A quick google search for Nadine Wallner brings up an impressive skiing resume: she was the 2013 and 2014 Freeride World Tour Women’s Ski Champion, and has skied all over the world. A glance at her Völkl athlete profile page shows colorful, adrenaline inducing ski photos. If you scroll down on that page, tucked away under the “hobbies,” rock climbing is listed among other outdoor pursuits like running, slacklining and enjoying nature with friends.
But Wallner is more than just a hobbyist when it comes to climbing, even if she views it that way. She recently climbed Prinzip Hoffnung, a 5.14a R trad line, in her home country of Austria. The second woman to ever send the gnarly trad testpiece in Bürser Platte, Austria, this 29-year-old has only been climbing for four years. Read that again: She has only been climbing for four years.
Barbara Zangerl was the first woman to climb the spicy Beat Kammerlander route in 2014. Kammerlander originally bolted the line in 1997, but removed the bolts in 2009 and sent it on gear. Others to have climbed the route include Zangerl’s partner, Jacopo Larcher—who recently established what could be the hardest traditional climb in the world—and Fabian Buhl.
On her instagram, Wallner posted a stunning photo of a seemingly blank wall that holds Prinzip Hoffnung. She wrote, “What a JOURNEY, MIND GAME and EXPERIENCE to CLIMB this MASTERPIECE of [Beat Kammerlander].
… It has been a HARD PROCESS of LEARNING and FIGHTING through UP&DOWNS I didn‘t know they existed in CLIMBING!”
The ski instructor remains competitive in freeriding, coming in second and third the past couple of seasons on the World Tour. She has broken into her local climbing scene, sending her first 5.13 last season and her first 5.14 earlier this season, but this feat begs the question: Is this the origin story for the world’s next great trad climber?
(Note: We have not yet found her slack lining and enjoying nature tick list, but stay tuned. We wouldn’t be surprised if she was secretly the best at those, too.)