Tom Wallisch

Hansjörg Auer

Alpinist

Hansjörg has always believed that mountains are not just places of mesmerising beauty but also gateways to excitement and new experiences. As a young boy growing up in Austria, beneath the jagged pinnacles of the Dolomites, he and his brother would guide sheep from the family farm into the mountains every summer and the thrill which accompanied those special moments of independence still follows him on his mountain adventures today.

 

QUICK FACTS

 

Birthdate: February 18th, 1984

Hometown: Ötztal, Austria

Homebase: Umhausen, Austria 

Favourite Book: Life Of Pi, Yann Martel

Favourite Movie: Django Unchained

Favourite Food: Kaiserschmarrn. A typical sweet Austrian dish.

Favourite Song: The ones on my expedition iPod

Biggest Dream: An old Austrian climber once said: “It’s easy to become a strong climber, but hard to become an old one.” The game is on!

Best advice ever received: Take it easy and accept it when you fail.

What inspires you? The achievements of the early climbers, explorers and alpinists.

How do you fight fear or doubt? Self-confidence

Words to live by: “Alpinism is a passion always swinging between sanity and insanity. I love playing passion.” – Hansjoerg Auer

Favourite fitness exercise (not climbing!) Running, Cross country skiing, ski-mountaineering

I don’t leave the house without ... My Thermoball Jacket

 

 

The North Face: Common Ground

In July 2015, team climbers Hansjorg Auer, Jacopo Larcher, Siebe Vanhee, Iker Pou and Enekeo Pou set out to Siberia to explore the elusive Chukotka region of Siberia. With the goal of exploring and opening new routes this is a story of five technically different climbers coming together to share their passion of the big wall.

Movie: Common Ground, Siberia 

 

Biography

Hansjörg has always believed that mountains are not just places of mesmerising beauty but also gateways to excitement and new experiences. As a young boy growing up in Austria, beneath the jagged pinnacles of the Dolomites, he and his brother would guide sheep from the family farm into the mountains every summer and the thrill which accompanied those special moments of independence still follows him on his mountain adventures today.

Having first sampled climbing on an indoor wall at the age of 12, he was soon fascinated by the heroes of mountaineering. Every Christmas he would ask for new books by great climbers such as Reinhold Messner, Hans Kammerlander and Hermann Buhl. But when he was 18 years old he realised that if he wanted to push his own talent to the limit, he would need more skills. Over the following years he embraced sport climbing, multi-pitch climbing, alpinism and crack climbing. Armed with a full spectrum of skills, he has since travelled the world in pursuit of fresh challenges.

Hansjörg believes that adventure should always come with excitement. He is a skilled practitioner of free solo climbing, which he sees as the purest form of climbing. His free solo ascent of The Fish (otherwise known as "Il Pesce" or "Weg durch den Fisch") in 2007 - a stunning 37-pitch slab on the south face of the Marmolada in the Italian Dolomites – is his most iconic achievement.

When he’s not enjoying the thrill of free solo climbing, he loves to make first ascents. He will never tire of the special excitement that comes from climbing a new route or reaching a summit where no climber has been before. In 2010, together with his climbing partner, Much Mayr, he made the first ascent of "Waiting for Godot" in Patagonia’s Torres del Paine, while his 2013 first ascent of Kunyang Chhish East (7400m) in the Karakorum Mountains, via the 2700m high southwest face, was one of the milestones of modern alpinism.

After conquering big walls in Siberia and on Baffin Island in recent years, today his focus is on high walls and high mountains. In the future he hopes to accomplish more first ascents but also to repeat and adapt classic routes. Wherever he travels, his philosophy is simple: the more question marks you have before an expedition, the greater the satisfaction when you reach the top. It is this excitement of the unknown that keeps him coming back for more. 

 

Career Highlights 

  • Free Solo of Tempi Moderni (6c/ 800 m), Fish (7b+/ 850 m), Locker vom Hocker (7a/ 350 m) and Bayrischer Traum (7a/ 400 m) and Mephisto (6c+/400m)
  • First Free Ascent of L’ultimo dei Paracadutisti (8b+/ 650 m) on Marmolada Southwestface 
  • First Ascent of Bruderliebe (8b/800m) on Marmolada Southface
  • First Ascent of Kunyang Chhish East (7400 m) via the 2700m high southwest face
  • First Ascent of the south face on Nilgiri South (6839 m) – (RIP my good friend Gerry)
  • Sportclimbing up to 8c+ and first ascents up to 8c 
  • Alpine rock climbs up to 8c