Mario Lechner: Underground (5.14c/d)

posted by dpm on 03/20/2012


Twenty-year-old Austrian Mario Lechner is just another product of the world famous Tivoli training center of Innsbruck, Austria. Does training at Tivoli create elite climbers or do elite climbers go to train at Tivoli? Either way, Austria continues to pump out the world’s best competition climbers like Jakob Schubert, Johanna Ernst, Angela Eiter, and Mario Lechner who finished with an overall IFSC lead world ranking at number 10 in 2011.

Mario Lechner. Photo: Mario's blog

Last month Mario sent Cresciano, Switzerland’s classic V14 The Dagger and then recently tied in for what could be considered his first 5.14d with Underground (5.14c/d) in Arco, Italy. I’ve been fascinated by this monster roof since I saw a video of Tomas Mrazek climbing it a few years ago. The route is nearly horizontal for almost 80 feet, climbing out a series of fish-scale-like horizontals. In its 80 feet it only gains about 20 feet of vertical. Underground might be the most continuously steep 5.14+ route in the world.

On his blog Mario states that he tried the route twice, two years ago. He returned this year to perfect conditions and sent the route after another four tries despite falling with the final jug in his hand twice! Click the image below for a video of Jakob Schubert sending Underground