Hansjörg Auer: No Turning Back
A beautiful film about one man’s motivations that drive him to the mountains.By Rock and Ice | December 21st, 2017
Until Alex Honnold’s free solo of El Capitan, Hansjörg Auer’s free solo of Via Attraverso il Pesce—”The Fish Route,” an 850-meter 7b+ (5.12c) on the South Face of Marmolada in the Dolomites, Italy—was an easy contender for the boldest, most cutting free solo ever completed (along with Honnold’s prior solos of the Regular Northwest Face (VI 5.12) on Half Dome, and El Sendero Luminoso (VI 5.12d) in El Potrero Chico, Mexico).
Unlike Honnold and some of the other premier soloists of the past 50 years—John Bachar, Michael Reardon, Derek Hersey, Brad Gobright, to name a few—Auer grew up climbing not just technical rock, but the icy and snowy faces in European mountain ranges, seeking solitude at the nearest climbing discipline at hand. As he earned a name for himself as a free soloist, he simultaneously pursued trips to the Greater Ranges.
To date he has made a number of dazzling ascents in the Himalayas, experienced tragedy on one climb in particular, and continues to push himself in all disciplines.