Austrian climber Kilian Fischhuber has made the second free ascent of the 260-meter, nine-pitch route Headless Children (8b/5.13d) in the Rätikon of Switzerland. Better known as a competition boulder, Fischhuber retired from the plastic-pulling scene in 2014—after
21 World Cup victories and five overall bouldering titles—to chase multi-pitch adventure climbs in the Alps. He redpointed Headless Children in
only two days of effort.
“When you enjoy a sport, you can often not really describe why, and with art it is similar, some paintings speak to you, others don’t.” says Fischhuber.
“The process begins with the first time you try the route. I think it is pretty similar to an artist that makes his first stroke and isn’t yet sure
what the painting will look like in the end.”
Marco Müller, Koni Mathis and Bruno Rüdisser established Headless Children between 1997 and 1999. Though the climb compares in difficulty, length
and quality to other Rätikon test-pieces such as Silbergeier (5.14a), it has received significantly less traffic. Fischhuber’s is the second
He likens the rock of Headless Children to a painting: “The way it looks, the way these vertical stripes run down, it is like a painting, a bit
like water color, you feel like you climb through a painting.”
The Art of Climbing – Kilian Fischhuber Scales Headless Children: