Interview: Bernd Zangerl opens Highball-Boulder Grenzlos in Valle Dell'Orco

Once again the Austrian Bernd Zangerl announces a first ascent from the Valle Dell'Orco in Italy. There he managed to climb a boulder, which he finally had to secure minimally. That's why the 10 meter high highball boulder Grenzlos (approx. 8a+) was created.

For the past 10 years it was Bernd Zangerl again and again in Italian Piedmont, more precisely in Valle Dell'Orcowhere he found new lines and started for the first time. Among them are impressive boulders like 29dots (8a +), Il Coloniali sd (8b / c), Self Aperto and Bavirabi (8a).

This September Bernd returned with Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher back to the Valle Dell'Orco. While Babsi and Jacopo the ultra classic Green Spit (First ascent Didier berthod) scored, Bernd fought with a fine tear line. Since the bouldering point was pretty high up, a fall would have had bad consequences.

Boundless can rightly be called a dream line. (Photo by Jacopo Larcher)

So there were two options. Bernd could have built a landing zone and dragged in more pads to make the potential fall safer. But he doesn't think much of that. The second option was to defuse the position with mobile coverage.

Bernd defused the bouldering area with a bird beak. (Photo by Jacopo Larcher)

The 42-year-old then opted for the second option. As a tool, he used bird breaks, not the ideal thing to hold a fall - to put it defensively.

But it worked. At the end of October, Bernd managed the first ascent of Grenzlos, another mega line in Valle Dell'Orco.

We talked to Bernd about limitless.

Bernd Zangerl in conversation about unlimited in the Valle Dell'Orco

What was it about the line that fascinated you?

The wall is crossed by a wafer-thin finger crack, which then dissolves in the wall. The line is simply unique and at first glance it looks impossible to climb. Limitless is definitely one of the most beautiful first ascents.

Have you ever fallen into the Bird Beak, the mobile backup?

NO! I climbed the boulder on the rope in the first attempt.

Why didn't you make a landing zone and work with additional pads?

Today it seems normal to stack 10 or more pads under a boulder to adjust the challenge to your personal comfort zone. In my opinion this has nothing to do with highball climbing anymore. And often mats are simply stacked on top of the existing vegetation and thus destroyed.

With 10 mats, the first ascent of the comfort zone would have been easier because it would no longer have been a psychological challenge. The effort that goes into building landings, organizing mats and spotters is too much for me. And I don't think much of platforms either, especially not in a national park.

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Credits: Pictures Jacopo Larcher

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