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Giacomo Meliffi in the Frankenjura, Germany, after having climbed Der Ungeheuer sei Mutter at the Vogelherdgrotte crag
Photo by Federica De Angelis
The Friends used by Giacomo Meliffi in the Frankenjura, Germany, to climb Der Ungeheuer sei Mutter at the Vogelherdgrotte crag
Photo by Federica De Angelis
Sean Villanueva geared up for the trad climb in the Frankenjura. Note the huge wooden hammer usually used to tap local beer kegs.
Photo by Frank Kretschmann

Giacomo Meliffi climbs Frankenjura monster Der Ungeheuer sei Mutter

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24-year-old Italian climber Giacomo Meliffi reports about his ascent of Der Ungeheuer sei Mutter, a difficult and particular trad climb in the Frankenjura, Germany, made famous by Sean Villanueva.

When you think about the Frankenjura, the first thing that springs to mind is dynamic moves on rounded pockets, often not even big enough for one or two fingers.

But if you explore a little further, if you wander through the beautiful woods between one green field and the next, you will come across crags that vary in all shapes and sizes, with routes that provide powerful experiences. One of these is without doubt Der Ungeheuer sei Mutter at the Vogelhergrotte crag, which translated means the mother of the beast.

On 8 June 2019, I (GIacomo Meliffi, or more simply Jack), my girlfriend Federica De Angelis and our two dogs Rolf and Luna set sail for an incredible journey that will take us all the way to Norway, aboard the white whale (our van).

After having savoured the granite in the Austrian valleys with two friends who accompanied us on the first part of our journey, we set off for Germany, destination Frankenjura.

After a few days of climbing I went to see the crack which I had learnt about thanks to an article on planetmountain.com, where Sean Villanueva makes the first repeat. It was love at first sight. A quite incredible journey.

During my first attempt I fell at the end of the roof and since time ran out I was forced to give up. By pure chance though, the Frankenjura Kletterfestival was taking place and during that same evening I bumped into Sean Villanueva. I managed to exchange a few words, and this convinced me to go back to try that splendid line a couple of days later.

The crack begins with a small entry sequence until you wedge yourself inside completely, feet and back push hard to keep you inside. In order to protect yourself during this first section you need ta wooden hammer, the type used to plug beer barrels here in Germany, but since I didn’t have one I climbed the lower section without pro, in the hope of falling onto a crash pad should a foot slip. I then tackled the roof and after some jams and fighting the burn I managed to breach this and reach the final corner, from where the last sequence starts, not particularly easy, past the final overhang. A couple of deep breaths and I'm out… what an unbelievable climb! Now Norway awaits!

Giacomo Meliffi

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NEWS / Related news:
Sean Villanueva climbs freaky Frankenjura trad
11.06.2018
Sean Villanueva climbs freaky Frankenjura trad
The video of Belgian rock climber Sean Villanueva repeating 'Der Ungeheuer sei Mutter', a difficult and somewhat particular trad climb at the Vogelherdgrotte crag in the Frankenjura, Germany.

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