Nebelgeist climbed by Simon Messner, Barbara Vigl on Schüsselkar, Austria
Barbara Vigl reports about the first ascent of Nebelgeist, established this summer with Simon Messner on Söllerköpfe on Schüsselkar in Austria's Wetterstein mountain chain.
This summer Simon and I managed to complete the first ascent of a nice alpine line on Schüsselkar in the Wetterstein mountains in Tyrol, Austria.
On the 24th of August 2020 Simon and I went up to one of the pre-summits of Söllerköpfe, curious to see whether we we might be able to open a bolt-free new route up there. Since the weather was cold and foggy we had low expectations to make it to the top. We climbed without a rope through the lower part of the wall and through dense fog, zigzagging in search of a good line, until we reached more difficult ground. We then roped up and were somewhat surprised to climb to the top of our new route that day, with difficulties up to VII+ having climbed the line clean, except for one piton on the 7th pitch.
We returned on the 16th of September to straighten our line by adding a more direct start. This time we climbed with T-shirts in perfect and sunny weather, contrasting our first day on the route where we had to wear our down jackets. We added 5 more pitches on quite nice rock, including clean slab and crack climbing up to grade VII- UIAA. We swung leads on both days; Simon on-sighted every pitch, and I every one except for a rest on pitch 7.
We left all belays in-situ, as well as the only piton we placed to protect a section on pitch 7. The entire route needs protecting and the grade is absolutely mandatory on every pitch, as the pro is often poor and tricky to place, especially on pitches 7 and 8. The crux pitch (pitch 8) has a run-out over dodgy gear, with a belay that needs to be upgraded (#3 Friend and small offset nuts recommended). Falling here might be dangerous.
Overall the route offers diverse, adventurous and alpine climbing, which requires experienced handling of trad gear.