Vertical Arena 2017
8. Juni 2017 / 20.00 pm
FASTER, HIGHER, FURTHER!
5 SPEAKERS FROM 3 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES AND 3 MOUNTAIN SPORTS TOLD THEIR STORIES
If you think of first ascents and pioneering spirit in mountaineering today, the topics of marketing, sponsors and social media immediately raise their heads. Not only that: “New” trend sports like freeriding and base jumping have become important contents of the Vertical Community. All activities demand that: participants must reach new goals and must be skilful at self-promotion. Whether at multimedia shows, in films and of course also on Facebook and other social media – what counts are good pictures and exciting stories!
VERTICAL ARENA IN A NEW FORMAT
The “Vertical Arena” series of events in Sesto at the foot of the Sesto Dolomite massif, first engaged with this topic in 2017. On 08.06.2017 at 8:00 pm, renowned actors from the international scene presented their passion at Casa Sesto. THEY DID THIS IN A NEW FORMAT NEVER SEEN BEFORE: The speakers presented their current first climbs and projects in short keynotes (maximum 20 mins), followed by a panel discussion: “Faster, higher, further! Quo Vadis Alpinism?” The discussion was presented by Andi Erkens from the German Alpin Magazin.
The speakers were: Simon Gietl (alpinism, Italy-South Tyrol), Hansjörg Auer (alpinism, Austria), Nicola Tondini (alpinism, Italy), Nadine Wallner (freeride ski, Austria) und Patrick Aufdenblatten (basejump, Switzerland). The event was simultaneously interpreted between German and Italian.
In 2002, the International Year of Mountains, the village of Sesto organised an international expert forum on mountaineering and climbing for the first time. Famous mountaineers and mountain guides from far and near, sports physicians, philosophers, filmmakers and tourism experts gathered for the first time at the foot of the Sesto Dolomites. 15 years later the Vertical Arena was started again and on Thursday, 08.06.2017 the event took place for the first time in a completely new format. Lisi Steurer, herself an active alpinist and mountain guide from Lienz, East Tyrol, was responsible for the idea and organisation of the event.
The aim of the “Vertical Arena” series of events in Sesto is to enliven contemporary alpinism with fresh themes and to direct the focus from the past to current events.
Swiss all-round talent (ice climbing, rock, base jumping…) Patrik Aufdenblatten was the rising star of the first Vertical Arena 2017. Pati, as his friends call him, told us about his passion for base jumping and mountaineering in Switzerland and about how he tries to combine the two. Among his achievements are various speed climbs and jumps from the Dent Blanc and Matterhorn. The refreshing and funny manner of the only Swiss participant to date enriched the evening enormously.
Nadine Wallner from Klösterle am Arlberg is one of the most talented freeriders in the scene. Nadine was a guest at the Vertical Arena in Sexten in 2017 and showed impressive photos and videos of her skiing adventures. In the first part of her presentation she talked about freeriding in Alaska, Arlberg and in the Dolomites. The young athlete also explained that her decisions aren’t made purely by instinct, but that she fully engages with the risks she takes. A likeable all-rounder and someone we are likely to hear a lot more of in the future.
Nicola Tondini, a civil engineer and certified mountain and ski guide from Verona, talked about his latest first ascent in the Dolomites: „Non abbiate paura di sognare“ on Cima Scotoni. Tondini is not particularly well known in the media, at least outside Italy, but in recent years has opened up some of the most difficult routes with normal hooks in the Dolomites. „Non abbiate paura…“ is a climb of difficulty grade 8b, without bolts.
In his presentation at Vertical Arena 2017, South Tyrolean athlete Simon Gietl talked about his passion for the Three Peaks. Gietl described his winter traverse of all Three Peaks, including his latest creation: “Das Erbe der Väter”, 7b at the north face of Cima Grande, which he opened up together with Vittorio Messini in the summer of 2017. Simon’s keynote was engaging and took his listeners back to the early days of his climbs as a teenager.
Hansjörg Auer was a guest at Vertical Arena in 2017. He spoke about this first Alpine style climbs in the Himalaya of: Gimmigela East, Nilgiri South, Masherbrum, Annapurna III and Kunyang Chhish East. In the subsequent discussion around the topic of “Quo Vadis Alpinism”, Auer suggested that style and team are the decisive factors for success or failure in the tallest mountains. Failures and defeats are just as much a part of it as success and conquered summits. In this context, Hansjörg also spoke about the low point in his mountaineering career, when in October 2015, his friend and colleague Gerry Fiegl lost his life during the descent from Nilgiri South.
Hansjörg Auer died on 16.04.2019 during the descent from House Peak, Banff National Park, Canada, together with David Lama and Jess Roskelley.
Images of Vertical ARENA 2017. When using these images, the following photo credit must be given: Vertical Arena 2017 © wildzooentertainment
Press release for the announcement of the Vertical Arena 2017 (“FASTER, HIGHER, FURTHER! QUO VADIS ALPINISM?”) and a summary (New ways)