Martin Feistl

Martin is an alpinist and climber from Germany who doesn't shy away from trying things 'the hard way'.  

Climbing is one of the two pillars of alpinism for me, along with a correspondingly high capacity for suffering. Especially in difficult combined terrain on big walls in the Alps these are my strengths and this is also the environment in which I see alpinism in the future. Since my expedition experience on the Shivling (6543 m) in the Himalayas, my focus has been on finding the same sense of adventure in the Alps - on your doorstep, so to speak - without flying halfway around the world to do it. Another playground is the increasing number of first ascents in a style that is as clean as possible. For me, that means coming from below, free climbing, in big walls in alpine style and in granite basically without bolts, in limestone this is unfortunately often impossible, although I have been able to climb some limestone sport climbing routes up to grade 8a+/b trad in recent years. In general, sport climbing is for me, even if it is certainly not my greatest strength, an essential basis for difficult alpinism. The fears are often comparable, but in alpinism they are often even more existential, which can lead to performances that you can no longer comprehend afterwards "sober" after the endorphin level has subsided. It is these boundary shifts that continue to drive me. But with growing experience I also notice very impressively how, on the one hand, the urge to push the limits remains similarly intense, but at the same time the goal of becoming an old mountaineer plays an ever greater role. Finding a balance here for inner satisfaction is the main task in my mountaineering life.

Five things I wish I’d known when I started climbing:

  1. 1. I would have liked to known how difficult it becomes to maintain the pure fun of climbing when free climbing on big walls takes on an increasingly important role and one is quickly no longer satisfied with just getting up the route.
  3. 2. That one day I will have a 9 square metre wall of climbing material hanging in my bedroom.
  5. 3. That the most important muscle in climbing really is the head and that this is not just a terse saying.
  7. 4. That alpinism can't give you everything, but above all it can take everything away, and we carry on anyway.

5. That climbing is so absorbing that it is easy to lose motivation for other things.

The routes that mean the most:

Stalingrad – Grubenkarspitze (1000m, M8, WI 7, onsight)

 Stalingrad, new Kingline in Karwendel climbed with David Bruder
(Significant ascents piolet d’Or 2020). Read more.

24 hours of freedom – Sagzahn (300m, M6, WI 4, X)

First ascent of 24 hours of freedom on Sagwand in Valsertal with Sven Brand. Read more.

Supernatural - Altmuehltal, Konstein (8b+, FFA)

First free ascent of Supernatural (8b+). Watch the film.

Flugmeilengenerator – Schwarze Wand (500m, 7a, solo, FA)

Establishing Flugmeilengenerator ground-up and rope solo up Schwarze Wand. Read more. 

The Latest from Martin

This short film by Fabian Weisshaar lets us experience (and suffer with) Martin Feistl's first free ascent "Supernatural" (8b+) in Konstein up close.




On the sunny side of the famous north face with Silvan Metz.


Pandora: Beauty with all the evils in the world | Sass Pordoi

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