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Roland Hemetzberger on Sodom und Gomorah (170m, 8a+/8b) at the Sonnwand, Loferer Alm, Austria.
Photo by Roland Hemetzberger archive
Sonnwand, Loferer Alm, Austria and the route line of Sodom und Gomorah.
Photo by Roland Hemetzberger archive
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Roland Hemetzberger adds a new climb to Loferer Alm


On 13 July 2013, the Germans Roland Hemetzberger and Fabian Hagenauer made the first free ascent of Sodom und Gomorrah (170m, 8a+/8b) up Sonnwand, Loferer Alm, Austria.

The Loferer Alm in Austria makes our news with increasing regularity. This beautiful and ultra-smooth limestone face has now attracted the attention of German climber Roland Hemetzberger who recently freed Sodom und Gomorrah, a 6 pitch route straight up the compact South Face with difficulties up to 8a+/8b. The new route takes a line circa 100m to the right of Alexander Huber's Nirwana.

SODOM UND GOMORRAH by Roland Hemetzberger

Last year, just as the first snow began to fall, I managed to bolt from above an overhanging wave of limestone, 170m above Lofer. Although it seemed possible, I realised right from the start that it would be a tough nut to crack. When winter ended, and after a long period of bad weather, the time finally came to try the pitches through the roof, but unfortunately an important hold snapped off almost immediately. What should I do? Create an artificial hold? Or abandon the route altogether? No, neither one nor the other... because slightly to the right I found another way us, yes, feasible, so now it was only a matter of time. And this came, for Fabian Hagenauer and myself, on 13 July.

Sodom und Gomorrah offers six pitches of technical and mentally taxing climbing, up a rock and an in an environment reminiscent of the Verdon. I have only one small regret: the style, which wasn't perfect. It wouldn't have made sense to bolt the lower section ground-up and so, in the pouring rain, I bolted this part from an abseil rope, too. The best style is always the most honest style :)

Sodom und Gomorrah
6c, 7b, 7c, 7a+, 7c+, 8a+/8b





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