Sunday, 22 July 2012

Schwarzer Schwan 8c

Back in 2009 Markus Haid discovered and climbed the route ‘Schwarzer Schwan’ in Ötztal.

Fast forward to 2012 and the route had built up a reputation as a classic in Tirol. I was in search of a challenge close to home that I could really push myself on and was recommended to give the route a go. I teamed up with my sister, Babsy, in May and we started to project the route. The name of the route started to remind me of the classic film 'Black Swan' as we started to get more involved. We attempted the route in all different conditions, had constant battles with split tips and dreamt of the route on rest days. As we started to get very close, nerves sometimes got the better of us and frustration often set in.

A break in the hot weather and a spontaneous visit to the route in the middle of a thunderstorm allowed Babsy to climb it. She was relieved that the battle was over and her ascent urged me on even more. I visited the route a few more times but to no avail until one day I woke up to misty and rainy morning. I looked out the window and questioned whether the route was dry. My other sister, Kathi, encouraged me to have a go and the all so familiar nerves set in. We walked through the damp forest up the overhanging granite wall and I made a really good attempt, falling on the tricky moves after the crux. I was pleased with my effort and had already accepted defeat for that day but I had a feeling deep down that I should give it just one more attempt. After a serial moment I climbed the ‘Schwarzer Schwan’ and the feeling of relief and happiness were indescribable.