9 years ago, at the age of 14, I stood on the Ortler for the first time. I went with my parents at that time over the "Hintergrat", where you can see very well into the north face. I can still remember when I saw it for the first time and thought to myself, one day I want to climb the wall. On 27.08. the day had come.
Those who know the 1200m high wall and its objective dangers know: Climbing this north face is a lottery game.
Reinhold Messner once said, "Only fools do the Ortler North Face"
The wall is unpredictable, in summer and winter, because of ice breakage. All in all, we had very good conditions, except for the weather, which threw a spanner in the works: fog, snowfall and about -10 degrees with strong wind.
We woke up after a short night at the "Tabaretta hut" at 02:30 a.m. After half an hour of ascent we reached the "Bergschrund" and thus the entrance to the wall. At 03:30 a.m. we started climbing.
The first 2/3 we climbed rope-free, in order to lose no time and to get out of the danger zone ("Gurgel") as fast as possible. At about 05:30 a.m. we were just above the "Gurgel", where we perceived a loud bang. It was an ice avalanche that went down below us into the north face.
We had zero visibility and just hoped we were already far enough up. After it was quiet again, we realized that it was a "close call" and we werevery lucky.
At 08:20 a.m. we reached the summit of the Ortler (3905m).