Austrian climber Barbara Zangerl has made the second ascent of Kampfzone (8b+), a 5-pitch Beat Kammerlander route in the Rätikon, Switzerland. Zangerl's partner, Jacopo Larcher also climbed the route the following day.
The route was established in 2013 by Kammerlander, who went on to make the first free ascent in 2017. Zangerl spent two days working the route, before pulling the ropes for a ground-up attempt with Beat himself.
Commenting on her ascent, she said: 'I was blown away by the scenery up there. After a two hour approach, you reach the ridge, from which you get a first glimpse of the pillar where Kampfzone is the central and only line.
'After all those classic Kammerlander routes like Silbergeier, Unendliche Geschichte, New Age… I couldn't imagine that it could get any better. And, to be honest, after my first look at Kampfzone, I didn't expect it to be such a gem. But, as soon we got on the route, we were really surprised by the rock quality and the varied styles of climbing. From powerful moves to technical, scary slab climbing; you can find everything on Kampfzone.'
Zangerl appears to have an affinity with Kammerlander's routes, having climbed several of the multi-pitch bolted affairs such as Never Ending Story (8b+) and Silbergeier (8b/8b+), as well as some of his single-pitch masterpieces like Prinzip Hoffnung (8b+/E9) and Speed (8c+).
On the morning of the ascent, Zangerl wasn't feeling great whilst warming up and had no expectations. Fortunately, on her first attempt everything went smoothly, and she made no mistakes on the insecure first pitch: 'You find the crux right at the end of the pitch, with some airy space below your feet. The second pitch was the hardest one. Again, there you find the boulder crux at the very end of the pitch. This can be very nerve-wracking if you fall there and you have to climb up the whole 30 meters again!'
On the next couple of pitches, she managed to flash an 8a+ pitch and tackle the wet 4th pitch. By the 5th and final pitch, nothing could stop her: 'At this point, I felt so psyched and happy about the whole day and that I had the climb almost in the bag. The last pitch was a tricky mantle boulder problem at the beginning and then I could enjoy easier climbing to the very top. With some support and beta from Beat I was able to finish such a great adventure without a single fall.'
Zangerl's ascent was captured on film for the 2021 edition of the Reel Rock Tour.