Psychogramm (8b+) on trad gear

15 May, 2014
Alex Luger has added a bold and technical route to the Bürser Platte, Psychogramm (8b+), in keeping with the trad style of its famous right-hand neighbour, Prinzip Hoffnung (8b/+, E9/10).

Prinzip put the Austrian crag in the media spotlight in 2009, when Beat Kammerlander reclimbed the route on trad gear, having removed the bolts he'd used for the first ascent just over a decade previously. At the end of 2009 Alex repeated Prinzip Hoffnung, 'Principle of Hope'.

The first time Alex got on Psychogramm was soon after he'd climbed Prinzip, but he felt he wasn't ready for it then, either physically or mentally. Alex said: "The route seemed too dangerous with very insecure climbing on the top section. I didn't think of it as a project because it was also too hard and the bouldery crux I could only climb once in ten tries."

Alex top-roped the 20 metre route a few times this winter and deciding to get focussed he made all his lead attempts within a ten day period culminating in success on his fourth attempt on the 13th February.

Alex said: "The bouldery crux is protected with a IMP 2 and the run out is around four to five metres but thankfully I never fell from higher than one metre above that gear."

He added: "For me Psychogramm felt trickier than Prinzip because of the insecure boulder-crux at the top. The boulder felt harder than the moves on Prinzip but Psychogramm is not so long and sustained."

"The protection in Psychogramm is more demanding and on some sections not really trustworthy. What makes the route dangerous is the 20 metre height. If the IMP pops out and the lower wire as well, you're maybe on the ground. I didn't try that one out."

"I didn't give it an E-grade because I 'm not experienced in that tradition of rating climbs. As well I think the route does not need an E-grade. Everybody who wants to try it will realise the seriousness of the climb."

As for future potential on the slab, Alex added: "The slab's potential is done. There is one sport climb on the far left of the slab climbed by Beat this spring and all the logical lines are climbed or in project status."

Photos: Alex Luger on and off Psychogramm (8b+), Bürser Platte, Vorarlberg, Austria. © Beat Kammerlander