Julian Zanker Climbing Flying Circus M10
With the warm weather this winter, good ice is scarce. A few years ago, I saw some photos of a fantastic route named Flying Circus, near the little village of Kandersteg and since then, it's been on my mind. Despite it not being the perfect year, on January 26, 2012, Thomas Senf and I went to the Breitwangflue and believe it or not, Flying Circus was good!
From the bottom, this crazy wall is unbelievable – it's a big cave! Excited, I climbed the first pitch (M9), winning more power with each metre I advanced. Metre by metre I kept my focus and when I arrived at the top I was so happy, but my arms were pumped. Thomas came up and we took a break together.
The next pitch was a 35m traverse (M10) with some icicles. Scary!! 2m in and I was tired, my power gone. For more than 1.5 hours I climbed the traverse – one metre at a time. Somehow, I made it to the top, climbing with my head because my body was not there. It was the biggest fight of my life.
Thomas was the best possible choice for my climbing partner. He gave me 100% safety and trust. When he arrived, we discussed the last 2 pitches. Although the grade was easy, the conditions were poor; warm with unstable icicles. As happy as I was, I wanted to climb the entire route! But it was too dangerous and we decided to go back, with memories of the beautiful and fantastic Flying Circus pitches that we had climbed and the huge pyschological gain for me.
Back on the ground, gathering up the rope and feeling good, a 40m ice column gave way 20m above me. It exploded on the ground nearby and shattered; miraculously, no one was injured. A big shock and an even greater happiness for all to be alive.
Flying Circus was a dream come true. Many thanks to sponsors and friends, the camera team of Halsundbeinbruch Film and most of all, my partner and motivator, Thomas Senf.