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  • "My legs are shaking and I'm really nervous."

  • "I've never done this before."

  • "The higher I come, the shakier it gets.

  • And I really shouldn't fall, because that would really hurt."

  • My day begins early in the morning, at the Donnerkogel in Upper Austria.

  • The cable car takes you to the Klettersteig.

  • At an altitude of some 1500 meters it is just a 20 minute hike.

  • Mountain guide Heli Putz shows me how to use the safety gear to secure myself.

  • It'll be connected to my harness with a simple knot.

  • The big object near the harness should help cushion my fall, if I take a tumble.

  • I attach myself to the steel cable on the rockface using carabiner hooks.

  • "The simpler it is, the easier it is to control, the more safe.

  • So keep it simple and stupid we say.

  • When we move on a fixing like here, we do it one by one and lock it like this."

  • "Now it's my turn!"

  • "Please!"

  • "One hand is on the cable and the second does the job.

  • Ok?"

  • I've been climbing for many years and gone up a few 'Klettersteigs'.

  • And that's a good thing, because this route is NOT for beginners.

  • You must be sure-footed and not suffer from vertigo!

  • This isn't the place to fall!

  • The carabiners will slide all the way down to the next fixed position where the anchor is.

  • And you have a lot of speed and then they brake you immediately.

  • It is a very hard impact before the security system absorbs the fall.

  • "So you get hurt quite severely?"

  • "I am sure you get hurt badly."

  • "So I'll take care today."

  • "Trust yourself."

  • "Yes, I am trusting myself."

  • And then we come to the stairway to heaven!

  • Ok, so this is where you want me to walk up?

  • Exactly.

  • "This is a part of the Klettersteig.

  • I think the main part.

  • That's what we are here for."

  • "Any tips, tricks, hints?"

  • "Stay focused on the foot steps.

  • Normally your eyes are going to the danger.

  • Your eyes will always follow: Hey, it's super high!

  • You have to switch a little in your brain.

  • OK, stay focused on the handle bar and on the steps."

  • "Everything easy, hopefully."

  • Creating the ladder was Heli Putz's idea.

  • He not only designed it, he also installed it.

  • "The challenge for me is to make something very interesting that involves the nature.

  • And it makes no sense to build a very hard Klettersteig.

  • For me it's more interesting to build an easier one which is more attractive.

  • The ladder was a pretty cheap and simple idea in a perfect place."

  • "Up the ladder."

  • "It's quite shaky."

  • "Down there the gorge is 700 metres deep."

  • "I really shouldn't fall."

  • "Looking far up is not a good idea."

  • "Looking down is not a good idea either, so I don't know where to look."

  • "Yes, I've done it."

  • "So I've survived the ladder.

  • I don't know what comes next.

  • But one thing is very clear: I have to go up to the top to the cross, because I can't

  • stop right now."

  • But the hardest part is yet to come: this really steep part over a pretty narrow ridge.

  • I never imagined it would be this tough!

  • The final stretch to the summit is however a bit more relaxed.

  • And, for my efforts, I'm rewarded with a stunning view over the Alps.

  • "Perfect.

  • Good job man."

  • "Yes, I'm here!"

  • "Ok, but one simple question: The way down is the same way we went up?"

  • "It's a good point to ask here at the summit.

  • Of course we can go down the same way.

  • But here is a nice walking trail.

  • It's just a foot path.

  • So we don't need the harness any more, we don't need the helmet any more.

  • Take a rest here and we'll walk down together."

  • "Thank you very much!"

  • "Once again: good job, Axel!"

  • Exhausted, but exhilarated, I enjoy the peace and quiet 2-thousand meters up!

"My legs are shaking and I'm really nervous."

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B1 US ladder harness fall cable stairway stay focused

Climbing 700 m above the Abyss: Stairway to Heaven in Austria - This ladder is NOT for Beginners!

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    羅世康 posted on 2019/12/07
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