The Bernese climber Dimi Vogt manages a one-day red point ascent of the route Zahir (8b +, 300m) on the Wendenstöcken. We talked to Dimitri about his ascent.

Dimi Vogt has already been to Route Zahir twice to boulder out the individual sequences and optimize the sequences. On Friday, July 31, 2020, he moved in with the French-speaking Swiss Nils Favre Leaving the parking lot early in the morning and starting the red point attempt on the hardest route Wendenstöcke.

Sharp and painful micro ridges

The route starts moderately with a difficulty of 6c +, which is followed by a tricky 8a +. The third pitch with 8b + is the key length of the tour, in which one sharp micro-bar follows the next. It is also important to keep a cool head in the run-out.

«This pitch has the smallest bars that you can imagine. I'm still impressed that Dimi was able to make three attempts without giving up due to pain. "

Rope partner Nils Favre
Razor-sharp rock in the Route Zahir.
A good dose of pain tolerance is required here.

Via the Zahir route on the Wendenstöcken

The multi-pitch route Zahir (8b +, 300m) was set up by Iwan Wolf and Gunter Habersatter between 1996 and 2004 and first climbed in 2006. Zahir is the hardest route on the Wendenstöcke in the Bernese Oberland.

The two Germans got a first repetition Joerg Andreas and Felix Neumarker 2009. They extended the third pitch during their ascent, which would increase the grade to 8c. They got another repetition the Pou brothers in the year 2010, followed by Cédric Lachat in 2019, with the two Spaniards and Cédric again climbing the original variant of the first ascent.

Razor-sharp rock in the Route Zahir.
The imposing walls above Gadmen.

Dimi Vogt in conversation about the ascent of Zahir

What attracted you to Zahir?
Zahir is the most difficult route of the turning sticks and a very cool line at that. I knew years ago that I really wanted to try this route, but it was only this year that I finally managed to climb the Wendenstöcken. The route also has a story and I think the way it was drilled is impressive. 

What was the key to your success?
The head was stronger than the skin. I was pretty persistent for once and really wanted to climb the route. A good vibe, super cool rope partners, and a good psyche were also pretty helpful.

How many attempts did it take to get through?
I've been on the route three times. Twice with Thömu to boulder out and once with Nils for an attempt. 

Nils has expressed his admiration that you were able to make three attempts at the key length despite the razor-sharp handles. What did your fingers look like after that?
Haha. Actually pretty ok considering how painful it felt. But it only got really painful in the 7c after that, but then the motivation was so great that a little pain no longer played a role.

The exposure of the wall is not ideal for hot days. The conditions were certainly anything but ideal, right?
In the beginning it was really quite humid, and when I started running at 6:XNUMX pm I was sweating even without a T-shirt, which didn't make me particularly optimistic. After the first two lengths the wind started to blow and the conditions got pretty good. 

What are the other projects in 2020?
I still have some difficult sport climbing routes that I would like to try in autumn. A project in soyhieres, one in Unterwald and the route Black monk in gimmelwald. Another multi-pitch project would be really cool!

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Credits: Image material provided.