Day 42 of the Wallride expedition and boy, what have Stefan Glowacz and his friend Philipp Hans already experienced. Steep ascents, long descents, many encounters with wild animals and of course many interesting encounters with other outdoor enthusiasts. The two have had to repair their bikes several times but basically, they are very satisfied with their equipment – especially the clothing from Marmot is, as always, reliable.
What has happened so far
The two adventurers started in Germany at Lake Starnberg and immediately set course for the first stage destination: the Pfitscher Joch in South Tyrol, Italy. After only four days and over 350km in their legs, they arrived – very exhausted, of course, but overjoyed. A highlight of this first stage was a spontaneous bivouac at the Kreuzjoch in Austria, where there were spectacular views in the midst of untouched nature. Really curious mountain cows were visibly happy about the visit and very interested in Marmot’s SuperAlloy tent. A welcomed distraction for both sides!
Now it’s getting really steep
A few days later the time had come, having reached the wild and comparatively unexplored Marmarole group in the Dolomites. Almost 400km and more than 9000m of altitude were behind them now and the two climbers could finally put their bikes aside. It was time for the second major focus of the Wallride adventure, climbing. As always, Stefan Glowacz didn’t do things by halves here either, choosing a steep climb up the highest mountain of the massif the Cimon des Froppa.
First ascent and pure passion on the Croda Bianca
Stefan and Philipp had chosen the steep eastern face Croda Bianca for their first ascent and this is exactly where the action began. As with the long bike tour, they planned and implemented the climb with minimal ultralight equipment. After two days on the wall, a new route was finally in the history books with «Wallride Volume 1». And on the way to the top they booked the full package: a lot of wind, rain, uncertainty, challenges up to grade 8 (UIAA) and a total of over 20 pitches.
Excitement and fun in new realms
Both adventurers had never been in this mountain group before and so there was always a good portion of suspense in the air. The unknown, the curiosity and of course the serious weighing of dangers – the mixture made this adventure special. In addition to the demanding ascent of a new route, the descent was also more than interesting, because on the still numerous snowfields, the two professionals had to partly secure each other.
Sustainability and responsibility
No matter what the activity of the two adventurers is: cycling, camping, hiking or climbing…the CO2 footprint is very low. And that’s on purpose, because as always, the «By Fair Means» motto is writ large with Stefan Glowacz. In other respects too, the thinking is purist and holistic: from waste avoidance to climbing without bolting and to (much nicer anyway) overnight stays in tents.
The journey now continues through Switzerland to France, where further cycling and climbing experiences as well as many surprises await the two professionals.
You can read all about the Wallride adventure and what Stefan and Philip have planned in the first article: Wallride – an expedition on a bike.
Text: Melf Sönnichsen, Marmot Mountain Europe GmbH
Fotos: Stefan Glowacz, Philipp Hans