hansjörg Auer and Alex Blümel have established 'The loss of the Demantoid', a new multi-pitch rock climb up the Kristallwand face on Kirchkogel (3280m) in Austria. The route was established in memory of their friend Gerhard Fiegl.

The new route was forged ground-up over three days using a mix of bolts, pegs and bird beaks and was freed on August 19, 2016 with difficulties up to 7c+. The loss of the Demantoid is only the third route up this 500m face after The music of Chance (6c/A3) and The music of Hope (7a/A1), both first ascended by Hansjörg Auer with various partners in winter 2012 and September 2014 respectively. The latest creation is the first to free climb the entire face and apart from one pitch, the rock quality is perfect. "I can ́t really recommend the first two routes on Kristallwand" explained Auer,"but The loss of the Demantoid is a great climb in a even greater alpine setting."

Kristallwand is held in high regard by climbers who, like Auer, come from the Oetztal valley, seeing that it had been first attempted over 60 years ago by legendary Austrian alpinist Hermann Buhl.

A"demantoid" is one of the rarest, most precious and brilliant gems and the name is a clear reference to their late climbing partner Gerhard Fiegl who, in October 2015 aged 27, lost his life while descending from the summit of Nilgiri South (Nepal) which he, Auer and Alexander Blümel had reached a few hours earlier.

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