Interview with Austrian climber Hansjorg Auer after the 22 April first free ascent of Hallucinogen Wall 5.13+/R in the Black Canyon, Colorado, USA.
One of America’s most notorious big wall routes, the Hallucinogen Wall in Colorado, has recently been freed by visiting Austrian climber Hansj�rg Auer. The 16 pitch line had been established in 1980 by Bryan Becker, Ed Webster, Bruce Lella and Jim Newberry over a 17 day period with the use of aid and the A5 rating deterred most. As often happens, pver time the route’s reputation grew but the grade softened down to 5.10 A3+ as new bolts were added to the crux pitch. In 2004 Hallucinogen Wall hit the limelight once more thanks to Americans Jared Ogden and Ryan Nelson who climbed the line free bar the 13th pitch which they drytooled using ice axes. The ascent was rated 5.13-R D10+, yet despite their efforts the obvious free challenge still remained.
In April 2011 Auer travelled to the Gunnison National Park together with talented Luxembourg climber Ben Lepesant – Auer’s partner last year during the first repeat of Pan Aroma in the Italian Dolomites – and after working the route briefly freed the line on the 22nd in a sub 9 hour push.