The climbing couple Barbara Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher succeed as the second rope team the free ascent of Magic Mushroom (28 SL, 8b +) at El Capitan, Yosemite Valley. With 13 pitches in the 8a area and one pitch in the 8b + area, Magic Mushroom is one of the most difficult big wall routes in the world.
It is one of the most significant ascent of the current year. Barbara Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher climb with Magic Mushroom a multi-pitch tour that was previously only freely climbed by Tommy Caldwell and Justen Sjong in 2012. This 40 years after the first ascent by Canadians Hugh Burton and Steve Sutton.
Magic Mushroom: What a beautiful route
For many years Jacopo dreamed of the celebration of Magic Mushroom. "I looked at the topo of this climb for a couple of years, but I didn't really know what it looked like in reality. I expected a lot of hard climbing, but not so many 5 stars (chimney) pitches in a row: what a beauty, ”he enthuses. Jacopo and Barbara invested many hauling meters, bouldering sessions and portaledge nights in making this dream come true - and they were rewarded. "Once more, we learned how passion, perseverance, believe and team work can make your dreams come true!"
Huge mental challenge
Both of them reached their limits not only physically but also mentally. For Barbara it was above all the last difficult pitch that demanded everything: “I never thought that I can climb all those crazy pitches. Especially the last hard one (just before the top) took everything I had ... physically and emotionally. Falling on the last long move right before the chains made it to my biggest mental challenge. ”Her words give an idea of how difficult the ascent was even for two top athletes like Barbara and Jacopo and how much the free ascent means to them.
Great respect for Tommy Caldwell
Magic Mushroom was first freely climbed by Tommy and Justen in 2012. Apparently, the free ascent was not enough for Tommy Caldwell. In the same year he got back on the route. His goal was to climb Magic Mushroom in a single day. In his first "one-day attempt" together with his wife Beth Rodden, he failed completely exhausted on the last pitch. A week later, Tommy was back at the entrance and cleared the route in just 20 hours and 2 minutes. Only those people who have freely climbed the route can judge this performance correctly. Presses accordingly Jacopo In addition to his joy in his own ascent, his respect for Tommy's performance: “I still can't imagine how someone could climb all those pitches in a day. You're a hero! "
Credits: picture Jon Glassberg - Louder Than 11