Zangerl’s Hardest Problem Yet

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Bernd Zangerl has climbed a boulder problem high in the Austrian mountains that he says is his hardest yet. Zangerl is a 27-year-old Austrian who made the first ascents of the V15 problems New Base Line and Viva la Evolution and the second ascent of Dreamtime, before it was chipped down from V15.

Zangerl discovered the new line in 2003. It is pure power, with only seven moves on a 45-degree overhang. Although he had climbed V13 and V14 problems that year, he could not even hang onto two tiny knobs at the crux. Compounding the difficulties, the boulder was buried by snow for more than half the year. In 2004, Zangerl felt like he was close to sending the problem when he broke one of the two knobs. To compensate, he started working on a huge dyno to the lip of the roof, and this year, on August 5, he finally stuck it.

The new line is called Memento. “I’ve never had to invest so much time and energy into a first ascent,“ Zangerl wrote in an email. “For me Memento is maybe 8c+ (V16). It’s by far harder than anything I tried or climbed yet... The key to success lies in only two very difficult single movements; therefore it is almost impossible to stamp it with a number. But for me this is bouldering. It can’t be compared to those 60-foot monsters.”

Climbing magazine will soon publish photos of Memento’s stellar sequence.Comment on this story