Barbara Zangerl after sending 3 of her hardest routes


Sunday, 21 June

BARBARA ZANGERL after sending 3 of her hardest routes

By Ignacio Sandoval Burón

The last month for Barbara Zangerl has basically been about hard sport climbing, being able to send 3 of her hardest routes to date. First to conquer was 'Schwarzer Schwan', 8c in Ötztal; then, at the beginning of June, she ticked her hardest sport climb ever with 'Helel Ben Schachar', 8c/+ in Vorarlberg; and, last week, her last trophy was 'Nobody is perfect', 8c in Bürs.

We've catched up with her to know about these routes and her upcoming plans.

Barbara climbing in Zillertal. Pic© Jacopo Larcher.

- Could you tell us a bit about these routes you’ve sent during the last month which happen to be 3 of your hardest?

One of this routes is my hardest one so far, ‘Helel Ben Schachar’. It is a route in Vorarlberg. The other two routes felt much easier.

‘Helel Ben Schachar’ is a 30 metres power endurance pumpy route with a hard boulder crux at the end. At the beginning, it felt impossible to me and took me two sessions just to solve the boulder at the end. There are no really good rests and the hard boulder at the end felt hard for me. Really long moves on slopy holds with bad footholds. I couldn't do the route like the others did since I wasn’t able to reach the crux hold from the low foothold… but I found a good solution for me... It took me 3 days last year and 4-5 more days this year.

The route in Ötztal which I did one month ago, ‘Schwarzer Schwan’, is a short one, more bouldery... you climb on a small cool looking crack at the beginning and then, after a rest, it continues with 5 hard moves. The hardest one is an undercling move to a good sloper... I tried this one one day two years ago and 3 days this year. It’s 15m long and on perfect solid rock... a really good-looking route with amazing moves and it felt not so hard for the grade.

And, the last one I did two days ago is in Bürs. It’s a pure endurance route... super steep on conglomerate... 40m long and super pumpy. I tried this one 3 days last year and 3 days this year.

- Do you plan to try any multi-pitch/trad route during this summer?

I am motivated to go back to the Dolomites for ‘Bellavista’. Maybe in August. Last year, Jacopo and myself spent a lot of time there and it was raining cats and dogs for weeks… So, hopefully this summer we will have more luck with the weather...

Jacopo will go on a Siberia expedition, so I will wait for him until August. He is motivated for ‘Panaroma’. But, in general, it would be cool to climb more alpine classics like ‘The Fish’ or some easier routes on the Wendenstöcke.

In Autumn we plan to go to Yosemite to improve our crack climbing skills.


Barbara started her sending spree around one month ago with the route in the picture, 'Schwarzer Schwan', 8c in Ötztal.  Pic© Martina Harnisch

- Have you been specially focused on sport climbing this year?

I always do more sport climbing in spring.... no special focus on sport climbing this year... I am psyched to climb something longer but, for sure, I have to combine everything. I just like climbing...

I can't do multipitches (sport or alpine) all the time, but in summer it is always too warm in the lower crags, so I like to go to the mountains to try something longer. That offers me a bigger adventure and mentally it is also more challenging. That makes it really exciting for me and I like the silent places high up in the mountains, being in the nature far away from all the crowd... So I definitely need it for a change after some time doing the same...

- Considering that you've just sent 3 of your hardest routes, is it that you trained harder or more structured for this year?

I trained a lot in winter. The same that I also did last year, but this year I was more motivated for sport climbing and I got super motivated to finish ‘Helel...’. Last year I went to Spain and after it I focused on ‘Prinzip Hoffnung’. So, for me it is more like “I go with the flow” and I get inspired from something and then I can get really focused on a special route or multipitch.

A little video profile of her early trip to Spain this year.

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