Board: SG FREE SOLO 2008/09 GROSSGLOCKNER, Lengths 157cm – 167cm
“The adventure is at your doorstep,” this saying drove Sigi Grabner and three of his friends and mountain guide Leo Baumgartner, to go for a grand traverse across the near Alps. We wanted to reach 10k in vertical ascent, like climbing the Mount Everest in our livingroom. So we planned a 10.000 vertical meters grand traverse across the Hohe Tauern mountain range from West to East, climbing up one range and riding it down right away to the next ascent, climbing up again and riding it down. We chose a high route near Sigi’s birth place: from the highest peaks of Austria in Tyrol, in one big traverse down to the lakes of Carinthia. “We wanted to do the 10k without technical aids, no helicopters, no cable cars, no lifts, no cars, just the mountains and us. Using our own physical strength for reaching the 10k, only with our boards, skins and poles, and enjoying epic downhill rides…
After seven days of ascents, descents, nights in winter refuges and one big failure (we failed in reaching the summit of Austria’s highest peak “Grossglockner” by just 200m left, because our guide Leo decided to stop the ascent “danger of avalanches – too dangerous”) we arrive at the shores of one of the beautiful lakes south of the Alps for a swim, a big dinner and a rest – we are happy and grateful.”
Sigi writes in his tour diary about the difficult moment on the tour:
“It is hard, we cannot take the summit, although the weather seems gorgeous. Leo decided to turn back. So close to the finish! It’s not easy for us to accept Leo’s decision. The ascent from our mountain refuge without problems, full moon and a starry night above the mountains, all this put us in high spirits. And now, just turn back? 200m below the peak? But Leo remains firm: “you never bargain with Nature”. He is an experienced mountain man who knows the Himalaya as well as the Alps, he is our guide, we trust in him. The avalanche danger is imminent, new snow two days ago, wind and snow drifts today. “When it happens, it is always unspectacular,”he says,”a small 50 meters’ slide is enough to bury you under tons of wet snow…. ” After a short but hot discussion we have to accept and we turn down, the summit being within reach…
Yet, this decision is a much bigger victory in my life than reaching the Gossglockner’s summit might have been.”
The Grossglockner mountain peak is the theme for the 2008/1009 FREE SOLO board line and it stands for taking the right decisions on the mountain.
Check out the Line: N 47.074511 E 12.693839 NN 3.798 m