Born: 28.04.71 in Starnberg, Germany
Height: 188cm (6' 3")
Weight: 80-90 Kg
Born in southern Germany I started going to the mountains with my family at the age of 4. Together with my Dad, we climbed several 4,000-meter peaks in Switzerland in the early 80's. After a "short" alpine climbing career at the age of 14, I began looking for a new challenge and finally discovered "real" climbing. During the following years I became a "climbing-junkie"; I dreamed, thought and lived climbing every day (bouldering, sport or alpine). I wanted to collect ascents of hard sport routes all over Europe, make first ascents and tick off some of the important limestone alpine routes on the northern rim of the alps.
After another "short" career as a competition climber on the German National Team, I established my first sport-climbing highlight in 1990 with the first ascent of "Baby Basher", 8b+ (5.14a) in my home area Kochel. In 1992, a trip around the world changed my focus on climbing for numbers, ratings and competitions to adventure; basically seeking the experience of one's personal limits and the forces of our own nature. My climbing trips led me through many climbing areas in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. I immersed myself into the different cultures I visited, including Africa and Asia.
At the same time I began working with handicapped children and discovered that learning from other people would give my life a completely new source of motivation. Therefore, while I was still addicted to climbing, I focused on studying to become a teacher for handicapped children and later finished my degree in 1999.
And what happened climbing-wise? After realizing another grade-push in 1996 with "Ramayana" 8c+ (5.14c) and a few hard alpine routes, I went to the Bugaboos in Canada with a friend and we established "Power of Lard", an 8-pitch route along a beautiful granite pillar that went free in the 5.13 range.
The following six-month trip led us through many historical climbing areas in North America, ultimately ending up in Hueco Tanks, Texas where we met the Bouldering Guru Fred Nicole. For the following two years a crashpad was my main climbing partner... and I established a lot of really satisfying boulder problems over the following years. My personal bouldering highlights include: "The Dagger-Sit-Start" and "Bokassa's Fridge" (Fb 8c/V15). In 1999 I went on a long road trip with Klem Loskot and a bunch of other German-Austrian-bouldering freaks to Australia, where we established a lot of world class boulder problems up to Fb 8b+ (V14).
In the same year I released my first book, "Climbing with Mentally Handicapped People," and began working as a teacher in Munich, Germany.
What else? Ah the bands - I played in 3 bands: "Dead Clintons" (Punk-Hardcore), "Analstahl" (Old School Punk) and "G.Rag y los Hermanos Patchekos" (From Cuban to Folk music). ANALSTAHL is an old-school-punk rock band, 3 (vinyl-)records: "ANALSTAHL, Daneben, LIVE". There are still a few climbers at the concerts, though they get rare these days because of the strict diet and their hard evening endurance workouts- the most famous climber ever seen at such a concert was Fred Nicole. "G.Rag y los hermanos patchekos" is a musical mixture from Cuban and Latin over Tom Waits to traditional Bavarian songs, there is a lot for everybody (especially the girls). 4 CDs, biggest fans are female between 25 and 35 years old.
Adventure Climbing: In 2001 the lust for adventure climbing surfaced again and after a bunch of "bolted on lead sport-routes" up to 5.13 in the alps, I went with some friends went on my first expedition to Greenland, where we did two lines up a 1200 meter big-wall: "Aquasky", 7a (5.11) and "Easy or Squeezy" 7b+ (5.12) A4+, which marked a personal new step forward by not using a single bolt and leading nearly every pitch on-sight.
The same year I realized another long-standing project with "Die Welle (The wave)", 9a (5.14d). A year later I discovered a new game for the hot summer conditions with "Psicobloc", or Deep Water Soloing (DWS) in Mallorca, Spain. Psicobloc is route climbing in its simplest form: no rope, no top-rope or yo-yo work sessions, just pure climbing above the sea. I plan on heading back there for all the unclimbed projects in the area!
In 2003, I turned my attentions to bolting on lead once again with the multi-pitch "Rock the Casbah," 8c (5.14b) with Julian Heidinger.
At the end of 2004, I was part of a 7-member team of strong Swiss and German climbers that began a 6-week expedition to southern Greenland. The expedition was situated in the Fjords around the islands Tornarssuk and Quvernit near the Cape Farvel in the very South of Greenland, home of unexplored, exposed and 1400m high Granite-towers. Together with the brothers Michi and Ivan Tresch, Tom Holzhauser, Michi Wyser, Caro Morel and Wanja Reichel we established 9 new routes up to 5.12d (7c) and 7 first summit-ascents up to 1100m tall. The routes were steep with vertical walls and a bunch of hard off-width pitches in the upper 5.10 and 5.12 range. On our new routes we avoided placing bolts and tried to climb the lines in "one-day" pushes.
Since 2004, I have lived together with my girl-friend in Munich, where I work four days a week with "problem-kids". Besides my job and the daily climbing performances I still maintain the desire and motivation for travelling and a few of my planned forays include the USA, the Himalayas and Africa.
For example, in August-September of 2007 I went to the Tsaranoro Valley in the middle of Madagascar. We were a gang of four: Felix Frieder, Sandra Wielebnowski, Benno Wagner, and myself. Besides repeating a bunch of existing routes, we also managed to do an incredibly beautiful first ascent on the east face of Tsaranoro that beat all of our expectations: "Manara-Potsiny", 8a (5.13b), 600m, 17 pitches.
My targets for the future (besides health and my personal development) are still focused on travelling with friends, chasing my personal limits in all the climbing disciplines and having fun on the rocks with the help of the people I'm hanging out with.
YouTube page: www.youtube.com/user/tonelli71
Check out this article about Toni's climb of "The Old Man and the Sea" on Climbing Magazine
Visit Toni's blog at antonator.blogspot.com