Wolfgang Güllich 1960 - 1992
I experience my life so intensely and completely. I’ve been allowed to meet so many people and see so many countries. I’ve been allowed to look into the most hidden corners of my conscience by placing myself in extreme situations. I got to know myself this way so I consider everything as a gift. The fear of death is not strong, but I will defend my life vigorously.
August 29. dies in a car accident.
I’m not worried about death because I think it’s destiny. Anyway, it’s mostly the little things that are dangerous.
“Wolfgang showed the way for the climbers in Frankenjura and for the rest of climbing world, not only with his climbing but with his attitude toward life. His loss for climbing is great, but for so many people the loss runs much deeper. The point of light that we have followed, whether we were aware of it or not, has been extinguished.“
Geoff Weigand, Climbing No 135
Action Directe XI/9a, Waldkopf, Frankenjura, new route, first 9a in the world
I climbed Action Directe on 14 September 1991, on a cliff called Waldkopf in Frankenjura, after 11 days of trying and months of special training. Like many of the hard Franconian climbs, this route is relatively short (12 meters), steep (45o overhanging), and extremely bouldery (most of the 14 moves are one-finger-joint pockets.) Still it’s very technical because some dynos made from awkward positions (a lot of coordination involved)! Balance moves (on extreme pinches) are necessary.
Riders on the Storm IX/ aid passages up to A3, Torre Central del Paine, Patagonia, new route, with Kurt Albert, Bernd Arnold, Norman Bätz, Peter Dittrich
During these weeks we were repeatedly confronted with setbacks; roaring rock avalanches; chopped and frozen fixed ropes; iced-up rock; sitting for hours at stances and so increasing the risk of hypothermia. The pressures wearing us down make it seem as though our efforts and the compensation for them have slipped out of balance. Only the hope of success and luck keep up our motivation. Dreams too have to be fed.
Highlight X+/8b+, Hängender Block, Frankenjura, first ascent
Eternal Flame IX-/one A2 passage near the top of the route, Nameless Tower (aka. Trango Tower) 6251m, Karakorum, new route, with Kurt Albert, Milan Sykora, Christoph Steigler, the hardest rock line done in the Himalaya or the Karakorum at the time
You get completely lost in thought. You ask yourself, why this insane effort? Do I need to experience adventure? Earlier I got my thrills by just taking off for the Südpfalz to unearth some new sandstone crag. What has changed? What is it that has developed in me to bring me here? Thoughts of the nice things at home are like relaxing in a warm bath. Suddenly you long for the people who mean something to you. You take pleasure in knowing how beautiful life is. It gives you a total lift. And you are thankful, at peace and ready for everything that is about to happen.
Yugoslavian route VIII+, Nameless Tower, Karakorum, first RP ascent
High altitude free climbing is a different game from other kinds of high-altitude climbing. When you are walking you can pace yourself. If you get tired, you can slow down. But if you have to free-climb a crack fifty meters long, you have to keep going. There’s no way you can slow down. Otherwise you get tired and you can’t hang on forever. So the mountain tells you how fast you should go.
Wallstreet IX-/8c, Krottenseer Turm, Frankenjura, first 8c route in the world
On Wallstreet there is very difficult boulder problem. I discovered the problem and I thought it might be possible. Through winter I went to this training center in Nuremberg, and with a help of physical education professor I worked specific muscles, training intramuscular coordination combined with reaction time so that I would be able to do the moves for this problem.
Level 52 X+/XI-/8c, (KLAGEMAUER, FRANKENJURA), new route
Gunfighter 5.13c, Hueco Tanks, ascent
Moonbeam Crack 5.13b, Joshua Tree, first ascent on lead
Book Sportklettern Heute published
Ghettoblaster X/X+/8b+, Rabenfels, Frankenjura, new route
Sautanz IX-, Göβweinsteiner Wänd, Frankenjura, freesolo ascent
Free solo is an actively chosen struggle against awarness of death. It must not become routine or automatic. It must always remain a highlight in your life. Whoever forgets the face of death in process is lost.
Separate Reality 5.11d, Yosemite, free solo
An incredible feeling of joy melts all the tension and I suddenly have an impression that it was not a game of gambling with my life; it was not subjectively dangerous. I sit in the sun on the flat summit plateau – the ‘other reality’ is now part of the past. It is the thought of death that teaches us to value life.
Midnight Lightning V8, Yosemite, repeat
Revelations E7 6c, Great Britain, repeat
Fireball 10b, Peterskirche, Elbsandsteingebirge, second ascent
Lustgarten 10b, Lolaturm, Elbsandsteingebirge, fourth ascent