German climber Roland Hemetzberger has free climbed an old project in Austria's Zillertal valley, opening the 330-foot Golden Secret (5.14a). The route was the brainchild of Gerhard Hörhager, an Austrian climber Hemetzberger describes as a "real climbing legend around the valley." The route had elude Hörhager, however, so he encouraged Hemetzberger to try the project.
"Together with Fabian Hagenauer, we invested a lot of time in this project," Hemetzberger told Rock and Ice in an e-mail.
Hemetzberger moved the first pitch of the project because the original line climbed through a crack that was "always totally wet," according to Hemetzberger. The rebolted first pitch turned out to be the hardest part of the route, checking in at 5.14a. However, the second pitch was the mental crux, consisting of a 5.13c crack that was protected with gear. "Placing the nuts and cams is so difficult that I couldn't do it on the actual lead," Hemetzberger told Planet Mountain. Instead, he opted to climb the pitch with "some" pre-placed gear.
The third pitch of Golden Secret relented, involving only a 5.10d. But before topping out, the hard climbing returns with a final pitch of 5.13d.
Hemetzberger redpointed all the pitches Golden Secret in a single day.