INTERVIEW: Babsi Zangerl climbs Prinzip Hoffnung, 8b+ E9/10

by Björn Pohl - UKC Mar/2014
This news story has been read 8,067 times
Babsi Zangerl on Prinzip Hoffnung, 8b+ E9/10, Bürser Platte, Vorarlberg, Austria, 69 kb
Babsi Zangerl on Prinzip Hoffnung, 8b+ E9/10, Bürser Platte, Vorarlberg, Austria
© Babsi Zangerl coll.

Barbara Zangerl has made the 5th over all and first female ascent of Beat Kammerlander's Prinzip Hoffnung, 8b+ E9/10, on the Bürser Platte, Vorarlberg, Austria.

Babsi just returned home from Spain where she did three 8c's in short time so she is evidently in good shape. Climbing a delicate, runout 8b+ on sketchy gear is quite a different matter however...

Babsi started out as a boulderer and quickly reached 8B before back problems more or less forced her into sport climbing. In this discipline, she has so far climbed as hard as 8c/+. The last few years, though she is still sport climbing, she has focused a bit on multi-pitching. The result: The first female ascent of the "Alpine trilogy" i.e The End of Silence, Silbergeier and Keisers neue Kleider.

What's next? Indian Creek!

How does it feel to be the best female all round climber since... ever?
I can't say that I am the best all round climber....there are some really strong other girls who do different styles of climbing. For me personally, I can enjoy it most when I do different styles of climbing. This is the best way to keep my motivation high. And it is also the best adventure when you have to make new experince and improving yourself.

When did you decide to try Prinzip Hoffnung? How long did you work it? And how was the ascent?
Prinzip Hoffnung is nearly next to my flat. I was driving by a lot of times. But I never had the balls to try it. I was too scared because I hadn't a lot experience with trad routes. I was fascinated by this wall with this perfect line on it. It looks so cool, when you stand in front of this black wall. This year Jacopo [Larcher] checked Prinzip Hoffnung first and he was so motivated to climb this route. So it was quite easy for me. We tried together. It was such a cool time, to follow the same goal and share the motivation for this route. Jacopo climbed Prinzip Hoffnung really fast, a few days before we left to Spain.

I also had some really close tries. My first try on lead was one of the best. But after I had one fall after another. It was like a roller coaster and went into a mental challenge.
I always fell on the crux. 8-9 times. But at this point it is quite safe, you can have a big fall but you can't hurt yourself (more or less). Luckily I never fell on the first meters.
In the first 8m I used no gear because you can use only really small nuts which will never protect a fall. It is not very hard the first meters but quite scary. In fact the first 20m are the most dangerous.

For me the hardest thing to handle was to place the gear in the crux, to stand for a while on bad footholds and keep the tension to place the small nuts and climb the crux after.
At first I placed three nuts in the crux and after two lead tries and two falls on this gear, I felt safe and decided to use only two.

I don't know exactly how many days I tried this route.We started to try this route at the end of January and I had 8-9 lead tries.
When we arrived back home from Spain. The sun was shining the whole day and the rock warmed up during the day. I always had to wait until half past 5 in the evening. There was only time for two tries before it was dark.

So yesterday, on my first try I fell again. And in this moment I didn't feel very good. I fell on the crux because I was tired. The second try i climbed without pressure, don't thinking to send this route on this day. When I clipped the was a surprise! For sure one of the most beautiful and exciting routes I ever tried----big thanks to Beat Kammerlander!!

Now, you're heading to the US and Indian Creek soon - crack climbing. Are we to believe you are now going to climb 8b+ finger cracks?
Yes I am really looking forward to this trip. I want to improve in crack climbing.....trying 6b-7a Could be really hard some times. I am quite bad in crack Climbing...

Thanks a lot Babsi, and have fun in the US!

Barbara Zangerl is sponsored by: adidas, Black Diamond, Five Ten and Sterling Rope

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