DATE OF BIRTH: 05/11/1984
ACTIVITY: ALPINE CLIMBING
Is it possible to become a great alpinist just by chance? Can a story change someone’s life? Simon’s life gives some good hints to find an answer for and to these questions. Born and raised in Luttach, in Ahrntal, he has always worked first as a farmer in his family’s “bauern hof”/farmhouse, then as a carpenter. His first contact with climbing was absolutely by chance; more or less fifteen years ago he was hitchhiking between Toblach and Bruneck, and an alpinist gave him a ride. It is from this time; the tales and stories of mountains and rock he heard that gave him a reason for going up into the mountains.
Time has passed, and now Simon Gietl spends as much time as he can in the mountains, aiming to reimagine alpine climbing and mountaineering.
Simon’s life revolves around the idea of discovering, defining, and climbing new routes; modern and difficult with traditional protection. He likes to travel and to explore new and unexpected places, but the Dolomites are still his inspiration and favorite playground.
He is an alpinist at the very core. Nevertheless, he doesn’t disdain of running, bicycling and ski touring as a fun way of training but also just as a clean way to reach the mountains.
Simon really likes to go for walks with his wife and children. His family holds a very high importance to him; so he tries to spend as much together as possible. Cooking together or playing in the backyard: every moment shared is an important one. For Simon it is fascinating to admire how fast the children grow up: yesterday they could not walk and today they run into the women’s dressing room at the local bouldering hall.
One word: Dolomites.
“Die großen Wände” by Reinhold Messner. Simon found the book at his parents’ place some years ago and keeps reading it every now and then. To flick through the last pages has been the start of many climbs.
Simon says that it’s the fear of his own courage, the fear of not being able to recognize what are the limits you shouldn’t try to overcome.
Opened new route Shivas Ice, Mount Shivling (6543m), India. A new mixed route up the Northeast face of Mount Shivling with Vittorio Messini.
1st ascent of Stigmata, Heiligkreuzkofe (2907m), Italy with Andrea Oberbacher. A steep unclimbed face in the Dolomites.
1st Winter traverse of Tre Cime with Michi Wohleben. A traverse including the three main summits of Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
Awarded Mountaineer of the year in Italy.
1st ascent of Oblivion Endstand; Piz d’Ander (3204m), Italy. A steep unclimbed face in the Dolomites.
1st ascent of Erbe der Väte; Cima Gande (2999m), Italy – New route at Cima Grande with Andrea Oberbacher.
1st ascent of Odysee at the Eiger; Eiger (3967m), Switzerland - The most difficult Big Wall route on the Eiger Northface with Robert Jasper, Roger Schäli.
2nd ascent of Cruz Del Sur; La esfinge (5325m), Peru. A remote peak in Andes Mountains.
"I BELONG TO THE DOLOMITES, AND I PLAY MY GAME ON THE MOUNTAINS OF THE ENTIRE WORLD. THE DOLOMITES ARE MY HERITAGE, MY BACKYARD, BUT MOST OF ALL THE PLACE WHERE I SHAPE MY VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF MOUNTAINEERING."