Kurt Albert 去世

原文:Legendary German Climber Kurt Albert Killed
翻译: Steven

Kurt Albert是德国传奇的攀岩者,他作为高难度线路的先锋,对攀岩运动在德国及其他地区的发展有着重大的影响。

他还和Wolfgang Gullich(德国另外一名伟大的攀岩者)在1989年首攀了可能是世界上最终极的攀岩线路,位于Trango塔峰的–永恒的火焰。

Albert从14岁起就开始攀岩,并首攀了德国境内无数条线路,包括经典的线路—(对抗地心引力)Fight Gravity (UIAA 8+)。他在全世界攀登界有众多的朋友,并且将被攀登届深切地怀念。



  1. Kurt Albert is dead. Goodbye to a climbing legend
    29/09/2010 – by Planetmountain

    German climbing legend Kurt Albert died yesterday at 20.45 aged 56 following the accident last Sunday on a via ferrata in Bavaria, Germany on Sunday.

    It’s impossible to know where to start. Perhaps from the tragic end. Kurt Albert died yesterday evening in the Erlangen hospital in Bavaria, Germany. Kurt failed to recover from the serious injuries after falling from the Höhenglücksteig via ferrata on Sunday. Precise details of the accident are unknown, but these seem superfluous. What counts is that one of the world’s most prolific and successful sport climbers and alpinists is no longer with us.

    Albert’s importance and influence of our sport cannot be underestimated. Born on 28 January 1954 in Nürnberg, he began climbing at 14 years of age in his local Frankenjura and soon progressed to classic alpine routes, such as the Walker Spur on the Grandes Jorasses and the North Face of the Eiger, as well routes in the Italian Dolomites which he held in the highest regard. While these alpine climbs laid the groundwork for Albert’s future career, his young heart lay in exploring and pushing the physical limits of rock climbing which, at the time, lay in its embryonic stage and was stifled by old traditions which seemed in contrast with the new dreams and energies of the “young” free climbing movement.

    After an early trip to the Elbsandstein in Saxony Albert realised that technical aid climbing was a dead-end street and that the future lay elsewhere. So, in 1975 he solved the conflict between the generations, between the aid and free climbers, by introducing the “rotpunkt” philosophy. By painting a red dot at the base of a route he indicated that a line had been climbed free, without the use of any aid whatsoever, which was left in place for those still wishing to climb existing routes in the original manner. The idea of free climbing spread like wildfire across the globe and along with “on-sight”, Albert’s term “redpoint” is nowadays considered to be the basis on which performances are measured in this sport.

    Together with a handful of other young climbers including Wolfgang “Flipper” Fietz, Norbert Bätz, Norbert Sandner and a short while later his close friend Wolfgang Güllich, Albert immediately set about establishing harder and harder routes in his Frankenjura. In 1977 he carried out the first ascent of “Osterweg” (VIII-), while his “Sautanz” (IX-, 1981) and above all “Magnet” (IX,1982) are considered true milestones in German sport climbing. Albert became a leading figure in his country, so much so that in 1984 he, Wolfgang Güllich and Sepp Gschwendtner were awarded the “Silberne Lorbeerblatt” – the highest sport accolade – by the German government for their services to climbing.

    But Albert’s interest in the vertical sphere was by no means limited to the innumerable crags dotted throughout the Frankenjura and along with some of Germany’s finest climbers he soon turned his attention to exporting the repoint ideal to the biggest walls in the world.

    In 1987 he travelled to the massive Tre Cime di Lavaredo in the Dolomites where, together with Gerold Sprachmann, he carried out the first free ascent of the Swiss route on Cima Ovest as well as he first free ascent of the world famous Hasse – Brandler on Cima Grande. In 1988 he travelled to the Karakorum with Wolfgang Güllich and Hartmut Münchenbach and carried out the first free ascent of the Yugoslav route (Slavko Cankar, Francek Knez, Bojan Srot, 1987) up the 6242m high Nameless Tower on Trango Tower. In many respects this expedition was a mere “warm-up” to one of Albert’s most prestigious creations, the nearby “Eternal Flame”, climbed in the summer of 1989 along with Wolfgang Güllich, Christof Stiegler and Milan Sykora. The four forged a new line up the Nameless Tower spied the previous year and the ascent proved an enticing mix of raw courage and blind determination, especially towards the end when Stiegler and Sykora had to return home. With Güllich injured, Albert pulled out all the stops to reach the summit, resulting in free climbing up to 7b+ and four sections of aid. “Eternal Flame” paved the way for a new dimension of sport climbing in the Himalaya, touching on difficulties hitherto unthought of.

    Not only the Himalaya. The Albert – Güllich climbing partnership proved so successful (the two lived together for 11 years) that a year later the duo teamed up with Norbert Bätz, Peter Dittrich and Bernd Arnold to establish the beautiful “Riders on the Storm”, a direct 1300m line up the compact granite East Face of Paine’s Central Tower. Patagonia impressed Albert deeply and in 1995 he returned with Bernd Arnold once again, and with Jorg Gerschel and Lutz Richter he established the 44 pitch, 7c/A2 “Royal Flush” on the East Pillar of Fitz Roy. Of all his big walls, Albert always considered this as his most important.

    Although always extremely at ease at home in front of a big mug of coffee in the company of close friends such as Jerry Moffatt, the former teacher of physics and mathematics constantly sought new challenges. This is how the idea of confronting the mountains “by fair means” came about, which translated into approaching some of the world’s remotest peaks without the use of porters or motorised assistance. At the start of the new millennium he experimented this concept together with Stefan Glowacz, Holger Hember and Gerd Heidorn by climbing the 500m “Odyssey 2000″ on Baffin Island’s granite Polar Bear Spire. More than just a route, the line was the culmination of an epic adventure which the four climbers completed in complete autonomy, transporting all the gear for over 400km in one of the most inhospitable parts of the planet.

    Albert embraced this new philosophy with open arms and this immediately became his Leitmotif in the years that followed, often in the compnay of Stefan Glowacz. Almost no season went by without a significant first ascent of some remote big wall across the globe and by “fair means” has become synonymous with a purest form of climbing possible and adopted by some of the world’s finest climbers.

    Kurt Albert first experimented this pure form of climbing as a gifted youngster in the late 60’s at his local crags, in the Frankenjura. 50 years later, he has left his lasting impression on some of the finest mountains in the world.

    Kurt Albert -significant ascents and dates
    1954 Born in Nürnberg, Germany on 28/01
    1968 Started climbing in home Frankenjura
    1973 Trip to the Elbsandstein. Opened eyes to potential of free climbing
    1975 Development of the Rotpunkt philosophy. The Adolf-Rott-Ged. Weg (VI+) in the Frankenjura was the first route to be marked with a red dot
    1977 FA Devil’s Crack (VII) & Osterweg (VIII-), Frankenjura
    1979 Solo Devil’s Crack (VII), Röthelfels, Frankenjura
    1980 FA Rubberneck (VIII+), Richard Wagnser Fels, Frankenjura
    1981 FA Sautanz (IX-), Frankenjura
    1982 FA Magnet (IX-), the hardest route in the Frankenjura
    1986 Solo Fight Gravity (VIII+), Richard Wagnser Fels, Frankenjura
    1987 FFA Hasse – Brandler (VIII) on Cima Grande, Dolomites
    1987 FFA Swiss Route (IX-) on Cima Ovest, Dolomites
    1987 Solo Rubberneck (VIII+), Richard Wagnser Fels, Frankenjura
    1988 Solo Courage Fouyons (7b), Buoux, France
    1988 FFA Yugoslav route (7a+), Nameless Tower, Karakorum
    1989 FA Eternal Flame (IX-, 3 points of aid), Nameless Tower, Karakorum
    1990 FA Riders on the Storm (IX), Paine Central Tower, Patagonia
    1993 FA Stairway to Heaven (IX), Roraima, Venezuela
    1994 FA Moby Dick (IX+), Ulamertorsuaq, Greenland
    1995 FA Royal Flush (IX), Fitz Roy, Patagonia
    1995 FA Fitzcarraldo (VIII+) Mount Harrison Smith, Cirque of Unclimbables, Canada
    1996 FA Gelbe Mauer (IX) Tre Cime di Lavaredo
    1997 FA Nordlicht (VIII+), Tupilak, Greenland
    1998 FA El Condorito (IX), Aguja St. Exupery, Patagonia
    1999 FA Vela y Viento (IX-), Aguja Mermoz, Patagonia
    1999 FA Hart am Wind (VIII+), Cape Renard Tower, Antarctica
    2000 Repeat of Franco Argentine route, Fitz Roy, Patagonia
    2000 FA Odyssee 2000 (VIII+, 500m), Baffin Island, Canada
    2002 FA on Vampire Peak (VIII+), Lotus Mountain, Canada
    2003 Repeat Story About Dancing Dogs (IX/600m) Mt. Poi, Ndoto Mountains, Kenya
    2006 FA El Purgatorio (650m/IX), Acopan Tepuis, Venzuela
    2007 Expedition to Sablija, Ural, Russia
    2008 FA El Nido del TirikTirik (7b/400m) Castillo, Venezuela
    2009 FA Hotel Guácharo (7a+/550m) Roraima-Tepuis, Venezuela
    FA = First ascent
    FFA = First free ascent

  2. Kurt Albert (1/24/1954 – 9/28/2010)
    By Jesse Guthrie

    Editor’s note: Just as we shipped Climbing No. 290 (in which this interview is featured) to our printer, we learned the terrible news that Kurt Albert had died after a fall in Germany. This interview, one of Albert’s last, now serves as a tribute to a remarkable man. Climbing sends its sincere condolences to Albert’s family and his many friends around the world.

    In 1975, Kurt Albert, now 56, painted a red circle on the limestone at the base of Adolf Rott Ged.-Weg, on Streitberger Schild in Germany’s Frankenjura cragging region—his idea of a way to denote that the climb’s moves had been freed. When Albert did the route bottom to top, no falls, he filled in the circle and a new term was born: the rotpunkt, or redpoint.

    One of the most charming, funny, and outrageous climbers of our time (he was famously photographed climbing free solo, hanging from an overhang by one arm and hoisting a stein of beer with the other), Albert has been pushing the limits since the 1970s. His career highlights are many: in 1981, he added the ninth grade to German climbing with his Sautanz (9-, or 5.12c). In 1988, he and Wolfgang Güllich did the FFA of the Slovenian Route on Trango Tower at 5.12b. In 1991, the pair teamed up for the nearly free first ascent of the classic Riders on the Storm (5.12d A2), on the Torre Central del Paine in Patagonia. Tall, muscular, and patient, Albert is like a very fit, very funny Buddha. One of his favorite pastimes is figuring out puzzles: Chinese finger traps, Rubik’s Cubes, you name it.

    I started climbing at age 14 on a church club outing. I immediately realized I’d found my calling. I quickly started lead climbing and taking on dangerous adventures. Suddenly, I found myself in the Alps trying the hardest routes.

    In climbing life, I look for freedom, and I always question standards and rules—I like to do it my way. I don’t like dogma.

    The climber who most impressed me was Jerry Moffatt. Jerry was so far ahead of his time. He came to the Frankenjura and did our hardest routes, onsight. Jerry and I became good friends right away… and I wanted to see him finally fall. I went and prepared a route for him… then the next day I took Jerry to Sau Tanz (5.12c). As he approached the crux, he put his finger in the main pocket and found it full of Nivea cream. “You bloody bastard!” he yelled down, and then quickly found a small crimp that I didn’t even know was there, and did the route onsight anyway.

    My best climbing partner is “Suzi”—my jumar. I spend 80 percent of my climbing time with Suzi. Everyone kept asking, “Who is Suzi?” And I’d say, “She’s patient and doesn’t complain.”

    Wolfgang [Güllich] and I did many wonderful things together—not just climbing trips. We were trying to free the Norwegian Pillar on Great Trango… and as I followed up a freezing-cold pitch, I saw lots of black pebbles stuck to the wall. Thinking I might be able to use the pebbles to free the route, I started up only to see that the pebbles weren’t what I thought they were. Wolfgang had had diarrhea, and it froze immediately to the wall. When I managed to reach him, he only smiled at me.

    My scariest moment was when my climbing partner and friend Bernd Arnold fell in a big crevasse on Trango Tower. I thought, “This is it—I’ll never see him again.” In the end, he was lucky and (barely) survived.

    One of my best bivouacs was in Venezuela in a hammock on a tepui—pretty exposed, on a ledge with an outrageous view and a beautiful sunrise. The other was on the Cape Renard Tower, in the Antarctic… hanging above the ocean, watching the whales go by blowing and singing, with only icebergs and my partners.

    My worst bivouac was in Baffin in knee-deep mud while it was raining. It was bitterly cold, we had no tent, everything was wet, and there were hungry polar bears nearby.

    I was at an indoor-climbing demonstration during the inauguration of a new cinema in my native town, Nürnberg. I climbed the ceiling while many important people (including the mayor) watched. Also, TV crews were present. To make it more spectacular, I had to purposely take a fall—a 25-foot pendulum with the highest velocity near the ground. I knocked out a cameraman, with my butt hitting his head (his $50,000 camera flew through the air). The cameraman was unconscious for two minutes.

    A lot of dirt and some spiders live under my bed. I don’t like vacuuming.

    It’s the brain connected with talent that makes for a good climber.

    Sometimes I can be very lazy, and somebody has to kick my ass.

    Give me a new body… motivation I don’t need.

  3. Kurt Albert Interview: Chipping, Redpointing and the American Affair
    Rock and Ice

    There are tales of Kurt Albert’s trips to India, China, Pakistan and Patagonia—among various other points on the globe. And I knew from the Frankenjura guidebook and a number of small red dots at the bases of cliffs that Albert had done literally hundreds of first ascents, including the first 5.13 in Germany. He was also rumored to be an excellent mathematician who used to win Rubix Cube contests.

    When Kurt Albert rolled into Boulder for the final stop on a September tour of the States, it was (atypically, according to all who know him) on a somewhat depressed note. While he had enjoyed the climbing, and atmosphere of America, his good friend and housemate, Wolfgang Gullich had just died in a car crash in Germany and Albert was leaving shortly to attend to his friend’s affairs. He was philosophical about Gullich’s death, but had a hard time talking about their trips together. I didn’t push him on the subject when he agreed to meet me for a beer (on the ground!) and the following discussion took place.

    Kurt Albert: The first eight years I climbed, I only did aid or mixed climbs. There was no concept of free climbing in West Germany. There were these aid routes, and sometimes the pitons were distant, up to five meters or more from each other, and you had to do some free climbing between them. But if you saw a piton, you grabbed the carabiner or put a ladder on it. So there was no free climbing for the sake of free climbing.

    When I was 18 I visited the Elbsandstein where they had already been doing hard free routes—5.10s were done in the 1920s! Climbing ther influenced me. Before, all I was doing was aid, and I could do every route. I realized that free climbing was what I wanted to do. Redpoint is actually an ascent where you go free from the beginning to the top in one push without resting.

    Kurt Albert: In about 1975 when I as 21, I wanted to indicate it was possible to climb a particular route free. I painted little red dots at the bases of the routes as a way to show this.

    Kurt Albert: There is a tradition in the Frankenjura that when you do a route, you leave all your gear in place so the pitons don’t’damage the rock. Because everything was there, all I had to do was clip the pitons of bolts as I free climbed. In just one weekend I was able to do 20 first free ascents!

    Kurt Albert: We called it Riders on the Storm. I did it with Wolfgang Gullich, Bernd Arnold, Norbert Batz and pPeter Dittrich.

    Kurt Albert: Oh, I ‘m always looking for adventure when I climb. I like to do long routes and first ascents on the big mountains of the world. This was one of the biggest faces I had ever seen—aboue 1,300 meters. There was a lot of bad weather and it took us one and a half months to do the route but in the end we could free most of it, using aid on only four pitches.

    Kurt Albert: I want to do much more traveling because it’s what I like to do the most, especially connected with climbing. I’d like to go to Africa, perhaps to Fitz Roy or Venezuela.

    Kurt Albert: It’s excellent! In the States I prefer the big landscapes, the desert like Joshua Tree. For me now it’s not a big challenge to go to Rifle, but it was fun.

    In California I liked Sonora. I did a climb called Soap on a Rope and got so pumped. In the Frankenjura you don’t get so pumped. You just fall.

    Kurt Albert: It’s quite the same style now in Europe and America. What I don’t like is the chiseling of routes. Now they do it in the States. They did it already a long time before, on classic climbs like Phoenix in Yosemite. But those are exceptions—now it’s not an exception to chisel a route.

    Kurt Albert: Not in the Frankenjura. No chiseled routes there. There are some glue-reinforced handholds,.

    Kurt Albert: To make a route possible. Somebody wants to do a route and he can’t. Maybe he is afraid another one will do it, so he chisels a hold. Often the route was possible, but he was too weak, so he chisels.

    Kurt Albert: I like them, and there are very good climbers here—Ron Kauk, Jim Karn, Scott Franklin.

    I enjoy climbing in a quite atmosphere with good friends, not in a big crowd. Rifle is so crowded. It’s like skiing!

    Sport climbing in OK, but people don’t look for an adventure anymore. It doesn’t bother me. I like everything—climbing has a lot of aspects.

    Kurt Albert: Fontainebleau for bouldering.

    Kurt Albert: No, I like the landscape and the memories, but I don’t like the kink of clibmign because it is finger pockets and I have BIG fingers. On hard routes it’s a problem. I like climbing edges more.

    Kurt Albert: I like long routes that are hard. I never have been motivated to work a route—no more than three days and I leave.

    Kurt Albert: I am sure I will climb as long as I can move.

    By Will Gadd, Associate Editor Rock and Ice

    First published in Rock and Ice No 55, June, 1993.

    Addendum: Kurt Albert was one of Germany’s leading and longtime climbers and of the Wolfgang Gullich generation of the late 1970s. He established hundreds of hard first ascents across the globe including Eternal Flame on Nameless Tower, Royal Flush on Fitz Roy, and El Purgatorio on Acopan Tepuis, Venezuela. Notably, Albert is known as the first climber to use the term “redpoint,” which he made famous by painting a small red dot at the start of his projects in the Frankenjura after he had climbed the route, ground up, no falls. This technique transformed free climbing by ushering in the new era called sport climbing. Prior to the invention of the redpoint the standard tactic in the Frankenjura was to aid and hang on gear as necessary, however, in East Germany, in the Elbsandstein region around Dresden, pure free climbing, ground up, no falls had been the standard since the 1920s with pure free routes as difficult as 5.10. In the 1970s, East German legend Bernd Arnold pushed the grades to upper 5.12, but, due to the split between East and West German, the eastern standards were relatively unknown in the west, leaving it to Albert to develop the style there himself. Finding the Frankenjura ripe with aid routes, Albert made the first free, redpoint ascent of 20 routes in a day.

    Off the rock, Albert, a powerful figure with a brushy trademark moustach and curly hair, was know for his ability to down pints and bodacious antics that include stuffing an entire climbing rope down his underpants.

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