Russisches Roulette / New Kristallwand mixed climb by Matthias Wurzer, Peter Wurzer
Austrian mountain guides Matthias Wurzer and Peter Wurzer have established Russisches Roulette, Russian roulette, a difficult and dangerous mixed climb up the northeast face of Kristallwand (Venediger Group, Hohe Tauern, Austria).
Two weeks ago the brother and mountain guides Peter and Matthias Wurzer made the first ascent of Russian Roulette, a new mixed climb up the northeast face of Kristallwand, a 3310m peak in the Venediger Group, Hohe Tauern, Austria.
The Wurzer brothers initially intended to repeat Hobby Strahler, the route climbed in 2010 by Simon Gietl, Isidor Poppeller and Vittorio Messini up the mountain’s same face, but as soon as they got close to the wall they noted a "mega line of ice on the righthand side." Their joy was somewhat dampened though by the huge serac that loomed menacingly above the first 180 meters of the climb.
After a cold night at the base of the wall, during which they heard the serac collapse several times, and after having discussed at length whether to take on the objective hazard, the two set off early on the morning of 17 November.
"We both closed our eyes and listened to our stomach, then we looked at each other, shook hands and climbed the dangerous section at full speed in order to reach the start of the steep ice where we were safe." Another 5 "brilliant" pitches led them to the original route, established in 1933 by Albert Santner und Willi Trost, which they followed for a further 250 meters to the summit.
The new line is described as a "a challenging mixed route up to M6." It is also, as implied by its name Russisches Roulette, Russian roulette, also somewhat dangerous.
Info: bergfuehrerkals.wordpress.com, www.iceguides.at, Petzl