Stefan Glowacz and Markus Dorfleitner take on the “black wall”
On the Höllental path to Zugspitze mountain is a northward-facing cliff that is 400 meters higher than the Höllentalanger Hut. This “black wall” is not in the same league as the famous north faces of the Alps, but it is a real feat for climbers in the lower 11th degree and thus offers what is probably the most demanding in the Wetterstein mountain range, where they already have climbing experience. But what Stefan Glowacz, one of German’s foremost climbers, and his friend Markus Dorfleitner from the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen have been planning for years but haven’t quite managed, goes far beyond that. Their dream route for this face is vertical, the line of the “falling water droplet!”
Alpinists call it a direttissima, the straightest route, which is unadorned and highly treacherous. This is known as redpoint climbing, a style in which people climb freely and the cable and bolt are only there to keep you safe. The two climbers have used binoculars and photos to study the structures of the cliff face in different lights and map their route. Unfortunately, the original date for the first ascent had to be called off on account of the weather – but on 4 July 2017 it was time to get climbing. A beautiful sunrise, blue skies, and a dry cliff with plenty of grip were a great way to start the day.
Welcome to the new ZEISS Nature Blog where you will find the latest stories about nature observation and birding.
Discover the unique world of birds, exciting travel destinations and helpful tips and tricks from our nature and birding experts - your outdoor adventure starts here.
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Judy Wu learned to look by listening. The musician and producer from Taiwan has won multiple music awards for her bird sounds. Despite her tremendous success, her interest in nature was actually rather slow to develop
and stemmed from the artist’s fascination with sounds. In the meantime, Judy is also interested in the details of flora and fauna, which she uses her visual sensory to take in.
Where many people think of a vacation paradise, of white or black sand beaches, volcanoes, or tropical cocktails, a birder approaches the islands of Hawai‘i in a slightly different fashion. A vacationer might enjoy relaxing next to an azure sea, but someone in search of the island chain’s endemic bird species is going to have to work. There will be hiking, maybe climbing, sometimes over brutal sun-baked rocks, sometimes up narrow trails with considerable elevation gains.
There will be much straining of one’s neck to watch tiny and bewilderingly similar-sounding greenish-yellow birds as they race through forest canopies, a straining not unlike the “warbler neck” that paralyzes many birders in North America during migration.