Austrian-born Bernd Zangerl has made a name for himself as one of the world’s most-admired and well-known ‘boulderers’ – a niche type of free-form climbing where the participants, unencumbered by ropes and harnesses, scale previously untouched rocky outcrops and boulders with only a padded crash-mat beneath to protect them.
Don’t look down
Think rock climbing is tough? Jack Arnott meets Bernd Zangerl, the man who’s taking the sport to the next level
Competitive climbing has been Zangerl’s life since scaling Mont Blanc in France at the age of 16. But a terrifying near-fatal rockfall two years later led him to pursue a less-conventional route to the top of this dizzying sport.
The 38-year-old is since believed to have completed more than 500 ‘first ascents’ – the first person to get to the top of a particular site – and has been the subject of numerous articles, documentaries and, as seen here, some stunning photography.