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A proud look into the past: South Tyrol's great mountain guide Franz Schroffenegger

A proud look into the past: South Tyrol's great mountain guide Franz Schroffenegger

Our family history is what makes us today. So the love of mountains and nature with us are deeply rooted since immemorial time. Already our great-grandfather Franz Schroffenegger was an enthusiastic mountain climber and knew Rosengarten as his pocket. Based on his experience and his life history we can be proud to pass on this knowledge to our guests today.

A true mountain lion

A true mountain lion

Franz Schroffenegger was born in 1880 and at an early age went climbing beyond his native region. The modern rope and hook technique he had copied in the Wilder Kaiser from none other than Hans Dulfer. With Dülfer and Werner Schaarschmidt together he climbed the "Valbonkante" the eastern Valbonspitze. It was one of the best tours in Tschamintal. Just read what a German newspaper reported about him:

On the rope with Schroffenegger Franz

The Franz Schroffenegger from Tiers was not only a very capable mountain guide, but he was doing his hardest tours without a pay with colleagues and friends such as Franz Wenter and Tita Piaz. With Wenter he climbed the vertical wall of the Delagoturm into Purgametschtal, with Piaz he went in October 1908 from the Dolomites in the Wilder Kaiser to solve a much-discussed problem of the time: The climbing of the Totenkirchl-west wall. In the series of Kirchlkamine he immortalized himself with thr Schroffeneggerkamin, in July 1912 he made the fourth and fifth ascent of the east face of the Fleischbank- and defeated the "Strapiumbi-Nord" at Campanile Val Montanaia. The Grasleitenturm was his destiny mountain.

But the Schroffenegger-Franz was also a real South Tyrolean pig-headed. He had a client who, during access, when Franz tied the rope around his chest, prayed the Lord's Prayer. At the summit, he asked the Guardian Angel for active help and during the descent, by free rappelling, when he hovered over the precipice, secured from above, he mumbled all prayers that he had learned in his childhood. And what Franz got most angry about was the he kept his eyes firmly shut while rappelling.

"The eyes on!" He yelled. "Admire the panoramic view and the power of God!"

And he held the safety rope tightly in his fists vise.

"Let loose, Franz, I'm suffocating!"

"The eyes on, I say!"

"I cannot bear to look deep. Please release the rope!"

But the Schroffenegger-Franz did not let luck, until he got his way. Only when he saw that the man looked up pleadingly at him wide-eyed, pale face twisted into a grimace, he let him slide down to the next stand. Now Franz was able to laugh again, and he said when he had complied to his Lord:

"Against anxiety and dizziness a Lord's Prayer helps nothing! The danger must be looked in te eyes. And against the dizziness a well way is to lubricate the temples with chamoise fat or even better - not to ascend "!

In honorific commemoration

On August 2nd 1920, Franz Schroffenegger crashed at Grasleitenturm. He wanted to show a lady how to rappelling , put the rope sling around a rock and jumped into the rope. The noose slipped, Schroffenegger plunged into the depths and finally succumbed to his wounds in room no. 4 in the Grasleiten hut. According to him, different routes are designated, for example, the Schroffeneggernadel on Santnerpass.