'Black Madonna'

Ines Papert achieved the first ascent of the south-west face of Untersberg in the Hochthron Berchtesgaden Alps . Sometimes it takes a few years from the time an alpinist has an idea to the actual climb happening - perhaps more so when the wall is not on a far-off continent! That's indeed what happened with the south-west wall of the Untersberg massif in the Berchtesgaden Alps.

Ines Papert at Black Madonna

The south-west wall of the Untersberg

"In 2008, together with Stefan Rass, I continued a line that had been started a long time ago by Michael Grassl ("Gschlossei") on the south-west wall of Untersberg in the Hochthron Berchtesgaden. Stefan and I bolted the route in a direct line from the bottom. After the technical climb, it became clear that a free ascent could be quite difficult. But I never imagined that in the end it would take a full four years until I could redpoint the route," Ines explained about the starting point in 2008.

Certainly it was also due to the fact that the route was as good as on Ines' "home turf" and often just a pure lack of time meant the climb didn't come to pass: "In the end, I had to recognize that it would took some effort to free climb the six pitches."

With her good friend Lisi Steurer, she finally started a highly motivated attempt in October: "On the 6th of October 2013 we both stood at the base of the wall. With optimal autumn conditions, we were convinced that we could both be successful that day. I was able to climb the first pitch for the first time before tomorrow's warmer temperatures set in. It was damn close - I had no power reserves left in my forearm - as I jubilantly reached the first belay without falling. Immediately, Lisi let me down. Now she was leading. I so wanted my friend to send the pitch. But her foot slipped from the face - as happened to me so often before - and she fell on the rope right before the belay. Lisi's second attempt also failed. We then decided to keep climbing. I sent all the rest of the pitches on first go, albeit with great effort, on this gorgeous autumn day. Even the next to the last - a 7c. By late afternoon I stood at the top together with my friend Lisi. To be able to share this very special day with my friend meant a lot to me. I promised to come along with Lisi on the route until she successful sends it too.

Facts
- 180m face height
- Route name: Schwarze Madonna (Black Madonna)
- Suggested grade: 10- (8a+)
- 6 pitches (8a+, 7a, 6c, 7b+, 7c, 6a)