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  • Mélissa Le Nevé and Ben Rueck on a Boulder Trip through Malawi

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Staring into the inky blackness, the darkness became hypnotic. I sat in a little Suzuki driver’s side, speeding along towards Lake Malawi with Mélissa Le Nevé in the passenger seat beside me. It took a little while to get used to driving on the other side of the road, but by this point I became used to it. It had been a long day of travel; and I was looking at another few hours. The African plains were much larger than I previously had thought. I was reflecting about this when out of the corner of my eye something appeared. At first I thought it was a seat belt light, but upon closer inspection it was actually an indicator that told me I was about to be out of fuel. My stomach dropped. We were still over an hour away from our destination, in the middle of Africa, and I had not seen a petrol station for the last few 100 kilometres.
  • Tudo bem is the attitude you need to get the most out of an intensive bouldering trip to Brazil.

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Tudo bem: two Brazilian-Portuguese words for all eventualities. The phrase is a way of life, a philosophy.Tudo bem is precisely the attitude you need to get the most out of an intensive bouldering trip to the country that hosts the World Soccer Championships.
Tudo Bem means something like “What’s up?” If you are in Brazil, then there is only one cool answer to this question: thumbs up and: “Tudo bem!” That is because tudo bem also means: “Everything is OK!” So it goes like this: Tudo bem? Tudo bem! Everything is OK, brother. Couldn't be better.
The invitation4 January, 2010: the up-and-coming Brazilian climbing star Felipe Camargo had just sent his 3rd repeat of what was probably Brazil’s toughest boulder at that time: O dia santo (8b+) in the São Bento bouldering zone.
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Two climbers from Spain, Dani Moreno and Eduard Marin Garcia, find themselves in Peru facing the most puzzling challenge of their lives on La Esfinge, or The Sphinx. And with a hilarious bet on the line, the stakes could not be any higher.


2-4-0

Edu Marin was sprinting up the last few metres to reach the belay when his partner, Dani Moreno, called up to him from 30 metres below. “Hey, Edu!” shouted Dani, grinning mischievously. “I have a riddle for you! If you get it, the beers are on me tonight! If you don’t, then you pay! So, what do you say?” “A riddle?” Edu shouted back, gasping for air. “You know [cough] that I love [wheeze] riddles. [Gasp] And beer!” "This is serious" said Dani. "OK, what goes on two legs in the morning, four legs at midday and no legs in the evening?
  • Barbara Zangerl, the Boulder Queen has rediscovered herself.

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What do you do if you have planned a nice big project, done it, and then find out to your surprise that there are still plenty of good climbing days left in the year? Take time to chill? Not if your name is Barbara Zangerl.
Originally, completing the Alpine Trilogy was not on her list, but now she is the first woman to have repeated all the Trilogy routes. Three routes that still count as the most difficult in the Alps. Three routes that up until 1994 only four men were able to write in their diaries.
The first ascenders are particularly impressed. "The Boulder Queen has rediscovered herself," says Beat Kammerlander. Thomas Huber agrees: "Babs is one of the greatest in the Alps." Stefan Glowacz goes even further, speculating that she is the protagonist in a new era: "There has been nobody like this since Lynn Hill.
  • Bianco Ridge, Piz Bernina, Graubünden, Switzerland

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THE SCENARIO
High above the valley floor, appearing to float in the heavens, illuminated by a golden-pink alpine glow, elegantly curving its way towards the summit of Piz Bernina - Bianco Ridge has been created to be admired and then climbed. In other words: whoever sets eyes on the Bianco Ridge wants to get up there and do it.The challenge was doing the Bianco Ridge in winter and have one of the most awe-inspiring routes in the Alps all to ourselves - something that many dream of but only few manage to experience.And yet the strategy for the Bianco Ridge is so straightforward: go when nobody else is there. And that‘s exactly what Toni Mosshammer and David Kreiner did.

THE REALITY
It is only in exceptional cases that you can enjoy the Bianco Ridge in solitude.
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What’s your favorite spot/location to be activeThe Mountains.
How do you prepare for a project/contest (info/training/nutrition)?I strategize and develop a program based on the nature of the project or competition. This usually means mixing a specific gym routine with outdoor climbing and of course eating good, whole foods. With outdoor projects, a huge part of the battle is learning the intricacies of the route/problem as quickly as possible. Time management is key.
What are your biggest accomplishments?First Ascent of The Kingdom 8C/V15Second Ascent of The Game 8C/V15First Ascent of Heritage 8B+/V142-Time US Sport Climbing National Champion.
What are your next goals (related to your sport)?Continue to travel and develop new areas around the world and apply my bouldering strengths to larger objectives.
  • Guido in the “Kerze” WI 6 (“The Candle”), one of the most beautiful ice routes in Tyrol. Looking even more attractive with a sugar coating of spindrift.

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Stage 1
It is not every rally in winter conditions that requires spikes and horsepower. Sometimes ice axe and muscles have to do. What remain the same are the stages and the special stage tests. These also had to be done by Guido Unterwurzacher and Christian Hechenberger. With their heart rate rev counter in the red...
“What we wanted to do was climb as many vertical metres of ice in one day. However, on our first attempt after four waterfalls we were finished. We were already talking about how awesome it would be to climb all the doable waterfalls – i.e. all the waterfalls that are climbable at the time – in just one day."
Stage 2
Heading up the valley from the village of Neder in Neustift/Tyrol there is a natural toboggan run, probably the finest and certainly the longest in Tyrol, snaking up into Pinnistal.
  • Living an everyday dream… Mont Blanc du Tacul – heart of the Alps.

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  • From the left: Jakob, chef Eschas, chef Ibrahim, guide Shakoor, Guido, Hechei, Simon, Hannes, Flo and Max.

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A dream is about to come true. On 18 July the first part of the team finally boards the flight toIstanbul and then, after a 6-hour stopover, on to Islamabad. Now there’s no going back.
Everybody looks tense, and when we finally arrive in Islamabad at four in the morning we realise for the first time that everything is very different here. Our contact man Iqubal from the Shipton Trekking agency is already there to meet us. Jakob and Flo arrive the next day so that we can really get started on the first big adventure: the 3-day drive along the infamous and dangerous Karakorum Highway, aka “The Highway to Hell”. Even our guide Shakoor says, “This street is much more dangerous than all terrorists together!”. So, with stomach problems brewing, we tear along the nightmarish switchbacks, letting the feedback from the holes in the road flow right through us.
  • Barbara Zangerl is the first woman to climb“The End of Silence”.

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The Feuerhorn near Reiter Alm in Berchtesgaden, Germany: that’s where the Huber Brothers wrote climbing history with four severe routes on the compact north face: Siddhartha (IX-), Monstermagnet (IX+), Firewall (X+) and The End of Silence (X+).
Completed in 1994, “The End of Silence” belongs together with “Silbergeier” (by Beat Kammerlander) and “Des Kaisers neue Kleider” (“The Emperor’s New Clothes” by Stefan Glowacz) to what is known as the Trilogy, the three top routes in the Alps that are celebrated and discussed by the climbing scene as well as by their first ascentionists. In addition to athletic placement of protection and challenging climbing in grade 8 and 9, “The End of Silence” also presents a special challenge in terms of endurance: the climber doesn’t reach the crux, which is grade 10, until the top of ninth pitch – small underclings, side pulls, tiny edges and subtle footholds in the overhanging rock make completing the route all the more difficult.
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