Photographer: Stefan Wiebel

First Ascent

Sharks of Königssee (8a)

After a dramatic experience on our last expedition in Tibet where we were caught in an avalanche, Luka Lindič and I needed a break from alpinism on big mountains. On the way home from that expedition we instantly knew that we would need to “climb out” of the rut this experience put us in.

Berchtesgaden is in the Bavarian Mountains and has been my home for more than half of my life. I know the ins and outs of these mountains really well, however with the area still being new to Luka which made it really refreshing to explore the potential of climbing here together.

We found exactly the challenge we were looking for. Alpltalkopf Northface (Hoher Göll Range) is a steep, rough, alpine, limestone face with an eye-catching headwall, just far enough from civilization to keep the crowds away.
We warmed up in Slovenian Alps with two serious routes where I learned more about the possibilities when you are skilled using pitons – the most important protection in the Slovenian mountains. We then went back home to start our new objective high above Kö- nigssee (one of the most beautiful mountain lakes), climbing ground up and trying to use cams, nuts and pitons as much as possible with bolting being the last option.

In late August the Route was finished and free climbed by Luka right after. It was so great to know, that it ́s possible but somehow I had a hard time, figuring out how to put the puz- zle together in pitch 8. I doubted I could ever do it.

Luka kept pushing me to try. Patience was required. He never stopped believing in my skills which meant a lot for my confidence. After a period of bad weather, we returned to the route and I started believing I could do it. On October 17th we returned one more time. The freezing cold morning made for more of a challenge to manage the first pitch and the doubts in my mind returned. But, I kept going. Not a single doubt was left when I started to lead the crux pitch. I was so close! Both of us were screaming and the entire valley was answering with an echo. The fire to climb mountains had started burning in us again.

A note from Luka Lindič

Two years ago, love brought me to Berchtesgaden area. I immediately noticed how proud the locals are of this truly spectacular place full of mountains and lakes. At the beginning, our relationship was a bit of a target for the “sharp teeth” of some local people and after some time I started calling them Sharks of Königssee. I knew then a name for a new route we might climb one day was born. Now it’s there as a funny memory or our beginning. I am very grateful so many of the local climbers welcomed me so nicely and look forward to share climbing days in this magical place.

Facts:

Sharks of Königssee (6b+, 4, 7b, 7c, 6b+, 7b, 5+, 8a, 7a+) - Alpltalkopf Northface
Berchtesgaden / Germany
280 m / 9 pitches
19 Bolts in the entire Route, plus belays
FA and FFA: August – Oct. 2018