This is a guest post originally published on August 7, 2012 in Black Diamond Journal. A big thanks to Black Diamond for allowing us to share this story.
Black Diamond athlete Barbara Zangerl pulled off another female first at the start of August with her free ascent of the 11-pitch End of Silence, a limestone beast stacked with hard, technical climbing up to 8b+ (5.14a). Below is the report Barbara forwarded us, along with photos taken by Hannes Mair. Congratulations to Babsi on a stunning effort!
Barbara Zangerl is the first women to free End of Silence (8b+/5.14a) at the Feuerhorn, Berchtesgaden (GER). Zangerl spent nine days working on the route’s eleven pitches, culminating in an impressive redpoint on August 1st. An alpine testpiece, the route was first freed by Thomas Huber in 1994.
For Zangerl, the first pitches went smoothly, with the first real challenge coming on the route’s sixth pitch, a 7c+ (5.13a) where she had to fight hard to reach the belay. Two rope lengths of more moderate climbing brought her to the most difficult section of the wall, where she had to negotiate a short but devious 8b (5.13d). Despite low expectations she sent first try, and arrived at the base of the hardest pitch, an 8b+ (5.14a).
“After falling twice at the crux, I lost every hope to do End of Silence that day,” she recalls. “But I wanted to give it a third try, fought hard and somehow overcame the crux. I think it was more my mental than my physical power that made me reach the next belay.”
Afterwards she only had to do two more pitches until she was standing on the top of the Feuerhorn. “It was absolute highlight for me! I am so happy to make the first female ascent of this genius route. Thanks to everyone that supported me, especially my climbing partner Emanuel Falch.”