The milestone in the alpine sport climbing was undoubtedly the route Amarcord (7b+) on the seventh Kirchlispitze, opened by a Swiss climber Martin Scheel in 1984. It featured lots of extreme technical difficulties (before that only Maurizio “Manolo” Zanolla had climbed the IX grade of difficulty). However, in this case it was the style which mattered: Scheel led the route without preinspection and with significant runouts. Amarcord became the cult route very fast. Its first ascensonist became the idol for the next generations of climbers, who fulfill their ambitions in extreme multi-pitch climbing (i.e. Huber brothers that a few years later transferred the Scheel’s style to the Berchtesgadener Alps). In the next years the Swiss opened another great routes in this style, climbing with his partner, C. Truninger: Dohle Jonathan 7b+ (1986) or Accacia 7c+ (1988).
In 1989 on Rätikon’s climbing scene appeared another talented climber, Beat Kammerlander from Austria. He started with repeating the routes of his great forerunner but he did the next step pretty soon. New Age, the route led by him was the first one in Rätikon with some pitches of X grade and the third in the Alps graded 8a ( only “Manolo” and the Huber brothers did 8a multi-pitch routes before him).
In 1990 Kammerlander put up Unendliche Geschichte, and the next year he redpointed it estimating the difficulty for 8b+. It should be emphasized that at that time there were only few 8c rock routes (Wall Street, Maginot Line, Agincourt, Liquid Amber). In 1993 Beat established famous Silbergeier and he redpointed it one year later. This route, together with two others put up in the same year in the Eastern Alps, Des Kaisers Neue Kleider by Stefan Glowacz and End of Silence by Thomas Huber created the famous “Alpine Trilogy”.
In 1997 Kammerlander accompanied by H. Schleichl, P. Mathias and two other Rätikon explorers put up WoGü, a route dedicated to the memory of Wolfgang Güllich. The route, with two 8c pitches, still hasn’t been redpointed.
Looking on the huge Rätikon rock walls it seems that classic climbing is impossible there. But this is only an impression. In fact, there is a huge amount of routes on the south walls. Most of them offer technical climbing on solid limestone. The quality of rock resembles one from Verdon Gorge. There are mostly slabs and small holds, and in general the sequences are difficult to read. As a result most of the routes are difficult to onsight. Since the amount of good holds and footholds is very poor, it is necessary to have strong fingers, good footwork and, most of all, the knowledge of how to climb without being sure of the next moves.
The modern routes can be divided in two categories. The first one includes all the routes put up in “Martin Scheel style” (which means a typically mountain character and big runouts), the other – routes equipped with bolts (usually medium difficulty routes). You can also find here many classics, partly equipped with bolts, always with very good stands.
In Partnun and Sargans there is a possibility for bouldering. You will find more information about these regions on www.sloper.ch.