The young Vorarlberg Nemuel Feurle, also known as Nemo, succeeded this autumn on the psychologically demanding multi-pitch tour Sangre de Toro (8b +) in the Lechquellen Mountains. After a 17-meter fall due to an incorrectly placed placement, the endeavor became a mental challenge for him. In an interview, he tells us how he overcame the setback and what lessons he learned from it.
In the middle of the steep section of the Rote Wand in Vorarlberg, the 230-meter-long tour runs through steep wall climbing on compact rock: Sangre de toro was set up in 2012 by Alex Luger, Günther Winkel, Robert Natter and Konrad Mathis and two years later Alex Luger climbed red point for the first time. 2017 caught up with Jacopo Larcher the first rep. The route has a few bolts, but you have to secure it yourself in places.
This summer, the 20-year-old Nemuel Feurle from Vorarlberg, who had already made a name for himself with the inspection of the Trad-Testpiece Principle Hope on the Bürser Platte, got in touch. It is therefore obvious that he can deal with the combination of high climbing difficulties and mobile belay devices - but the Rote Wand should prove to be the next level in terms of trad experience. Feurle writes on Instagram:
From the first to the last day, I had great respect for the placements, especially in the crux pitch. In the beginning everything was new to me - like setting placements without checking them beforehand (as I did in principle hope).Nemuel Feurle
In fact, the moment of shock occurred when an important placement failed. We talked to Nemuel about how he overcame the damper and what he could learn from it.
Nemuel, what exactly happened there?
Shortly before the first difficult point in the key length, three meters above the last bolt, I placed two friends on my right and connected them with a sling. From there I had to climb to the left, I was very confident that I could climb this route, so I tried this place without thinking too much about the placements. I was almost at the end of the crossing when my left foot slipped and I fell. At this point I was a few meters away from the last placement and actually didn't want to fall anymore. It all happened so quickly, suddenly I turned upside down and I flew further than expected. In a situation like this, you don't even realize what's really happening. It wasn't until I hit the wall upside down under the stand and I noticed that both friends were hanging on the rope with me that I realized what had just happened. I was in a bit of a shock because that's exactly what I never wanted to experience. I was lucky because due to the steepness of the wall, the impact on the wall was not so bad and apart from a slight bruise I had no injury.
What went wrong?
I also asked myself: how could it happen that both friends failed? Unfortunately, I had to admit to myself that, as is so often the case, it was my own fault: I connected the friends incorrectly, this resulted in the sling pulling both friends towards each other when the load was applied, so they were loaded sideways instead of downwards. Of course they didn't last like that.
How did you deal with it afterwards? The uncertainty must have been great ...
I knew it was my fault. And I also knew what I was doing wrong. Still, I never had a good feeling when I started or wanted to get on this length. For me, this experience was difficult to process, even if nothing bad happened and I knew exactly what the mistake was. I could hardly bring myself to climb this place. I had a bit of a blockage in my head and had already thought of maybe not trying again.
You mentioned that you were joking about it - in truth, it wasn't that funny ...
The mental processing is very individual. For me this event was a huge shock. Laughing at it made it smaller, but my shock and respect for this spot only got bigger. Today I think it's much more important to look reality in the eye.
How did you get over this shock in the end?
I started this year's multi-pitch season with a few easier multi-pitch lengths. I just wanted to be outside a lot, it wasn't about any degree of difficulty, but simply about getting the feeling of hanging far above the ground. At some point it occurred to me to just get back into Sangre - it would be an exciting thing. I just wanted to see how far I could get and just wanted to try and leave what had happened behind me. When I climbed over this point in the key length for the first time, I was quite nervous. But I wanted to be stronger than my head and made it without falling into the rope, which gave me more security for the next attempts. It didn't help me to speak it nicely, instead I tried to accept what had happened and allowed myself to be scared at this point. Because this fear helped me to give everything.
What can you basically pass on from this experience?
You have to accept things. Then don't just look ahead, draw the right conclusions from it in order to do better in the future.
What are you eyeing next?
Hopefully, a few autumn days will lead to multi-rope routes, with the Silbergeier I still have an open project from last year. And in winter I will certainly invest some time in explosives (9a, Lorüns).
Alex Luger on the first ascent of Sangre de Toro
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Credits: Cover picture Highland Production