3 Nov 2013

One Night Stand

Looking out over Längenfeld
Every now and then you come across a route or boulder that just seems to capture you in some unique way. ‘One Night Stand’ at Niederthai was an old project that Reinhard Schiestl started back in the 90s. It later received some attention from the local climbing hero Markus Haid, who finished equipping the route. Jakob Schubert made the much sought-after first ascent in 2010 and graded it hard Fr8c+. I often attempted the route for a day or two in Autumn when every other route was wet or it was just too cold to climb in the shade. I was fascinated with the moves and the history of the route. Niederthai has a lot of history. Reini Schiestl along with other local climbers found the hidden granite blocks sitting quietly between the towering pine trees on a hill overlooking the picturesque village of Längenfeld. However, the climbing area went quiet after Reini’s fatal car accident in 1995. It wasn’t until some time later when Markus Haid and a bunch of keen young climbers including my good friend Heiko Wilhelm continued Reini’s legacy and finished equipping the climbing area of Niederthai. Markus Haid made the first ascent of another one of Reini’s old projects back in 2001 and appropriately named it ‘In Memo Reini’. Ever since, Niederthai is becoming more and more popular and it leaves every visiting climber with a sense of curiosity about what really lies deep in that mysterious forest.

The crux of ‘One Night Stand’ involves a solid toe hook on an arête allowing the climber to make a massive cross-through before a wild cut loose allows you to reach the next crimp. The route is a real test of power endurance and I enjoyed the process of slowly progressing, inching every session a touch higher and eventually having enough fitness to link the entire route and make the 2nd ascent of ‘One Night Stand’. After the ascent I sat up high on one of the blocks that slightly reaches over the pine trees and thought about my own history with the area of Niederthai. I have slowly worked my way through all of the existing hard routes at Niederthai, and thinking back to every route brings back some great memories. This place is special.

What’s next? I don’t know. We have a few new areas dotted around Oetztal. Hopefully I will be able to find something that will push my climbing a little further and give Oetztal something as special as Niederthai...let the search continue!