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Alessandro Penna climbing British Airways 8A, Silvretta
Photo by Claudia Colonia, Alessandro Penna
Claudia Colonia on Sunny Side Up 7B, Silvretta
Photo by Claudia Colonia, Alessandro Penna

Silvretta bouldering in Tyrol, Austria

Claudia Colonia and Alessandro Penna introduce the bouldering area Silvretta in Austria. Located at Galtür at circa 2000m, with its 160 boulders it is considered one of the best summer bouldering areas in the Alps.

It was in 2008 that Bernd Zangerl first introduced the Silvretta bouldering area and, given the beauty of the landscape, the quantity of problems and the mild climate, it’s worth having another look at this Austrian resort. The area was developed by Rene Gutman, Tom Feuerstein and the Alberg climbing team, and reached its heyday when many of America’s most famous boulders visited the Tyrol region to repeat the hardest lines, such as Anam Cara, Memento or Golden Gate, all obviously put up by Bernd Zangerl. Zangerl also published free the first free online guidebook (still available on www.klettern.de, www.climbers-paradise.com and www.galtuer.com ), thereby opening up the area to a larger number of climbers. For years this was the only (essential) topo that avoided people getting lost among the boulders. Recently a guidebook called Alpen en Bloc vol. 1 has been published making the area even more accessible, thanks to the detailed descriptions in both English and German. Obviously the best season to visit Silvretta is summer: despite the heat in the valley below, the weather up here is almost always cool and breezy.

The approximately 160 boulders lay on the flanks of a ski area, grouped into about ten sectors, orientated in all directions. The gneiss rock is obviously as rough as it can only be at these altitudes, and the climbing is almost always technical and crimpy. Although there are some overhanging problems, the style of climbing is always extremely demanding. There also are some highballs, such as the classic: Zu jung um zu sterben (translation: “too young to die”!), while a lot of other new scary lines were put up last summer during an event staged by Red Bull. There are too many five-start problems to mention, but highlights include: Memento 8B+/C (finger strength and power!), Anam cara 8B+/C, Golden gate 8B, the long Pretty belinda 8A+, British Airways 8A, Niviuk 8A, Rongbuck 8A+, X-ray 8A, the highball Falsche Götter 7C+, Flash face 7C, Baby lama 7C, Thor, Shangai syndrome and Alkatrac 7A+, Rubber Gun 7A, Don Quichote 6B+, Foto block 6A and La rampe 5. We’ve mention the grades to provide some basic information, but we feel seem were overgraded compared to those we know in many boulder areas in Italy.

If you want to escape the summer heat and climb somewhere fresh, on great problems, far away from more popular and chaotic area, Silvretta is the place for you! Happy climbing.

TOPO: bouldering at Silvretta in Austria

ARTICLES BY CLAUDIA COLONIA AND ALESSANDRO PENNA
10/02/2014 - America, Bouldering, Climbing = Bishop, Buttermilks, California

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