Wenden: Andreas and Neumärker climb Zahir+ 8c
Jörg Andreas and Felix Neumärker from Germany carried out the first repeat of Zahir on the Wendenstöcke in the Bernese Oberland, Switzerland, extending a pitch and upgrading it to 8c.
At the start of October German climbers Jörg Andreas and Felix Neumärker carried out the first repeat of Zahir on the Wendenstöcke in the Bernese Oberland, Switzerland. Established by Swiss Iwan Wolf and Gunter Habersatter in 2004, the route was originally rated 8b, but Andreas and Neumärker extended the third pitch as they felt it had an unnatural finish and the 255m route now checks in at 8c.
Thirty-two year old Andreas from Dresden has considerable multi-pitch experience to his name (see below) and he believes that Zahir+ as they have named it may now be one of the hardest outings in the Alps. He stated the following about the route: "The line is an amazing, steep limestone climb in the central part of the Wendenstock, which had had no second ascent until October this year. The line is reckoned to be the hardest alpine limestone climb in the Central Swiss Alps and cost the Swiss guys Iwan Wolf and Gunter Habersatter more then 4 years to free the line in its original state. We extended the 3rd pitch, not to change the appearance of the route, but to get each belay to a certain no-hands-rest. The pitch was originally graded 8b+ and now checks in at 8c. We worked the route from early September until the 11th of October, in total 7 days on the wall."
If confirmed, Zahir+ is one of the hardest sport climbs in the Alps, on a par with WoGu 8c in the Rätikon, bolted by Beat Kammerlander and freed by Adam Ondra in July 2008, and Alexander Huber's Bellavista and Pan Aroma on the Tre Cime di Lavaredo in the Dolomites.
Jörg Andreas mini climbing curriculum
Alpine ascents: Weg durch den Fisch (Marmolada Dolomites, (on-sight, 08/2000), Silbergeier (Rätikon, Switzerland, redpoint, 07/2004), End of Silence (redpoint, 09/2004), Zeit zum Atmen (Rote Wand, Austria, first ascent, 8b, 9 pitches, 09/2006)
"Nameless" Trango Tower, Eternal Flame, alpine style(07-08/2008)
Fitz Roy, Franco/Argentino, alpine style (01/2009)