Best Baqueira Ski School within English Spoken instructors. We are an official ski school in Baqueira Beret with the best ski instructors.
Mariona AZ has been the winner of the contest that Mammut Baqueira together with our mountain guide Roger Martorell , we have done in the past Christmas. The prize consists on a day of mountain skiing, or freeride, or mountaineering or climbing guided by Roger.
The activity has to be carried out throughout this winter or spring
We hope you enjoy this day within our mountain guide
You can contact us, Mammut Baqueira or Roger Martorell.
by Mammut 22-07-2016 10:45 – edited
Classic alpine faces are books, history books that tell of the development of climbing from the beginnings to the present. But you need to be prepared to read and to understand the language in which the stories are written. The north face of the Grosser Bockmattliturm stands high above the waters of the Wägitalersee in the Canton of Glarus in Switzerland and tells of Supertramp and many other stories…
EPISODE 03: SUPERTRAMP | GLARUS ALPS, SWITZERLAND
Classic alpine faces are books…
|Region:||Glarus Alps | Switzerland|
|First ascent:||1980: Martin Scheel, Gregor Benisowitsch|
|Repeat:||June 2016: David Lama, Katherine Choong|
|Rock type:||Slabby limestone, sometimes quite smooth, sparingly rebolted (renaturalized after intensive rebolting).|
|Type of climbing:||Primarily face and crack climbing, long runouts, sometimes psychologically demanding without really being dangerous. It is possible to free climb the pendulum traverse (7b+).|
|Grade:||3 pitches over the Alte Nordwand (Old North Face), then 6a+, 6c+, 6a, 6b, 6a, 5c+, 6c+, A1 (pendulum traverse, free 7b+), 6a, 6b, 6a+, 6b, 5a|
|Face height:||400 m|
A director couldn’t arrange a more perfect backdrop for a production of Heidi film! Below are the turquoise waters of the Wägitalersee, above, contented cows grazing on green hills, between them picturesque mountain huts and above them all, the mountain, or rather the massif: for many years, the Bockmattli has been home to Zurich’s climbing community, who refer to it lovingly as the “Bockli.” The undisputed king is the Grosser Bockmattliturm, with its front face – the 400-m north face.
Divided by cracks and dihedrals, the enormous slab of the right part of the wall immediately catches the eye. Bordered by a huge dihedral on the left and running out into broken topography on the right, this slab gets most of the attention – for some, it is utterly impossible, for others, it is the ultimate challenge. But all in good time…
The nature of things determined that it took a relatively long time before climbers showed interest in the towers of the Bockmattli. There are without doubt more imposing summits and larger walls than on the “Bockli,” so it was only in 1921 that the Grosser Bockmattliturm was first climbed by Paul Stähin and Sepp Schnyder from Lachen on Lake Zurich.
More than 25 years later, in 1947, the north face (the highest face in the region) was first climbed by C. Hauser, J. Kost and J. Krebser. They followed the simplest line up the huge slab from the bottom right to the top left: today this is known as the“Alte Nordwand” (Old North face) (V+/A1 or VII). Finally, the legendary Max Niedermann and Peter Diener found a direct line up the face in 1956 (V+/A0 or VI+). Known as the “Direkte” Niedermann’s route ultimately made the Bockmattli famous outside of Switzerland, as it made it into Walter Pause’s climbing bible Extreme Alpine Rock.
The fact that other routes were eventually added – the “Nordwestwand” (North West Face) (VI) by Wisi Fleischmann and Kurt Grüter (1959) and the “Nordwandrisse” (North Face Crack) ((VI–, A1 or VII–) by Ueli Hürlemann (1963) – was only of regional interest; the main focus was the “Direkte”, which after all, was one of the first routes to be free climbed in the dawning era of free climbing in 1978 (VI+). Today, heavily rebolted, it is one of the great classic climbing faces of Eastern Switzerland. From the upper part of the “Direkte”, you have perhaps the most impressive view of the enormous slab: during the first free ascent of the “Direkte”, the author of this article watched towards this part of the wall thought it utterly impossible and would have never considered an attempt himself. But as they say: “never say never.”
To overcome limits, you sometimes have to break the rules, not only those of climbing, but those of society. The early 1980s in Zurich saw the political rebellion of the youth against the rigid structures of the upper classes and politics – the result was street fighting, squatting and demonstrations. During this time, the climbers who protested in Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse met at the Uetliberg climbing crag, near Zurich, as the KCÜ (Uetliberg Climbing Club), an informal association of climbers. Members of this anarcho-dadaist association, whose only statute was that all statutes should be repealed, were young sports climbers from the Zurich scene, including Martin Scheel (b. 1960), at the time an apprentice in the field of telecommunications.
As so often in history, the avant-garde declared its protest against established tradition and was willing to push the limits. In June 1979, Martin Scheel, just 19 years old, and his climbing partner at the time, Gregor Benisowitsch, climbed a new route called “Free Trip” up the right side of the enormous layered slab of the north face: eight pitches of exposed, daring crack and dihedral climbing up to VII with just a bolt and three pitons for protection. Martin placed the bolt protecting the first crux only after having climbed the hardest part, while the remaining protection took place in the “clean” style of the time with nuts and hexentrics –”Friends” only became available many years later.
The seed was sown, and a route up the central part of the north face slab had become an obsession for Martin. The following year he returned – again with Gregor Benisowitsch – to attempt a direct line up the holdless slab. A tough section was waiting already at the second pitch: a steep, 25-m, grade VIII right rising traverse, not brilliantly protected by a bolt and three pitons!
After two more VII pitches and a short VI section they reached the first ledge – enough for the first try! The few bolts, which were drilled by hand, cost time and energy and Martin and Gregor rappelled down the route. It sometimes takes more than half an hour before a bolt holds in the hard limestone. Back then, people worked with the new Mammut drilling system: the drill bit was also the expansion bolt for the bolt and it was sometimes necessary to use two drill bits for a bolt in the hard stone – it’s hard to be a hard man…
On the next attempt, Martin and Gregor climbed to the first ledge via the neighboring Free Trip route and crossed to the highest point they had reached. After a VI section to warm up, the crux pitch awaited – a smooth slab leading to a crack. Martin later recalled in an interview with Klettern magazine that “there were two pitches where I stood below with my heart really racing before I started to climb…” Martin constantly had to climb away from the last protection, meter by meter at upper grade VII and low grade VIII, in the hope that he could eventually place a skyhook from which the next bolt or piton could be drilled or hammered in – an arduous and nerve-wracking situation! And then finally a pendulum traverse – then came the crack and shortly thereafter the next belay. But Supertramp fought on and kept presenting new challenges: an almost 30-m dihedral and then more slabs, all upper VI and VII, until they finally reached the summit ridge.
Two years passed before Wolfgang Güllich and his friend Thomas Düll came, saw and conquered on August 11, 1982 – they managed the second ascent in seven hours. Güllich noted soberly in his tour book: “First full-length and first redpoint ascent – a great route in solid rock … all pitches as lead climber.” Later, in Boulder magazine, he wrote that it was “more difficult than the Eastern Alpine top routes Locker vom Hocker [Ed. note: VIII–; first ascent: Güllich/Albert] and Bayrischer Traum [Ed. note: VIII–; first redpoint ascent: Güllich/Albert]. The spell of Supertramp had been broken and it was repeated ten times before 1984.
Rebolting vs. renaturalizing
In the early 1980s, climbing was characterized by the belief in leaving as few traces (bolts) in the rock as possible. “Clean” was the watchword of the day and if bolts were necessary, then their use was to be kept to a minimum. The mental factor was at least as important as the physical factor, so at the time, many tours placed a very high moral standard on those who repeated them.
Then a tsunami called Plaisir rolled across Switzerland and later the entire Alpine region. One of the main initiators of this movement was Jürg von Känel from the Bernese Oberland. He was one of the best Swiss sports climbers of his time and wanted to remove some of the seriousness from rock climbing: he made countless mid-grade routes accessible with optimum bolting. The fact that this idea was enthusiastically adopted by the climbing community goes without saying, as climbers finally no longer had to get to grips with their favorite routes psychologically and could simply climb for “plaisir” (fun).
The opening up of perfectly secured Plaisir routes was complemented by the rebolting of classic climbing routes. And it all happened very quickly – thanks to drills and the support of the Alpine Associations, all the pitons were replaced by bolts on countless old classics. And as if that weren’t enough, the “modern classics” from the 1980s were equipped with new and additional bolts: neither Free Trip nor Supertramp escaped.
The rebolting work on Free Trip involved simply adding, without asking those who first climbed it, as many bolts as were needed to make any mobile means of protection unnecessary for subsequent climbers. Christoph Schaub, a Mammut employee who climbed Free Trip in its old state in the 1990s, rappelled over Free Trip as part of the film work for the Supertramp video and was extremely “surprised in a negative way” about the large number of bolts that had been added.
In the case of Supertramp, those who rebolted the route asked those who had first climbed it and it was agreed that the pitons and bolts placed during the first ascent could be rebolted. And the actual work followed quickly: Supertramp was rebolted in 2004/2005 – and how! Friends of Martin climbed the route and found out that they didn’t have to use any additional nuts or Friends, so they asked those who made the first ascent whether they could “renaturalize” it. After consultation with Martin Scheel, 28 bolts were removed from Supertramp in 2009. Martin wrote that on his website :
“The so-called ‘risk sports’ are an important way for people to fulfill themselves without jeopardizing others. The point is that not just the mass and commerce have the say, but that a field of activity remains for minorities. Pushing through a certain style with no regard for others is an ideological cul-de-sac that was attempted decades ago – back then it was called ‘superdirettissima’, today it is known as ‘plaisir.”‘ And on the subject of “copyright” for those who made the first ascent, he added: “In my opinion, this is more pronounced the more important the route is for the history of climbing. Milestones such as “Der Weg durch den Fisch”, “Supertramp”, “Silbergeier” and others must not be destroyed under any circumstance; the value of these climbs lies partly in their seriousness.”
Heidi and Peter the goatherd
Welcome to Heidiland! Is that Heidi and Peter the goatherd walking across the lush alpine meadows between the peaceful, grazing cows? No, it’s two Mammut athletes on the way to begin the Supertramp route – David Lama (26, from Tirol, Austria) and Katherine Choong (24, from Glovelier, Switzerland) want to repeat Martin Scheel’s legendary route 36 years after the first ascent. Introducing David to the climbing world would be like taking tea to China: he cemented his place in the history of alpinism with the first redpoint ascent of Cerro Torre. Katherine is primarily a sports climber with competition ambitions and got people talking with high positions in the Junior European and World Championships. She is understandably excited because Supertramp is one of her first multi-pitch routes: “There are certainly worse things than climbing such a historic route with David!” she later said.
David and Katherine climb like clockwork, alternating leads up the shady slab, David climbing the two 6c+ pitches as lead, as the intermediate protection is sometimes quite far apart on those. David praises his partner, saying “we more or less took turns to lead – what she achieved was fantastic, especially considering her lack of experience in alpine terrain!” The climbing rhythm is broken just once – on an attempt to free-climb the pendulum traverse, a hold breaks and he rushes back along the entire traverse. The next attempt works out and David manages the free 7b+ version. As Katherine climbs the last pitch to the summit, the sun hits the face and shrouds the climbers in the golden light of the evening – could there be a better end for such a classic?
Both Katherine and David agree on reflection that Supertramp is a pioneering achievement in the history of climbing. “I admire Martin Scheel and his achievement,” says Katherine. “More than three decades ago, with the old equipment and these mental demands – it was a big deal. In contrast with where the focus is today, namely on the physical climbing ability, psychology played a really big role back then. Martin wrote climbing history with this first ascent.” “Martin certainly is not the first person to attempt to transfer the challenges of safe sports climbing to alpine terrain, nor will he be the last,” adds David “but for me his route is still one of the pioneering achievements of climbing. Martin found the simplest logical line through a clearly defined face – a feat of creativity!”, he explains.
History is a story is a story
Events only become a history when you look back on them, place them in sequence, compare them and assess them. A look at the history book of the north face of the Bockmattli has revealed that between 1947 and 2016 climbing history was written by the best of their time and that they have many stories to tell.
Written history does not judge, it records these stories: classic climbing, the beginning of free climbing, the years of grade climbing and the Plaisir climbing of today. Let’s give the last word to Katherine Choong, a representative of the new generation of sports climbers: “Climbing is a multi-faceted sport! There are performance-oriented climbers, who wish to push their limits, there are those who primarily seek the adventure and physical challenge, and there are those who just want to have fun climbing. But in the end, we all share the same passion. It’s a passion that unites us and teaches us values like respect and openness towards other
byPeterErni on 22-08-2012 8:59 – last edited on by
Just a year after the ascent of the Jungfrau along different routes which served as the kick-off for the 150 peak climbs in Mammut’s anniversary year, CEO Rolf Schmid is scaling another spectacular mountain in the Jungfrau region.
Schmid is climbing the 4,107-meter Mönch together with company heads Andreas Meyer (SBB), André Béchir (Good News), Ernst Kohler (Rega) and Urs Kessler (Jungfraubahnen). While conquering the summit a year ago served as the starting shot for the biggest peak project in history, thanks to the unforgettable impressions of the first tour, the executives spontaneously decided to undertake a second joint tour last Saturday.
In the interview, Rolf Schmid gives exciting insights into this impressive experience:
Mammut: What was the reason for the Mönch ascent?
Schmid: Already a year ago, on 3 August 2011, together with a group of friends, on the occasion of the start of our 150 peak tours and the 200th anniversary of the first ascent of the Jungfrau, I was able to reach the latter’s summit. That proved to be so much fun for all of us that we decided to do another tour the following year.
«We had perfect weather conditions.»
Mammut: What was the most impressive experience on the tour?
Schmid: We had perfect weather conditions and therefore a fantastic view for miles all around, including of course the unique mountain panorama.
Mammut: This was already your second time standing on the Mönch: how did the two climbs differ from one another?
Schmid: When I did my first ascent of the Mönch it was in early November. At that time of year there is significantly more snow, it was a lot colder and much windier. This time on the summit we had a comfortable 5-6°C, all in all perfect conditions.
«The Eiger belongs among the summits that I’d like to climb… one day.»
Mammut: When climbing a 4,000 metre high peak, what are the three most important things in your packpack?
Schmid: Apart from the obvious items like cramons, warm clothing, etc., for me the following three articles are especially important: dried mango fruits, a thermos bottle of Mate Tee (which is traditionally considered to be performance-boosting and hunger-suppressing), which I moreover brought back from my last trip to South America and my trekking sticks, which I like to use during the descent.
Mammut: Recently our Pro Team athlete Stephan Siegrist became the first alpinist ever to conquer the three Cerro peaks in the winter, when will you complete your own Berner Oberland Trilogy with the Eiger?
Schmid: This year the weekends and my holidays are already booked with other tours. And also for the coming year it isn’t on my tour wish list, but nevertheless the Eiger belongs among the summits that I’d like to climb… one day.
The story broadcast on the Glanz & Gloria show on Swiss TV channel SRF: “Spitzenkräfte auf der Bergspitze”
Photos: Thomas Ulrich
byMammut 22-05-2016 16:40 – edited
A new milestone in virtual mountaineering was celebrated this week, as the four Nepalese mountain guides Lakpa Sherpa and Pemba Rinji Sherpa and their supporters Kusang Sherpa and Ang Kaji Sherpa became the first men in the world to document the whole South route to the summit of Mount Everest with a 360° camera rig for Mammut’s #project360. The full route is now online and can be seen at http://project360.mammut.ch.
Capturing the breathtaking views from the world’s highest mountain, Mammut’s #project360 plays a pioneering role in bringing the real life Mount Everest experience into peoples’ living rooms – without special effects, animations or computer generated images.
This spectacular route now can be experienced in breathtaking full 360° panoramas at http://project360.mammut.ch. In addition, all of Everest’s most iconic passages are highlighted with feature videos and exciting bonus information
Setting off in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu the #project360 expedition was spearheaded by virtual reality expert and technical director of the project, Matthias Taugwalder. He initiated the #project360 with Mammut two years ago when they documented the first 360° ascents of classic Alpine routes on the Eiger North Face and the Matterhorn’s Hoernli ridge.
Taking their pioneering virtual mountaineering expeditions to the ultimate heights, the #project360 Everest expedition started near Lhukla. After the blessings of a local Buddhist monk, the expedition members set off by foot to make their way to the Everest Basecamp at the bottom of the Khumbu glacier at 5380 meters of altitude.
In the base camp the preparations for the ascent to the summit started immediately and apart from preparing the camera kit, technical director of #project360 Taugwalder also explained the equipment to the Sherpas, who climbed all the way up to the summit with the 360° rigs. After the customary Buddhist Puja ceremony, where the Sherpa climbers asked the divine Mount Everest for clear passage, the serious climbing began.
For Mammut it was absolutely clear right from the beginning that Sherpas would be the only appropriate candidates for this challenging summit endeavor. Mount Everest is home of the Gods to the Nepali people and therefore it is their call whether the whole climb should be documented in full panoramas. Climbing Everest is a great honor for every Sherpa and a very respectable job in the Himalaya. After all, the first people setting foot on top of the world’s highest mountain were a Sherpa and his New Zealand climbing partner: Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary.
Without hesitation Lakpa Sherpa, the leader of the 2016 #project360 expedition underlines that he is proud to carry one of the cameras to the roof of the world. “I see great value in the project that shows both beauty and threat climbing Mount Everest”, says the professional mountain guide and founding member of the Nepal National Mountain Guides Association. For this cutting edge project he roped up with mountain guide colleague Pempa Rinji Sherpa who also summited Everest several times. But it is not without the help of Kusang Sherpa and Ang Kaji Sherpa that the summit was possible. The two experienced Sherpas and climbers supported the two mountaineers to make the expedition successful.
Straight after Basecamp the first challenge of the ascent awaited when the climbers had to navigate through the Khumbu glacier’s labyrinth of seracs, ice walls and crevasses. The constant movement of the highest glacier in the world makes this 2,6 kilometer long climb an unpredictable and dangerous passage, where the equipment and the climbers’ abilities are put through a first real test.
After camp 1 a two-to three hour long climb took the #project360 team members through the Western Cwm, which is also known as the Valley of Silence as it is sheltered from winds by the gigantic Lhotse, Nuptse and Everest mountains. Notorious for its changeable weather pattern, temperatures can drop from 40 degrees Celsius to below Zero in hours, but Lakpa Sherpa and his colleagues crossed this section successfully and arrived in Camp 2, also called Advanced Base Camp (ABC).
Once they’ve come through the Bergschrund on the foot of the Lhotse face, the two experienced Nepalese mountaineers tackled the blank ice of this challenging face between 6400 and 7324 meters of altitude. On this tricky climb, which on average is between 40 and 50 degrees steep, trust into the equipment and your climbing partner is essential. On arrival in camp 3 the team took a deserved rest. Now the acclimatization to the altitude was key.
In such great heights, resting and saving energy are the most important factors that tip the scales for success or failure. Even with supplementary bottled oxygen a human being can only survive roughly 48 hours in the “death zone” above 8000 meters of altitude. Acclimatization is basically to trick the body. By regularly pushing the night camp up higher followed by rest days in lower regions, the body produces red blood cells that are responsible for the oxygen intake. The calculation seems easy: the more red blood cells, the better the oxygen intake. However, only very few and only the fittest of alpinists can try to climb Everest without oxygen.
Strong winds and drastic temperature changes made the next two technical passages – Yellow Band and Geneva Spur – also very challenging, and the climbing with crampons was even for seasoned mountaineers like the four Sherpas extremely tiring and needed full focus. The next stop at 7989 meters was South Col/Camp 4, where the #project360 crew stopped for a rest before pushing on to the summit. Even with oxygen supply climbing in this altitude is extremely tiring and handling the crampons and fixed lines with thick gloves is also a challenge. The final rest stop before the summit was on a platform known as ‘Balcony’ where the Sherpas re-supplied with oxygen before the final push.
But not only climbers’ abilities are put to a test climbing in this altitude. To document the whole route in panorama images required a fully automated camera system that works reliably even in harshest conditions. Together with Mammut, #project360 initiator Taugwalder developed and tested a system that met the requirements of even climbing Everest. Six GoPro cameras are synched in a cube, shooting pictures every 30 seconds while a second camera rig films the whole time. Nevertheless, the Sherpa team has to check the cameras from time to time and repairing malfunctioning equipment at this altitude can be an additional challenge.
After the South summit at 8750 meters, a steep, knife-edge ridge posed another threat for the Sherpas, as this is the most exposed section of the Everest with the South-East ridge going down more than 2400 meters and the Kangshung face even 3350 meters. Next up is the key section of the whole climb, the Hillary Step at 8790 meters. Climbing on fixed ropes and with only little oxygen extreme focus is essential on this 12-meter long, almost vertical, rocky face. This passage is infamous for producing long waiting times due to other climbers going up and down. After the Sherpas mastered the world’s most well-known climbing crux, it was only 60 meters of altitude before they reached the summit and became the first mountaineers that managed to capture the whole route to the summit of Mount Everest with 360-degree camera rigs.
A personal triumph for the four Sherpas, a milestone in virtual mountaineering and the triumphant highlight to Mammut’s #project360.
Photos: Matthias Taugwalder / #project360
The ELEMENT Barryvox® package provides you with all the avalanche equipment you need for freeriding, backcountry skiing or ski touring: The ELEMENT digital 3-antenna device is distinguished by its very simple operation and clear instructions. ThePROBE 240 lightweight avalanche probe is safe and easy to use, even when wearing gloves, while the small and compact ALUGATOR RIDE avalanche shovel with a blade made from hardened and anodized aluminum reduces packing volume to a minimum.
|Maximum range:||60 m|
|Digital search strip width:||50 m|
|Type:||ELEMENT Barryvox® package|
YOU CAN BUY IT OR RENT IT IN YOUR MAMMUT SHOP IN VIELHA, VAL D´ARAN, SPAIN
For more info, get in contact with us
by Mammut 17-11-2015 16:07 – edited
Down is an irreplaceable insulation material for top performance in functional outdoor clothing. To take positive action to combat unethical down production, Mammut is implementing the newly created Responsible Down Standard.
Outdoor sports enthusiasts are often exposed to harsh climatic conditions. They need to be able to rely on their clothing implicitly at all times and in every situation. The insulation material of choice for top performance is down. In terms of weight, compressibility and insulation value, this important natural material remains unrivaled by any synthetic alternative.
«From the very start, Mammut has placed great emphasis on ensuring the use of down from ethical and responsible operations.»
Unfortunately, some down production operations use unethical and inhumane practices, such as force feeding and live plucking. A situation that is intolerable in the outdoor sports world, with its close ties to nature, for consumers and for us as a company.
Photo: Stefan Schlumpf
From the very start, Mammut has therefore placed great emphasis on ensuring the use of down from ethical and responsible operations. With effect from the 2015/2016 winter collection, Mammut will now become one of the first brands to use down certified according to the new Responsible Down Standard in its apparel line. The standard ensures the humane husbandry and treatment of geese and ducks, improves animal welfare and provides a global guarantee throughout the entire down industry of traceability all the way back to the chicks.
«We are aiming to switch entirely to RDS-certified down four our 2016 summer collection.»
The RDS gives Mammut the reassurance that the company’s ideals are being upheld in its own down supply chain and gibes its customers the certainty of knowing that it is making every possible effort to ensure the responsible procurement of the down used in Mammut products.
According to current calculations, at least 70% of the down used in the Mammut 15/16 winter collection will be RDS-certified. We are aiming to switch entirely to RDS-certified down for our 2016 summer collection (apparel and sleeping bags).
byMammut 10-12-2015 14:45 – edited
Stephan Siegrist is at home on the Eiger north face, but feels happiest climbing unknown mountains in distant lands. He travels the world, experiencing each year more adventures than most people do in an entire lifetime. Mammut has been accompanying him for 20 years.
December 1995: 23-year old carpenter Stephan Siegrist, or Stef for short, was sitting in his tent in Patagonia. This was his first expedition to his remote area of the world, motivated by a desire to climb its world-famous granite needles. His expedition partner, the Swiss photographer Thomas Ulrich, had handled both the planning of the Patagonia trip and the equipment, in the form of two complete outfits from two different mountain sports brands – invaluable for these two young men. The climbers had been given these functional jackets and pants in return for the promise of some photos from their ascents.
«He initially had no interest in turning pro.»
However, on the first attempt wearing outfit number one, bad weather rendered their efforts impossible. When Stef left his tent for the second attempt, he was sporting a brand-new orange and blue Extreme combination supplied by Mammut. It looked somewhat unusual, perhaps even rather unsightly, but was highly functional and visible from a long distance away. The photo shoot went well and at the end of their successful expedition the climbers brought back some fantastic shots for Mammut.
As well as photos from his expedition, Stef also gave the Mammut product developers detailed feedback on how the equipment had performed under these extreme conditions. This led to a cooperation at an equipment level, bringing mutual benefits. At the age of 26, he turned his hobby into a career and became a mountain guide. He initially had no interest in turning pro.
«Stef Siegrist was becoming the face of the brand for many people in Switzerland.»
However, the decision was taken out of Stef’s hands in 1999, when he was invited to appear on „Eiger Live“, a 30-hour live TV report broadcast on Swiss television. Accompanied by three other alpinists (Ralf Dujmovits, Evelyne Binsack and Hansruedi Gertsch), Stef became the youngest climber in the rope team that scaled the north face of the Eiger, watched by hundreds of thousands of spellbound viewers at home. 1999 also marked the 27-year old climber’s breakthrough onto the international scene: the first successful winter ascent of the west face of Cerro Torre in Patagonia earned Stef a feature in National Geographic and propelled his name far beyond the German-speaking world.
Over the next few years, the partnership with his main sponsor went from strength to strength. As Stef traveled to distant mountains, explored the Himalayas and made repeated trips to Patagonia, photos from his climbs were also increasingly featuring in Mammut’s advertisements. To a certain extent, Stef Siegrist was becoming the face of the brand for many people in Switzerland.
«These mutual successes in no way altered the friendly relationship.»
In parallel to increasing international recognition for Stef’s alpine achievements, the Mammut brand was also experiencing exponential growth. Employee numbers increased from 60 to 600 and turnover soared from 20 million to 200 million. However, these mutual successes in no way altered the friendly relationship.
Despite all the trips to distant lands, one Swiss mountain still had a special significance for Stef: the Eiger. He first climbed the north face at the age of twenty, going on to scale it a further 32 times over the years. He has climbed the mountain in the attire of the first ascenders, been filmed by TV cameras for “Eiger Live” and even carried a heavy 8kg camera cube all the way to the top.
«It turned out to be a long and spectacular anniversary tour.»
So it was hardly surprising that, in the spring of 2015, Rolf Schmid suggested an ascent of the Eiger to mark their „joint“ 20th anniversary. Stef agreed and chose the west side of the mountain for the ascent. However, what he omitted to tell the vertigo-afflicted Rolf Schmid until the summit was that the route for the descent led over the exposed and technically demanding Eigerjöcher. It turned out to be a long and spectacular anniversary tour, one that Rolf Schmid will have memories of for a long time to come.
Even after 20 years in the professional sports world, Stef has no intention of easing off the pace. His most recent trip took him to the mountain landscapes of Kashmir, still relatively unexplored in mountaineering terms. “There are lots of beautiful mountains there that nobody in Europe knows about, still completely unscaled.” In any case, Mammut wishes Stef every success and lots of fun on his next projects and is looking forward to the next 20 years.
Cover photo: Thomas Senf
Further photos: Thomas Ulrich, Rainer Eder, Daniel Bartsch, Thomas Senf
REAL LIFE TEST – MAMMUT R.A.S. AVALANCHE AIRBAG
by Mammut on 19-11-2015 11:25 – last edited on by
Tests under sterile laboratory conditions are important, but for non-technical experts they can sometimes be rather boring. The ability of Mammut’s Removable Airbag Systems (R.A.S.) to cope with an emergency situation in the mountains was subjected to an impressive test, and the results can now be seen in a video.
The Falquet brothers put Mammut’s avalanche airbag through a very extensive test in the French
Alps. The need for a real avalanche left no room for half-measures. Together with mountainguides, a helicopter, several explosive charges and some helpers, a freeride emergency scenario was staged.
«Dummies were subjected to massive volumes of snow»
Following some heavy snowfalls, the guides and the Falquet brothers flew to snow-covered slopes. Two dummies wearing inflated avalanche airbags were lowered from the helicopter into the avalanche zone. Explosive charges placed above the dummies were then used to trigger an avalanche.
With an amazing result: even after the avalanche had swept over the dummies, the bright red color of the airbag allowed them to be located without extensive searching, as can be seen in the video. A short sequence also shows that in this scenario it took around just one minute to dig the dummies out of the snow.
«Keep your head up»
The video also shows that the heads of these life-size dummies remained closed to the surface after the avalanche had struck. According to Mammut, this significantly increases the chances of survival. The special design of the air cushion reduces the risk of injuries to the spine and
by PeterErni 28-10-2015 14:10 – edited
After an avalanche, every second counts, as after just 15 minutes the chances of survival for anyone buried under the snow drop dramatically. Mammut has been working on the issue of avalanche safety for years: avoiding accidents and ensuring rapid rescue are the top priorities.
«Avoiding accidents and ensuring rapid rescue are the top priorities.»
Mammut PULSE Barryvox
PULSE Barryvox Intelligent Search
Our developers have been working intensively to optimize our PULSE Barryvox. The result is a simplified and even more effective search for buried subjects following an avalanche. The improved graphics-guided and audio-supported fine search revolutionizes fine searching in a cross (bracketing) in the last few meters. Indication of the probing point can help to locate a buried subject not only more precisely, but also faster. Bearing in mind that every second saved in an emergency can mean the difference between life and death, this new feature makes a valuable contribution to safety.
«It helps locate a buried subject not only more precisely, but also faster.»
Audio-supported fine searching in a cross (bracketing) is simplified by using arrows. These clearly show on the display the direction to walk in, based on the distance and signal information in relation to the avalanche transceiver.
By providing this information on when to change search direction, the device supports you and indicates when to change from fine searching in a cross (bracketing) to probing (pinpointing). The starting point for guided fine searching also adapts dynamically to the depth of burial and the device guides the rescuer based on the remaining distance to the buried subject using one or more fine searching processes in a cross (bracketing).