Barbara "Babsi" Zangerl has made the first female ascent of Thomas Huber's 1994 multi-pitch The End of Silence, 8b+, at Feuerhorn in the Berchtesgadener Alps, southern Germany.
The End of silence was put up the same year as two other hard core multi-pitches, Stefan Glowacz' Des Keisers neue Kleider at Wilde Kaisergebirge on the Austrian side of the border and Beat Kammerlander's Silbergeier, at Rätikon near the Swiss border.
The end of silence
© Björn Pohl - UKC, Aug 2012
These three make up the famous alpine trilogy all of which have a hardest pitch given 8b+, although some repeaters have suggested the 9th pitch of The end of silence is really more like 8b. Be that how it may, but the bolts are few and far between...
Here are the pitches:
1. 7a+, 2. 6a, 3. 6c+, 4. 6c, 5. 7b+, 6. 7c+, 7. 7b+, 8. 8b, 9. 8b+, 10. 7c+, 11. 7a+
Babsi says she needed a longer break from her other significant project, Silbergeier, this year due to her back injuries, so this year she decided The End of silence was her goal.
After finding out the route was very difficult to work ground up, she had to change tactics and start working it from the top. Things didn't look so bright at first, but after spending 9 days figuring out the moves and sequences, she was able to link the single pitches.
1 August, she set off from the ground. As expected, the first pitches, up to the 7c+, went smooth. Then, the 7c+ was a different story, though she managed to pull through holding on by the skin of her teeth.
After a brief breather on a 7b+, it was time for the next challange, the 8b pitch. Babsi says she couldn't even imagine doing it, but she gave it her all and, somehow, she found her self at the stand with (more or less) only the Crux pitch between her and success.
Even though she had spent a reasonable amount of power, she still felt quite fit. After two attempts ending at the crux however, hope had all but vanished, but she decided to give it one last go.
I guess it's about time we stop writing "formerly best known as a boulderer" after her name.
How many women have bouldered 8B, red pointed 8c and climbed 8b+ multi-pitch?